75th anniversary - sydney credit union

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A look back at Sydney Credit Union's 75 years of community support and financial service.

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  • 75thAnniversary

  • Introduction

    As we proudly celebrate our 75th anniversary, we reflect on the past and while almost all aspects of the financial industry has changed over the years, the unwavering spirit of caring for our members, our staff, and our community, combined with our commitment to the grassroots credit union philosophy of people helping people remains as alive today as it was in 1935. This is the story of Sydney Credit Union.

    Contents

    Message From the President .................................... 1Board of Directors ...................................................... 3Message From the CEO ............................................ 4Sydney Credit Unions History .................................... 6Five Star Success ................................................ 12Our Organization ..................................................... 14Our Members ........................................................... 15Our Staff .................................................................. 16Our Community........................................................ 16Our Cooperative Sector ........................................... 17The Sydney Credit Union Charitable Foundation.............................................. 1875th Anniversary ...................................................... 19Credential Financial Strategies ................................ 20Financial Literacy & Money Management ............................................. 21Sydney Credit Union Management ........................... 22Sydney Credit Union Staff ........................................ 24Sydney Credit Union Committees ............................. 26Past Managers ........................................................ 30Past Presidents ....................................................... 30

  • 1 PP

    Message From the President

    I am very honored and privileged to represent your current Board of Directors on this very special occasion, Sydney Credit Unions 75th Anniversary.

    Sydney Credit Union is a financial cooperative owned by its members. It was incorporated in 1935 and has grown into a modern, efficient, full service financial institution.

    But, what is the definition of a cooperative? A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

    What are some of the values associated with a cooperative? Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

    What are the established guiding principles of a cooperative?1. Voluntary and Open Membership2. Democratic Member Control3. Member Economic Participation4. Autonomy and Independence5. Training and Education6. Cooperation among Cooperatives7. Concern for Community These principles and values are what separate us from all other financial institutions. It is important to reflect on the past, taking heart from the initiative and courage of those who followed these principles and founded our credit union.

    I would like to take you back to November 16, 1935, when a group of visionaries, ordinary citizens who believed in the integrity of the people of the community, who believed in the spirit and culture of the community and who believed a better future would come from a cooperative approach to revive the economic base to support the needs of the community.

    Take a moment and visualize what it must have been like to sit around a kitchen table in 1935 when coal mine shifts were being cut, the steel plant was struggling to attract business, poverty was growing and hunger was a real fear.

    Realizing the significance of a growing problem, you can almost hear the emotional turmoil as they worked through the multitude of causes for the economic downturn. This was necessary before they could come to terms with the fact that they had to grab the bull by the horns and act in their own capacity to provide hope, confidence and restoration of self-worth to the community they so dearly loved.

    Building on a new idea of a membership-owned agency that caught on across the country, the founding fathers formed Sydney Credit Union. The time was just after the Great Depression and this experience focused on a need for people to be more aware of the financial difficulties that were becoming a part of their daily lives.

  • 2 PP

    The cooperative values and principles mentioned earlier were adopted to build a framework for sustainability. The few people who attended the original meeting were able to bring friends to the organization and the concept of people helping people inspired many more to join. Within six weeks, 69 members signed up. Two weeks later, the first two loans were made, one for $10.00 and one for $20.00 and the assets as of December 31, 1935, are recorded at $184.00.

    While there are many significant dates throughout our history, I would like to draw your attention to a few:

    l Seventeen years later, in 1952, Sydney Credit Union bought and renovated a building on Townsend Street, the current location of our main branch. Nineteen years after that, in 1971, the original building was decommissioned and a new building was erected and continues to be the main branch today.

    l In 1977, Sydney Credit Union opened the Sydney River Branch office on Kings Road.

    l In 2000, a new financial planning service was started. MemberCARE Financial Services eventually came to be known as Credential Financial Strategies.

    l In 2003, the members opened a full service Sydney River Branch in a new location on Kings Road in Sydney River and launched the first drive through ATM in the Sydney area.

    l In 2006, Sydney Credit Union grew to $100 million in assets and over $75 million in loans to members.

    This reflection on our past is in tribute to previous members, management and staff, and all the past volunteers including directors, committee members and many others. They were responsible for laying the

    groundwork which provided the foundation for developing and implementing the professional services we offer today to the people of our communities.

    We continue to be member-owned, we continue to put people first, we continue to create sustainable jobs and we continue to invest in our communities.

    We are proud of our Vision to be a community minded, member owned cooperative financial institution that is totally committed to Getting You There. Our Vision is fully supported by our mission statement which is to be a financial cooperative committed to providing programs and services which enhance the economic and social well being of its members and the community.

    In wanting to succeed in meeting the spirit and intent of its vision and mission statements, Sydney Credit Union developed our Five Star Success program which recognizes our five key stakeholders, Our Organization, Our Members, Our Staff, Our Community and Our Cooperative Sector. The process associated with this program ensures that all of our stakeholders are appropriately recognized for achievements.

    Just this year, to further assist Sydney Credit Union in its efforts to meet the spirit and intent of its vision and mission statements, the Sydney Credit Union Charitable Foundation has been established.

    We continue to be member-owned, we continue to put people first, we continue to create sustainable jobs and we continue to invest in our communities.

  • 3 PP

    Today, Sydney Credit Union has assets in the range of $124 million with a loan portfolio of approximately $94 million. Now thats progress!!!

    Over the past 75 years, there were a considerable number of community minded individuals who were elected by the membership to serve on the Board of Directors. These individuals voluntarily gave of their time to provide strategic direction to management and staff. Additionally, many members voluntarily served on various committees in support of the Board. While individual directors and committee volunteers have changed over the years, it is obvious from the trend of success recorded over the past 75 years that they each significantly contributed to the health, wellness and success of Sydney Credit Union. In saying that, they deserve a huge recognition of gratitude from us all.

    Let us not forget the management and staff of our credit union. We were very fortunate to have strong leadership from an operational perspective. Our history of loyal and wonderful staff over the years speaks volumes for why Sydney Credit Union can be considered an employer of choice. Sydney Credit Unions achievement is directly proportional to the professionalism demonstrated by the employees on a consistent basis.

    Last but not least, to our member-owners who supported the credit union and deserve the most recognition because without you, our member-owners, we would cease to exist.

    Happy 75th Anniversary! Respectfully

    Lawrence MacDonald

    Board of DirectorsSydney Credit Union is a member-owned, democratic, cooperative financial institution and as such it is governed by a Board of Directors which consists of ten voting members who are elected from the general membership of Sydney Credit Union.

    Back Row (left to right): Donna Arseneau, Blaise MacLean, Dorreen Burke, Vice President, John MacEachern, Jeanette Thompson, Hugh MacKinnon, Darrell Kyte. Front Row (left to right): Jim MacLean, Lawrence MacDonald, President, and Joe Legge, Secretary.

  • 4 PP

    Message From the CEO

    It is a pleasure to share with you, our valued cred