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Apr 29, 1999

H.R.C.U. celebrates $100,000,000 in assets

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Their logo depicts a man being sheltered from the rain by an umbrella. A simple symbol to illustrate the need to save for a rainy day. The Holy Redeemer Credit Union is celebrating over a hundred million in assets, but the woman who helps many make it through life’s little storms told members last night that some of their umbrellas are wearing a little thin.

Approximately fifteen hundred H.R.C.U. members gathered at the City Centre on Wednesday night for their fifty fifth annual general meeting. One significant piece of good news was that for the first time the credit union has accumulated over one hundred and three million dollars in assets. Karl H. Menzies, H.R.C.U.’s President attributes this to the hard work done by the institution’s two main driving forces the late Henry Usher and his wife Jane.

Karl H. Menzies, President, H.R.C.U.

“Another very big contributing factor has been Mr. Henry Usher and Mrs. Jane Usher because I think they dedicated their life to this movement. It was started by father Ganey but carried on by those two and the confidence that people placed in them who manage this credit union and brought it to where it is today.

Another contributing factor is the fact that apart from the people employed, all the board, the advisory committee and the credit committee all work for nothing. There is absolutely no remuneration for board members or committee members. That is also another contributing factor because it keeps your operating costs very low. And I think over the years we have had very dedicated employees and honest employees who follow their leaders Mr. and Mrs. Usher.”

But as the management and members celebrated their credit union’s Emerald Jubilee Anniversary, Jane Usher, H.R.C.U.’s Treasurer strongly urged everyone to start saving more. Usher said the cash report for April first, 1998 to March thirty first, 1999 is not a good one, as it reveals that savings have only been increased by nine percent.

Jane Usher, Treasurer, H.R.C.U.

“To me that is a very sad report. It means that our cash savings was only two million although we increased our shares by nine million and you know what that means. It means that the only savings that I think we did is the little dividends and interests rebates that were put in your account.

You mean to tell me that we can’t save in one year two hundred dollars, each of us? We can do it if we try. We can do it.”

Usher says just as they are encouraging members to save more they are discouraging them to stop withdrawing their shares.

Jane Usher

“We are offering you a loan service where you can bid your shares and borrow against your shares. We keep you insured at a very high figure. If I can remember rightly, it is in the neighborhood of over 700 thousand this year. Maybe I am wrong, it could be a little bit higher but so few of you are enjoying that benefit.”

In 1944 H.R.C.U. started with only three members, today the institution is thirty one thousand strong. The institution, which gives out loans for investments, education, medical, housing, vehicle purchase and repairs, travel and many other purposes, also offers a free insurance: CUNA Mutual. This covers loans up to forty thousand dollars. Menzies believes it is such added benefits and the fact that no amount of money being saved is considered too small which have contributed to their membership growth.

Karl H. Menzies

“Well first of all I don’t think the commercial bank would want people saving shilling a week, a twenty five cents or a dollar a week. On the other hand, when they borrow, the interest rate is so low; it is one percent a month. You can’t beat that anywhere.”

H.R.C.U. members are being encouraged to work on a savings program that will contribute towards the institution reaching its goal for the year 2001.

Karl H. Menzies

“The next move is we are hoping by the year 2001 that the savings reach one hundred million. Presently at the end of March, savings was 76 million dollars so we are hoping that savings will go up to a hundred million. That is our next target.”

At the close of the meeting H.R.C.U. members were told once again that for the credit union to progress, they must all do their part by saving regularly, borrowing wisely and repaying promptly.

And if the statistics are any indication, H.R.C.U. members are borrowing wisely. Last year they borrowed the greatest amount — over ten million dollars — for home repairs and renovations. This was followed by loans for business investments and education. In all over thirty-three million dollars in loans were taken out by almost thirteen thousand members.

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