CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS (MMS-SKN) — The success of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited, which is the oldest co-operative credit union in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis having been registered on July 25, 1972, has been attributed to ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Observing year-long 50th Anniversary celebrations under the theme ‘Consistency, Financial Security & Serving the Community – 50 years of Development and Prosperity’, members of the Board, Management and Staff and friends attended a 50th Anniversary thanksgiving service that was held at the Taylor Memorial Wesleyan Holiness Church in Charlestown, Nevis, on Sunday, July 24.
Addressing the congregation, President of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Mr Kris Liburd advised that though registered in July 1972, its roots go back to 1965 with the formation of the Civil Service Co-operative Credit Union Limited which had commenced operations as the first credit union in Nevis. The following year it started serving the residents of Charlestown and was registered as the Charlestown Co-operative Credit Union Limited.
“However, between 1965 and 1972 the co-operative movement struggled to gain acceptance and support,” observed President Liburd. “I am told that business was very slow at the time, but growth always trended upwards.”
According to the President, records show that on December 31st, 1972 the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited had only forty (40) members with a total of $4,100; savings which were then called shares totalled a mere $3,900; while loans totalled $2,000 and reserves $139.00.
He then advised that as at December 31st, 2021, the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited had on record 6,464 members up from 40 in 1972, with assets of $164.4 million; savings deposits $137.3 million; share capital $8.7 million; a loan portfolio valued at $104.4 million; and reserves of $17.7 million.
“I cannot think of a better example of ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” said Mr Liburd. “Today we salute the pioneers who laid the foundation for this very noble institution; a cohort of brave men and women who invested their time, talent and limited resources for the benefit of future generations.”
Pioneers honoured included the late Wilbert Edmund Ingle Blackett OBE who championed the co-operative movement in the former British colony of St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla. Others, all deceased, were first President, Father John Wagland; Anthony Homer, Spencer Byron, Arthur Evelyn, Olvis Dyer, Anne-Marie Caines, Harry Maynard, Eileen Blackett, Cicely Grell-Hull, Crispin Fahie, and Spencer Howell,
“We also recognise the contributions of Warner Riviere, Eversley Pemberton, Joseph Parry, Eugenie Hector, Janet Grell-Hull, Jannette Claxton, Wellington Parris, Earl Parris, Edred Ward, our first employee Randolph Moving, Carmella Hanley, Georgette Hanley, and many others whose names are forever etched in the annals of Credit Union history in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said President Liburd.
Among local leaders present at the 50th Anniversary Church Service included Premier of Nevis the Hon Mark Brantley, former Premier of Nevis and NCCU Pioneer the Hon Joseph Parry, and Political Leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) Dr. Janice Daniel-Hodge.
Also present included President of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Co-operative League Mr. Peter Jenkins, President of First Federal Co-operative Credit Union Mr Howard McEachrane, and a representative of the St. Kitts Co-operative Credit Union Limited.
President Liburd advised that 2022 is a historic year for the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited, noting that through sound leadership, effective management, and the commitment of its members, the institution has become a symbol of prosperity, stability, and partnership.
“For fifty years the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited planted seeds of prosperity in the lives of ordinary people,” stated Mr. Liburd. “When our members failed to meet the requirements of other institutions, the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited provided a window of opportunity. Through strategic partnerships and viable financial services and solutions, we assisted many in realising the growth homeownership, landownership, higher education, entrepreneurship, and financial freedom.”
Officiating at the thanksgiving service was Rev Steadroy Pemberton, a former Director of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union, assisted by Pastor Theophilus Kelly, Pastor Davidson Morton, and Pastor James Douglas.
The scripture reading was done by NCCU’s first scholarship holder, Ms. Trudy Prentice, members of Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited led the congregation in a special rendition, while Coelis Classical Choir not only presented a special rendition, but also rendered the Credit Union Song.
Rev Pemberton noted that in the days before social media, the churches were used to carry out co-operative credit union news to their members, and in that respect a number of them were recognised and honoured during the service. General Manager of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union, Mr. Sydney Newton, offered words of appreciation.