In April, the Rossland branch of the Nelson & District Credit Union (NDCU) will be hosting the credit union’s annual general meeting.
This will mark the first time since the credit unions amalgamated in 1998 that the agm was held here.
Earlier this month, former directors of the Rossland credit union met to talk about old times and the changes that credit unions have implemented and been faced with.
The seven directors, current and past, laughed about the old days in credit union history.
The Rossland branch has a long history of serving the community. The credit union was originally incorporated in 1941 .
“Rossland had that history of the Rossland co-operative transportation society, so the mindset of many Rossland people was right in tune with helping one another.
John Harasin used to meet with people having trouble repaying their debts, as well as the debt collectors and negotiate the lowest rate possible.
Gordon Player said he started with the Warfield Credit Union when he was a kid and had the job of paperboy.
“I would do my collections on Saturday and go up, I had a bunch of change,” he explained.
“He’d get one of those steel boxes, I’d put the money in and he’d close it. I never got a receipt or anything. On weekends, that little box went with him down to the firehall, because he was a fireman, and rode along in the firetruck with him.”
And despite the lack of a paper trail, he said he never lost any money.
That type of cash box is part of the history of credit unions.
“Rossland Credit Union, until the point it joined Nelson and District, all the board of directors and committee members who were not staff were volunteers, without any stipend at all, that’s up until 1998,” Carol DeRosa said. “Before joining Nelson and District committee members did not receive any remuneration period.”
The Rossland Credit Union amalgamated with Nelson and District Credit Union in 1998 and moved into the current building a year later.
In 2000, the Bank of Montreal left town and the Rossland branch bought its assets.
Don Vinish said credit unions are still relevant as they are a place for locals to meet and share things they have in common, much like the post office.
John Harasin said it’s about the credit union’s ability to keep pace with change and keep that change in the community.
DeRosa added that the credit union is important because of the ability to keep investments and benefits local.
“I think it’s important to have influence and control in the institutions in which you participate,” she said.
Gordon Player said the credit union is just a comfortable place to go into.
“They call me by name, I wouldn’t go anywhere else,” he said.
Things like ATMs and lending personal mortgages for women were first implemented by credit unions.
The Nelson & District Credit Union will have its annual general meeting April 24.
The directors and members of the board are hoping to get a large a turnout for the event.