The Kingstown Co-operative Credit Union Ltd was registered on the 12th April 1958 with a share capital of EC $ 253.98 and a membership of fifty three (53) persons.

The Pioneers

The late Bro. Thomas Saunders after his exposure to Co-operatives in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago pioneered the Credit Union movement in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. At first he found difficulty in convincing members of the public of the value and benefits of Co-operatives. The reluctance of the populace at the time could be traced in part to the collapse of a Credit Union Consumer Co-operative, which was attempted in the 1940’s. It was not until 1957 when Bro. Saunders spoke with a number of tailors, namely Bros. Jerome Burke Sr, Reynold Rose, Bertram Arthur and Leroy Adams that his message germinated.

The Birth

The Kingstown Co-operative Credit Union was established on the 3rd October 1957 at a meeting held at the Peace Memorial Hall. Fifty-one persons attended this meeting and elected from amongst themselves a management committee comprising of:

NameTitle
Jerome Burke Sr. President
Thomas Saunders Vice President
David Jack Secretary/Treasurer
Charles Anderson Asst. Secretary/Treasurer
Bertram Arthur Director

Building the Credit Union

The period 1958 to 1979 saw the society making continual progress and by the end of 1983 the Credit Union had 700 members, a share capital of EC$104,211.28 and loans outstanding of EC$61,844.38. Bro. Jerome Burke Snr served as president from 1958 – 1973, Bro. Thomas Saunders took over as president and served from 1973-1977. He was succeeded by Bro. Jerome Burke Jr. who serve from 1977 – 1979. Bro. George Reddock succeeded Bro. Jerome Burke Jr. and served from 1979 – 1981. Bro Jerome Burke Jr. was reelected in 1981 and served until 1982. Bro Clifford Davy assumed the post of president in 1982 and served until 1984.

The KCCU had a very challenging first 25 years and towards the end of that period, in 1984, the registrar had actually prepared dissolution papers. However he had great confidence in the cooperative idea and he decided to give the Credit Union the opportunity to revive itself. With the help of the Co-operative Department, a management committee was established with the purpose of improving the awareness and commitment of the membership.

In July 1984 the following persons were appointed to the committee:

NameTitle
Jerome Burke Jr. President
Joseph Duncan Vice President
Cadman Lewis Treasurer
Maurice Edwards Secretary/Chairman of Credit Committee
Ralby Hadaway Chairman supervisory Committee
Sharon Fairbairn Secretary
Cornelia Durham Member
Jean Walker Secretary Credit Committee
Sylvia Browne Member

This approach was a success and in the next five (5) years a more professional operational management method was adopted. On the 1st January 1987, KCCU employed its first full time manager, Ms Joan Millington. By 1988 membership was 2269; loans, shares and assets had achieved the important EC $ 1 million mark and a surplus of EC $31 thousand was realized. In that same year the Credit Union introduced computers to facilitate the provision of efficient member services.

Going from Strength to Strong

In the nineteen nineties and in the new millennium the Credit Union expanded the range of services provided to members; it attracted a significant amount of persons to its membership; its financial resources increased to a multi million dollar organization; and it awareness was intensified through concerted efforts with its public relations programmes.

Two presidents were charged with the responsibilities of leadership during the 1990’s. Jerome Burke Jr. served until 1994 and Reuben John presided for the remainder of the decade and beyond into the new millennium.

Edmond Jackson was elected president in 2005, and served through to 2007.

During 1990 the share capital of the society passed the two million dollars mark and stood at $ 2,178,393 at the end of the year. It should be noted that whereas it took the society thirty years to reach its first million the second was reached in a matter of two years.

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