One of our newest members, Maria Reece told us more about herself tonight. She says she is easy going, independent, and  likes to laugh ( we have experienced that wonderful laughter on many occasions!)

Maria, who was named after the Maria in the Sound of Music,  grew up in Barbados, an island 156 square metres in size with a population of 289,000 people. She grew up next to the beach but cannot swim.  She was an only child, but had lots of cousins and family around her. She was painfully shy and was a bookworm.


Maria had always wanted to see other places, and after the tradegy of September 11, her company downsized and she found herself without a job. In 2003 she was accepted at the University of Western Ontario to do her MBA. It snowed in October in her first year in Canada!

One of the things that amazed her was that there was no-one to bag her groceries at the store. The first time she went to the grocery store she just stood and looked at the groceries on the belt until someone told her she had to get the boxes and box them herself. Back in Barbados there were always "baggers'' at the grocery store. She found this very strange for a "forward" country.

Maria made many friends at university and decided not to go back home. She found a job in Toronto on the Bank of Nova Scotia's International Rotation programme.

In Barbados, Rotary is well- known, but is for older people. Whilst Maria was working in St. Vincent she attended a Rotary meeting with her manager. She was very impressed with that club, and when she returned to Toronto she looked for a Rotary club to join. She joined the Toronto club, however now works in Mississauga making attending their meetings impossible.

Maria is now a Commercial Bank manager, meeting with business clients, assessing their needs and structuring loans.  She used to go home every year, but is now very settled in Canada. We are very fortunate to have Maria as a member of our club and we love her laugh..