Portadown Celebrating 50 Years

Portadown Celebrating 50 Years

Friday, December, 20th, 2013 in Credit Union News

The people who started Portadown Credit Union were people who had grown up in the 1930s and 40s. They didn’t think of the great depression as a bit of history; rather because they lived through it, they were even more determined to make the world a better place.

In 1960 a group of local people were aware of the poverty in Portadown and had heard of the benefits of Credit Unions. They were aware that if a financial co-operative could be formed then working people could pool their resources for the benefit of all. Two men Jack McCabe and Thomas Lee were asked to examine this possibility. Thomas and Jack met over a six to nine months’ period to investigate how credit unions worked. Thomas recalls one meeting which went on to 6am. In 1962, these two men were joined by Peter Mulligan, Aidan McCormack, John Goodwin, Harry McNamee, Aiden Cullen, Dr. G McAnallan, James Hendron, Gerry McNally, Dr. L Byrne, Jim McCullagh, James Greenwood, Edward Gillen, Paddy McAnallan and Vincent Meehan to form a working party to get this venture off the ground.

The inaugural meeting of Portadown Credit Union took place on 4th April 1963. The opening share capital was £1.10.00 (£1.50) which was made up of 2/6 (12.5 pence) paid by each of the 12 founder members. From this humble beginning the Credit Union has now 8500 members and savings of £18 million.

The first offices of the Credit Union were the Credit Union Rooms in William Street. They were open from 7 to 9pm on Friday night and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays.

The Board of Directors held their meetings in St Patrick’s Hall, Thomas Street up to 3rd June 1970, when the offices moved from the Credit Union Rooms in William Street to 6 Portmore Street. The next move was to Thomas Street in July of 1980 to what was Jackie McMahon’s drapers shop.

The current purpose built offices were opened to the public on 4th August 2004 and so the Credit Union is back in the street where it all began in 1963. It took great dedication and hard work from those early visionaries to get the movement started in Portadown and successive volunteers and staff have all played their part in bringing the Credit Union to where it is today.

To mark the occasion on Thursday 4th April 2013 Portadown Credit Union held a Member Day with refreshments provided for Members and neighbours. On Saturday 6th April a celebration Dinner was held in the Seagoe Hotel for current and former volunteers and staff to which all the surviving 1963 Members were invited.

As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary this year we are delighted to welcome our first lady Manager, Mrs Elizabeth Donnelly, former Manager of Armagh Credit Union who joined us on 13th August 2013. Elizabeth brings with her vast Credit Union knowledge and experience. She began her Credit Union career as a volunteer with Newry Credit Union in 1974, and took up a full time post in 1976. After 23 years in Newry Credit Union she was appointed as Manager of Armagh Credit Union in September 1998.

This extensive knowledge and expertise will be beneficial as we introduce new services and technology for our members, such as website, on-line applications and account access.