History

 

Tignish Credit Union Ltd. was officially created in April of 1937 after the normal period of study and education for this latest form of banking. There was a bank in Tignish in 1937, but times were hard, and few men could qualify for a loan. Dr. John Crouteau, who was studying credit unions and co-operatives at the time, came to talk to the people of Tignish. Over 100 people came to the meeting which resulted in study clubs being formed in every school district to learn more about how to start and run a credit union. Once a month, the clubs would congregate in the Parish Hall to exchange findings and opinions.

 

On April 8, 1937, 19 founding members, including the leaders from the Fishermen’s Union, farmers from the buyers’ clubs and other residents, signed the application for a charter. Each man agreed to buy a $5.00 share to provide it with the start-up capital it required. Membership was open to anyone living in the Tignish Parish area who paid an entrance fee of twenty-five cents. Shares could be bought in fifty cent installments paid twice a month. The application for charter was granted on April 22nd, with Tignish Credit Union open for business on May 28th.

 

The Credit Union has moved a few times since its inception. Beginning in Fidele J. Arsenault’s house for the first few months with operating hours only on Saturdays, the credit union purchased a building belonging to Joseph C. Myers for $45 and situated it on a lot rented from Mrs. Jean Gaudet. At the time of its 2nd annual meeting in January 1939, the credit union had 181 members and showed loans of $1,800 offering a service line made up of personal loans and share-savings.  By 1940, the Credit Union moved to an office in the Tignish Co-op Store. In 1974, it bought the former liquor store building located next to the Co-op and renovated. This building, our present Tignish location, was again renovated in 1991 with a complete makeover and a second story added to accommodate the rapidly growing Credit Union.

 

In 1962, the boundaries were extended to include “bona fide residents” within a twelve mile radius, “who trade in the Tignish area”. This opened the doors to welcome members of the former credit unions in Alberton, Elmsdale, and St. Louis. By the end of the 60’s, assets had reached over $700,000 and finally went broke through the $1 millon mark between 1970 and 1971.

 

The years which make up the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s for Tignish Credit Union would be considered years of growth, stability and adding new services which members needed as we moved toward a move global society. In 2003, Tignish Credit Union officially expanded into the Alberton area with its first branch location. In 2010, a third service location, the Business Services center, official opened on the second floor of the historic Tignish Post Office.

 

Today, as a full-service financial institution, Tignish Credit Union has over 9,900 owners and approximately $110 million in assets.  It employs 37 people either full-time or in term positions and operates out of three locations, the main office in Tignish, the branch office in Alberton, and the Business Services center in Tignish.  The credit union serves primarily the residents from North Cape to Miminegash to Alberton although many who move away to find employment temporarily or permanently, continue using the credit union as their primary financial institution.

 

During its 73-year history, Tignish Credit Union has matured in the way it offers services to its clients.  The days when volunteers reviewed credit applications for decisions and assisted in offering daily services to the public have changed.  Today a General Manager, with the assistance of a professional staff of employees, makes those decisions within a set of policies determined by the Board of Directors.  Throughout its 73-year history, one thing has not changed.  Tignish Credit Union continues to be owned by the member-owners who use the services and is governed by a Board of Directors made up of nine owners who are chosen by the membership at the General Meeting that is held each year.

 

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