Anthony Alexander Alam, also known as Alec Alam (1896–1983) was an Australian businessman, politician and philanthropist. He was one of the longest-serving members of the New South Wales Legislative Council, and a prominent member of the Lebanese community.
Anthony Alexander Alam was born on 23 January 1896 in Wallsend. His father was an immigrant Lebanese storekeepers Joseph Alam and Mary née Hashem. He was educated at De La Salle College Armidale.
He lived in various country centres including The Rock and established Alams Limited, merchants of Dubbo, Delegate and Dunedoo. He was also the managing director of the Australian Fur Exporting Company. He became a contract builder in Sydney and was director of Mala Homes Pty Ltd, Zebra Motels Pty Ltd and A.A. Alam Pty Ltd.
He was an active in the Australian Labor Party, and served as president of that Party's Gwydir, Dubbo and Wammerawa branches. He represented Labor in the New South Wales Legislative Council from 21 December 1925 until 22 April 1958, when he retired from that position. He later filled a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Ian Sinclair from 19 November 1963 until 22 April 1973, when he again retired. He was therefore an MLC for over forty-one years.
Some members of the Lebanese community in New South Wales may remember Anthony Alam. As well as being a significant political figure, he and his wife were well regarded in the Lebanese and wider community and participated in many charitable, business and social events.
Alam and his wife Therese Alam (née Anthony) were instigators behind many charitable endeavours for the Maronite community, the Lebanese community, and the community in general. One of Mrs. Alam's notable efforts was raising funds to purchase ambulances to transpont Australian troops and others injured during World War II as President of the Lebanese Ladies War Comforts League of Australia. A number of the ambulances apparently found their way to Lebanon, where they were used to transport injured civilians in addition to injured Australian troops.
It has been said that some years later, in gratitude, the Lebanese Government presented Australia with a number of cedar saplings (Cedars of Lebanon). Some members can remember being shown the saplings growing strongly in a garden in Canberra. However, with the passing of years, their exact location has been forgotten.
He was appointed to the National Order of the Cedar (Lebanon), the Order of Nichan Iftikhar, the Légion d’honneur (France) and the Order of the Phoenix (Greece).
He married Therese Anthony (daughter of W. Anthony) at St. Columbia's Church, Charters Towers, Queensland, on 26 April 1924.
He died on 9 August 1983, at the age of eighty-seven.