GECCU continues to be ‘first choice’
Special Features
April 7, 2006
GECCU continues to be ‘first choice’

Angela Martin – President of GECCU

At our last Dinner and Awards Ceremony held on February 9, 2006, I said and I quote, “today we boast assets of $98 million and will soon celebrate in grand style our $100 million Assets. ” Here we are today at this official start of this celebration. it was St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians who said, “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” – Philippians 4:13. Brothers and Sisters, let’s give god the glory.{{more}}

On March, 9, 2006, GECCU created history and became the first Credit Union in SVG to attain the enviable milestone of $100 million in Assets. On that date our membership stood at 21,032, of these 1524 are under the age of 15 and 4,857 are under the age of 30.

Today we celebrate this great achievement – $100 million and over 20,000 members and growing, ever mindful of the resounding faith, loyalty, confidence and volunteer service of our enduring membership.

Previously much of our growth has been attained without fanfare. this milestone is a monumental one so there would be fanfare. POWER TO THE MEMBERSHIP. Some may ask what we hope to achieve by this celebration, simple: to highlight the growth and strength of GECCU and the movement, demonstrate our appreciation for member loyalty and recognize the contribution of committees and volunteers. These specific activities to achieve these will be revealed at the appropriate time.

Forty one years ago when a group of Vincentian visionaries took the initial steps to establish this Credit Union, very few thought that such a vision was achievable or, for that matter, relevant. Sis Beryl Baptiste can attest to this.

The commitment and resolve of our volunteers to nurture the development of this great organization is commendable, and having navigated through some difficult times, for example, high rates of delinquency, and attrition, low membership growth and inability to disburse loans in a timely manner, we are here today standing proud as one of this country’s and the Caribbean’s leading financial institutions.

The growth in our membership and Assets had at one time threatened to outstrip our development systems but the pride and tenacity of the GECCU members – (Board, Committees and Staff) shone in all its glory and we have been marketing and delivering on our marketing findings in a scientific but humane manner – which is the co-operative way.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Credit Union generally has received tremendous support from successive governments. they have all recognized that Credit Unions are partnerships between the citizens and the Government of any country. It is our hope that government will ensure that at all times the legal framework is conducive to the growth of the Credit Union Movement.

We at GECCU believe very strongly in the co-operative principles:
• Democratic Member control
• Members’ Economic Participation
• Autonomy and independence
• Education and training
• Co operation among co-operatives
• Concern for community

And it is evident from the aforementioned that the Credit Union form of organization has some intrinsic value which makes it attractive. However Credit Union volunteers and staff alike are required to work assiduously to attract new members to the Credit Union family. It further means that the economic, social and legal frameworks have to be conducive to the growth of the Credit Union Movement. Moreover, it means that the public image of Credit Unions has to constantly improve. this can result from better management, the involvement of skilled persons at all levels and the safety and soundness of these institutions.

While some talk glibly of the need for economic enfranchisement and economic democracy, we at GECCU live it everyday, as gradually more and more Vincentians participate in a Credit Union that is in the vanguard of the struggle for economic justice and poverty alleviation.

Again let us salute those early pioneers who worked selflessly and untiringly to lay the pillars on which our strong and vibrant movement now stands. Let us also acknowledge the distinguished contributions that present day volunteers and professionals are providing to GECCU both at home and in the Diaspora. Let us today rededicate ourselves to the task of GECCU’s development and look forward to the future, optimistic and confident that we have the capacity and commitment to provide services for our membership, taking note of the demographic needs as evident through our education and marketing programs.

We thank the government for their support for our policies, the Co-operative Department for admirable guidance and encouragement, other

Co-operatives for the many ideas generated at meetings, the SVG Co-operatives Credit Union League for their inspiring tenacity to ensure the development of the Co-operative Sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Our volunteers and staff have been tremendous but nothing could have been achieved without the faith, confidence and loyalty of you our indispensable members.

Let me also thank all those persons who have already called to congratulate us – your encouraging words are greatly appreciated.

Finally, let me pledge to you that our Board, Committees and Staff will continue to pursue our Vision, i.e. to be accepted as the first choice financial institution by our members and the general public and Mission, i.e. to enhance the quality of life of all members by their ownership of a stable and efficient institution offering quality services in keeping with members’ needs.