CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS (MMS-SKN) — The Nevis Co-operative Credit Union (NCCU) Limited, Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis’ oldest credit union, on Wednesday July 27 held an appreciation cocktail for pioneers and volunteers who laboured during the institution’s infancy to make it the financial giant it is today.
“As we reflect on the journey to 50, it is important for us to remember the persons who made all of this possible,” said President of the NCCU Board of Directors, Mr Kris Liburd, at the cocktail reception which was held at the Riviere House Restaurant on Government Road in Charlestown, Nevis. “When we think of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited, we cannot help but think of our founder, the late Wilbert Edmund Ingle Blackett OBE.”
The Nevis-based credit union, which was registered on July 25, 1972, is observing year-long 50th Anniversary celebrations under the theme ‘Consistency, Financial Security & Serving the Community – 50 years of Development and Prosperity’. According to Mr Liburd, the appreciation cocktail was to show appreciation to the pioneers and volunteers for the contribution they made to the institution.
He observed that the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited had set a bold example for financial institutions not just in Nevis, but in the Federation and in the region. While a number of financial institutions would have graced the shores of Nevis, he wondered how many of them can boast that they have celebrated a golden jubilee.
“Over the years we have witnessed several acquisitions and closures, but standing strong is the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited, and that is no easy feat,” said Mr Liburd. “So tonight, as I said earlier, it is about showing appreciation to those who gave up their time and their talent day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, to ensure that the ship that Mr Blackett built so many years ago still stays afloat, and it is always a good thing to show gratitude wherever it is due.”
A former Director of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited, and also former Deputy Premier of Nevis, Mr Hensley Daniel, gave feature remarks where he reflected on the Role of the NCCU in the post 1970 Era.
“I am happy to be here because any local institution that withstands the troubles of 50 years deserves our greatest commendation,” said Mr Daniel. He gave his remarks in the context of Nevis in 1972 which was just two years after the sinking of the Christena when fear, despondence, and a total lack of confidence in the future, had forced a number of bright and talented people to migrate,
The arrival of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited on the scene helped to lift people’s spirits and confidence in putting the little money they had in 1972, in the bank. He noted that while the Credit Union had an asset base of $4,000 in 1972 that was a lot of money by the standards of those days.
“It was left with the people in Nevis who had the confidence, and that is why I had to ask you to give a special round of applause for the pioneers for believing that this could happen,” said Mr Daniel. “The good thing about this national institution is it is owned by a set of ordinary, regular people and also it cannot and should not and must not be sold to anybody. I hope the bylaw says that it can’t.”
Chair of Appreciation NCCU’s 50th Anniversary Cocktail for Pioneers and Volunteers subcommittee, Member Services and Human Resources Manager Ms Julet Chiverton, noted that pioneers were the persons who pushed the credit union initiatives by promoting the credit union ideas in the 1970s and early 1980s. Some were volunteers and others were employees.
“They also took the initiative to educate the general public as they recruited members,” observed Ms Chiverton. “They are the ones who picked up on the idea and ran with it trying to get persons involved and recruit membership during the 1970s. They used to walk house to house as they recruited members for the credit union. In the same vein they promoted financial literacy while encouraging the members to borrow small loans.”
While not all were present as some are based overseas and others had prior engagements, nine surviving pioneers, Mrs Carmella Hanley, Mr Edred Ward, Mrs Eugenie Hector, Mrs Georgette Hanley, Ms Jannette Claxton, Ms Jeannette Grell-Hull, Mr Joseph Parry, Mr Ellery Warner Riviere, and Mr Randolph Moving were honoured.
Making the presentation of awards were General Manager Mr Sydney Newton, Accounting and Finance Manager Ms Londy Esdaille, and General Manager’s Executive Officer Ms Patulia Huggins.
A total of 90 volunteers were honoured, and making the presentation done in three batches were Mr Sydney Newton, Ms Londy Esdaille, and Ms Patulia Huggins for the first batch; and Administration Assistant Ms Tamara Johnson, Credit Control and Recoveries Officer Ms Candace Pinney; and Internal Auditor Ms Zahvelisia Claxton for the second batch.
Making presentations to volunteers in the third batch were Senior Accountant Mrs Jacqueline Liburd, Credit Administration and Securities Officer Ms Earther Scarborough, and Administration, Member Services and Human Resources Manager Ms Julet Chiverton.
Names of past Presidents were revealed, starting with Father John Wagland (1972-1973); Mr Anthony Horner (1973-1975); Mr Ellery Warner Riviere (1975-1978); Mr Arthur Evelyn (1978-1980); Pastor Eversley Pemberton (1980-1984); Mr Anthony Horner (1984-1985); Mr Ellery Warner Riviere (1985-1986); Mrs Olvis Dyer (1986-1988); and Mr Andy Liburd (1988-1991).
Others were Mr Sydney Newton (1991-1994); Mr Daniel Arthurton (1994-1997); Mr Ernie Stapleton (1997-2001); Mr Edson Elliott (2001-2004); Mr Dwight Morton (2004-2008); Mr Steadroy Pemberton (2008-2010); Mr Andy Liburd (2010-2015); Mr Collin Walwyn (2015-2019); Mrs Vernesia Walters (2019-2022); and the current President Mr Kris Liburd (2022-).