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May 26, 2021

H.R.C.U. Inaugurates Annex Building

They are a Belizean institution, and now the Holy Redeemer Credit Union is expanding. With a new building in Belize City and new programs in the works, including financial literacy courses, the credit union which opened its doors seventy-five years ago is poised to move its membership into the future. News Five was on hand for the official ribbon cutting and blessing ceremony on Saturday.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Holy Redeemer Credit Union inaugurated its new annex on Douglas Jones Street in Belize City on Saturday. The seven million dollar spanking new structure is named in honor of the credit union’s late pioneer Jane Usher. And to celebrate this significant milestone in H.R.C.U.’s history, special invited guests including the Prime Minister John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition Patrick Faber, Mayor Bernard Wagner, along with directors, family and staff. According to Chief Financial Officer Clement Usher they created this new space to accommodate the owner-members as the business grows.


Clement Usher

Clement Usher, Chief Financial Officer, H.R.C.U.

“When we built the first building we figured that was it – we would have enough to last us a life time but our membership has grown and we ran out of space. We were looking around for a next branch and we figured why not just do it next door and expand so that everything will be centrally located where everyone can reach in city limits and we have online where those outside can still reach us as the touch of their phones or computers using our online service.”


The new building is intended make the experience easier for owner-members when they conduct business, as well as to comfortably accommodate its sixty-six member staff. The building features four levels which, as Usher explains, will be used to conduct credit union business, as well as to accommodate other projects that have been in the pipeline; one of the first to be rolled out is financial literacy programme. The new building also features easy access for the disable and older persons.


Clement Usher

“The bottom floor will be for our business where members will conduct their business. This building is much friendlier for handicapped and elderly people, our golden citizens as we refer to them because we have a nice ramp. We have teller counters where the wheelchairs can come in and go right up to it.  The original building which is now dedicated to Mr. Henry Usher who was the first Belizean registrar. We had intended to put up an archive to show the history of H.R.C.U., but we never did to it because it ended up being like a storage and so now we decided that we have enough space and we will pursue and make sure that we set up so that our guests and visitors and member owners can come in and know the history of where this credit union came from its humble beginnings.”


Carol Babb

Dr. Carol Babb, Education Director, Board of Director, H.R.C.U.

“I intend to offer training to member owners and to staff on financial literacy. It was Ms Jane’s dream to have member owners to save regularly; borrow wisely and pay back promptly. So, the training will help them, the financial literacy training will help them to achieve her dreams.”


Today, the H.R.C.U. stands as Belize’s largest credit union and one of the top three in the Caribbean. They say it started out in 1944 with three ladies who each had twenty-five cents to what is now a sixty-thousand member strong credit union with six hundred and fifty million dollars in assets.  And now added to its assets is the Jane Usher tower – a tangible tribute for a woman who dedicated her life to this institution.


Elizabeth Usher Zabaneh

Elizabeth Usher Zabaneh, Daughter of Jane Usher

“It makes me feel like that a life of service and a life of sacrifice exemplified by my parents really has its rewards and very many times people always like to think what is in it for me. But I think knowing my mom and dad, it wasn’t, “What’s what is in it for them?” but what they were able to do for other people. And that is where the reward comes and I am so glad that maybe the buildings have their names and the housing estate has their names. That later on in life when other people ask, “Who are those people?” someone’s will be around to tell them. “Well, they were people that made a difference in people’s lives.”


John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“Today we celebrate the hard work of three generations of Belizean optimists, people who never doubted our indomitable Belizean spirit. People who understood that you can do more with less if you save smart and invest wisely; people who believed that this movement will make ordinary people  do extra ordinary things. Their conviction led to what we see here today, not just a financial institution but an integral part of this nation. From its inception, the HRCU was a place that made dreams become a reality.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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