The Nevis Co-operative Credit Union (NCCU) Limited, the oldest credit union in the Federation, has launched a calendar of year-long celebratory activities that will be held to mark the institution’s 50th anniversary, having been registered on July 25, 1972.
“Today begins a very significant celebration for the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited,” said NCCU President, Mrs Vernesia Walters on Monday January 31, during the launch ceremony which was held at the Ingle Blackett Conference Room, Nevis Credit Union Business Complex in Charlestown.
“It is a time when we cast our gaze at the birth, growth, development and maturity of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited and its impact over the past 50 years on the lives of our members and their families,” observed Mrs Walters.
According to the President, it is time for people to come into greater recognition that the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited, an indigenous institution, is a hallmark of the Nevisian economy.
She noted that it is time to look back at the transformation of communities where the ordinary man or woman could proudly own a piece of the rock, become an entrepreneur, advance his/her education, improve his/her lifestyle, address medical needs, explore the world and fulfil visions, goals and dreams.
“It is a time when we as a people celebrate economic independence and teach the next generations the values of hard work, integrity, collaboration, cooperation, contentment, compassion, voluntarism, perseverance and endurance,” said Mrs Walters. “These values form the bedrock of this institution and the wider Credit Union Movement as they justify our very existence.”
She advised: “So, as we celebrate, let us embrace the journey and renew our commitments to the vision and mission of this great institution.”
Giving a history of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited, General Manager Mr Sydney Newton noted that the first credit union commenced operations on Nevis in 1965 under the astute stewardship of the late Mr Wilbert Edmund Ingle Blackett, pioneer of co-operativism in the then British colony of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla. It was intended solely for the employees of the Civil Service.
“In 1966, the bond was opened for the residents of Charlestown and the Credit Union was registered as the Charlestown Co-operative Credit Union Limited,” noted Mr Newton. “And on July 25, 1972, the Charlestown Co-operative Credit Union opened its ‘bond’ to all the residents of Nevis and was registered as the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited.”
He saluted pioneers of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union who laboured hard to lay a solid foundation for the society, where during the first seven years of credit unionism on Nevis (1965-1972), which included the difficult years immediately following the MV Christena Disaster of 1970, they endured struggles as they sold the co-operative idea, which was at its infancy, to get acceptance and support.
According to Mr Newton, esteemed pioneers of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union are Mr Ingle Blackett (Founder), Fr. John Wagland (1st President), Mr Anthony Horner, Mr Spencer Byron, Mr Arthur Evelyn, Mrs Olvis Dyer, Ms Ann-Marie Caines, Mr Harry Maynard, Mrs Eileen Blackett, Mrs Cicely Grell-Hull, Mr Crispin Fahie, and Mr Spencer Howell (all deceased).
Those still around include, among others, Mr Warner Riviere, Pastor Eversley Pemberton, Mr Joseph Parry, Mrs Eugenie Hector, Ms Jeannette Grell-Hull, Mrs Jannette Claxton, Mr Wellington Parris, Mr Earl Parris, Mr Edred Ward, Mr Randy Moving (1st Employee), Mrs Carmella Hanley, and Mrs Georgette Hanley. Present at the launch ceremony were pioneers Pastor Eversley Pemberton, Mr Edred Ward, and Mrs Georgette Hanley.
Chairman of the Anniversary Committee who is also the Vice President of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited, Mr Carl Tyson, noted that competitions were held among the members of staff for the submission of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations slogan, and logo.
The winning 50th Anniversary Celebrations slogan, ‘Consistency, Financial Security & Serving the Community 50 years of Development and Prosperity’ was submitted, Ms Zahvelisia Claxton, the Internal Auditor, while the winning logo was submitted by Ms Tamara Johnson, Administrative Assistant, Administration and Human Resource Department.
Mr Tyson also revealed the year-long 50th Anniversary Calendar of events which will include, among others, distribution of care packages (January to December), production of commemorative documentaries on pioneers, members, staff, and scholarship holders (Jan-Dec), relay competition (April/May), commemorative magazine (July), worship service (July 24), essay competition for secondary schools students (October), quiz competition for primary schools students (November), and staff awards/gala (November/December).
The ceremony, which was attended by members of the various 50th Anniversary Celebrations committees and streamed on NCCU’s Facebook page live, was chaired by NCCU’s Business Development and Marketing Officer, Ms Jaedee Caines. National Anthem was rendered by one of NCCU’s scholarship holders, Miss Sindodre Flemming, prayer was invoked by NCCU’s Accounting and Finance Manager, Pastor Londy Esdaile, while NCCU’s Internal Auditor, who is also the Recorder, Anniversary Committee, Ms Zahvelisia Claxton, gave the vote of thanks.
Photo: President of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited, Mrs Vernesia Walters, delivering remarks at the launch ceremony of the institution’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations. Courtesy Peter N’Gunjiri