Mery Tarigan grew up in a small Indonesian village called Kabanjahe. Long days at school became even longer coming home to hours of farm work in the vegetable fields. Making little to no money on the farms, Mery knew she had to find something else. When she was 19 years old, she moved to Malaysia and found a job as a caddie. Who knew her job on the greens would lead her to Canada.
Paul and Janet Tufts originally from London, moved to Malaysia for a change to get experience in international work. They would play rounds on the golf course every week that Mery worked at. They finally got to meet Mery one day and saw potential in her.
“She was very intelligent, very hard working, very respectful, and she also had a great sense of humour,” said Janet.
And with that, Mery had impressed Janet and Paul so much, they asked her to come back to Canada with them.
“When Paul and Janet asked me, I’m like this is joking. I never thought I would get to come here,” said Mery.
Once in Canada, Mery had the opportunity to get a proper education. Last year was her first year in English. This year she is in the golf management program. Out of all schools in Ontario, she loves Fanshawe the most.
“I love it so much. Fanshawe is the best. Three weeks after being at Fanshawe, I drew the logo for my bedroom.”
Fanshawe has given Mery plenty of opportunity. An opportunity to continue her craft in the sport of golf she loves so much.
“Last year I played on the varsity team. I was the only girl. I placed 8th.”
Mery was a caddie for the golf course in Malaysia but never actually played golf. Once she came to Canada, she taught herself how to play the game.
“I watched Youtube, I watched people play, and that started my career in golf. From that I practice every day to make myself better for Fanshawe.”
Not only does Mery play in tournaments, but she also organizes them. On October 13th, there is a golf tournament at Echo Valley to raise money for Mery’s town back in Indonesia. Her goal is to raise $35 000 to build a school in Kabanjahe.
“We’re really proud of her. We’re really enjoying seeing what she’s doing here in London. She’s become an integral part of our family. She works so hard and deserves every bit of it,” said Janet.
Dreams of one day making it to the Olympics is the mentality that Mery has. This year she says the only goal she has in mind is to make it to the Canadian College Athletics Association championships and raise money for back home.
So far the family has raised over $7800. Mery hopes people come out to the tournament on October 13th as it is a for a great cause and you could just see a few of her golfing skills.
Find out more about Mery and her journey on Mery’s GoFundMe page.