1948 - Thomas Rampersad helps a co-worker

Thomas Rampersad, a Kardex clerk brought together the persons in his department to help a fellow worker Phenmore Cummings to get out of the clutches of a moneylender. He brought everyone together and informed them of Cumming's troubles. He explained to them, if they all saved 25 cents a week they would be able to lend Cumming's the $5.00 to pay off Mr. Joe and in return Cummings will pay 10 cents interest. They all agreed. It was at this point the Credit Union philosophy, what we stand for 50 years later, was first put into practice at Canning and Co. "Simply people helping people".

1950 - Study group started

Victor Thomas (member) speaking at an Annual General Meeting.In order to register a credit union, two years of study was required with an examination at the end of this period to ensure a well-run credit union. In 1950 Mr. Norbert Grannum (Unionist at the warehouse), Mrs. Eileen Lippincott (Secretary in Head Office) and Thomas Rampersad (to name a few) formed the study group. The study group met every Thursday at 5:00pm at the soda fountain on Queen Street in Port of Spain.

1952 - Canning's Employees' Credit Union Cooperative Society is established

On October 14th 1952 Canning's Employees' Credit Union Co operative Society was formally established. Employees of the grocery every Friday made voluntary contributions.

1953 - First Annual General Meeting

On February 2nd 1953, the inaugural meeting of Canning's Employees' Credit Union (CECU) was held and the first President of the Credit Union was elected: Mr. Norbert Grannum, Warehouse Manager. Present were 24 employees of the grocery and supermarket divisions. Within a year, membership grew to 100, shares to approximately $8,000.00 and loans to $7,200.00.

1958 - CECU signs with CUNA Mutual Insurance Society

In 1958, Canning's Employees' Credit Union signed a life savings and loan protection contract with CUNA Mutual Insurance Society, making the motto "the debt dies with the debtor," a well known refrain at Canning's. Shares reached Forty Thousand in 1959 and payroll deductions subsequently were introduced.

1965 - Annual General Meeting held at the Coca Cola Factory

Meetings were usually held at Hilo's premises and for the first time in the history of the credit union ,the AGM was held on the compound of the Coca Cola Factory on the corner of Park and Richmond Street. Notice for these meetings were written on Bristol board and posted in the Post Office.

Commissioner of Co-operatives Mr. Kangaloo handing out an award at one of Canning's Christmas Functions.1969 - Share Capital hits One Million Dollar mark

By June 1969, Cannings' Employees' Credit Union's share capital hit the Million Dollar mark.

1973 - Share Capital hits Three Million Dollar mark

Four years later, the Three Million Dollar mark was achieved making our credit union one of the largest credit unions in the country, second only to the giant Texaco Credit Union. Canning's Employees' Credit Union was also the first credit union to open its membership to past employees, employees of subsidiaries and to members' immediate family. Today employees of non-group companies, which meet the criteria set by the Board of Directors, are eligible for membership. These include Hamel-Smith & Co-Attorneys-at-Law, Sissons Paints, Waste Disposal, Rotoplastics, Mc Cann Erickson, Pro Advance Consultants Ltd., Computer Networking, Cuna, Cascadia Hotel, Laughlin & De Gannes, Budget Foods, Tru Valu, Food Giant and Caribbean Paper and Printed Products (1993) Ltd.

1974 - CECU is computerized

At the start of Canning and Company a manual system was used to record all savings for members in a copy-book. There was a need to improve this system and Mr. Johnny Chong Sing came up with a Ledger Card System. This worked for a while but soon it became too cumbersome as our membership was constantly growing. Johnny was called upon again to design a computerized system for the credit union. This basic system is still in use and constantly being improved with the passage of time.

1977 - Fire at CECU head office

In 1977 disaster struck when Canning's Employees' Credit Union offices, then located at Hilo Headquarters on Tragarete Road, were destroyed by fire. The Credit Union was immediately relocated to Sea Lots along with Hilo. The Tragarete Road Office was rebuilt but the need for more space saw Canning's Employees' Credit Union moving into offices at the Credit Union Bank.

1982 - CECU was the only non banking organization to grant mortgages

Canning's Employees' Credit Union, in its drive to continually serve its members, reduced the qualifying amount necessary for building a home from 33 1/3% to 20%; the repayment period was extended from 10 to 18 years. This was so popular that the National Insurance Board granted Canning's Employees' Credit Union a mortgage loan facility in 1982, making Canning's Employees' Credit Union the only non-banking organization in the country able to grant mortgages.

1984 - CECU purchases its own property

Members enjoying themselves at CECU Christmas Party.By 1984 Canning's Employees' Credit Union was able to purchase its own property at # 10 Victoria Avenue, operating an overdraft of Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars. So strong was the Credit Union's history that the bank demanded no security for the overdraft. The excellent reputation Canning's Employees' Credit Union enjoys today is still evident with Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation, The Home Mortgage Bank and Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance company choosing this Credit Union to serve as agents for their business.

1990 - Beryl Yearwood retires

1990 was significant as it marked the retirement of Beryl Yearwood, after serving the organization for over 30 years. It also marks the introduction of General Manager Elizabeth Raphael, who brought with her valuable expertise in financial planning and savings.

1999 - CECU signs onto the Family Indemnity Plan

In April of 1999, CECU found another way to help and protect their members as they signed up with the Family Indemnity Plan (FIP). This plan assures the protection of members' family in times of sadness. FIP pays funeral costs for members and their eligible family members.

2002 - CECU boasts of assets over 64 million

In the year 2002, Fifty years later Canning's Employees' Credit Union has grown to be one of the most solid in Trinidad and Tobago and can boast of assets over 64 million dollars. The share capital has reached $46,554,954. Over the last four years we have consistently paid an 8% dividend to shareholders, notwithstanding our low interest rate of 1% on the reducing balance on loans. This credit union was started on the basis of a group of concerned people helping a fellow brother underscoring the credit union's philosophy - Simply, people helping people. Where members join together, in a cooperative form and structure, on the principles of brotherhood, economic democracy and individual self help. The credit union motto says it all - not for profit.

Rajcoomar receiving a door prize at a past Annual General Meeting from Mr. Palmer of Teachers Credit Union. (Background Mr. Patrick Leiba.)