Bray Credit Union celebrates 55 years
Bray Credit Union celebrated its 55th anniversary with an exhibition of its history, which took place last week at Bray Town Hall.
The exhibition included photos and a time-line of the part the organisation has played in the town since it was founded in the 1960s.
Visitors learned about the background the founding of the Credit Union movement in Ireland, with high unemployment, sickness, malnutrition, money lending, hunger, poor clothing, poor housing, and inevitably, emigration of one parent or of the whole family.
In the 1950s, the founders recognised the root of the problem as lying in the scarce availability and poor management of money and resolved to identify a system that would allow people to gain more control over their finances - these issues would one day be turned into the principles of the Credit Union Act.
In Bray, the first meeting of Bray Credit Union took place in Fatima House in 1964.
The founders were a group of dynamic, pioneering and entrepreneurial people, namely: Vincent Nolan (Irish Independent News Worker), WP QUinn (Garda Commissioner), and shop owner Gerry Doyle.
Their goals were to improve the community and make life better for everyone. Others joined for the inaugural meeting to establish the CU, putting in a half a crown each.
One of those, Jim Kelly, told exhibition organisers 'we all wondered who would take out the first loan!'
Jim and Rosaleen Flynn were among the first volunteers. He spoke about how they both took great pride in volunteering and giving their time to the community. All volunteers took an oath of secrecy and they were respected and trusted by the local people.
Since that time, the membership has flourished, a premises was secured and remains on the Main Street. The exhibition brought viewers through the entire history of the organisation, right up to the present day, and including all the contributions made to society via scholarships and charitable donations.