A WALK THROUGH TIME
CECU started around a group of concerned people helping a fellow brother
underscore the Credit Union’s philosophy – simply, people helping people, where
members join in a cooperative form and structure, on the principles of
brotherhood, economic democracy and individual self-help.
1952 Canning's Employees’ Credit Union Co-operative Society Limited is establishedOn 14th October 1952, Canning’s Employees’ Credit Union Co-operative Society Limited was formally established. Every Friday, employees of the grocery made voluntary contributions.
1953First Annual General Meeting (AGM)On 2nd February 1953, the inaugural meeting of Canning’s Employees’ Credit Union Co-operative Society Limited (CECU) was held, and Mr. Norbert Grannum, Warehouse Manager was elected the first President of the Credit Union. In attendance 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.
1958CECU signs with CUNA Mutual Insurance SocietyIn 1959, CECU 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 CECU. Shares reached $40,000.00 in 1959 and payroll deductions were subsequently introduced.
1965Annual General Meeting held at the Coca-Cola FactoryMeetings were usually held at Hilo's premises on Tragarete Road, Port of Spain, 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 Streets. Notice for these meetings were written on bristol board and posted in the Post Office.
1969 Share Capital hits $1 Million MarkBy June 1969, CECU’s share capital hit the million-dollar mark.
1973Share Capital hits $3 Million MarkFour years later, the three-million-dollar mark was achieved, making CECU one of the largest Credit Unions in the country, second only to the giant Texaco Credit Union. CECU was also the first Credit Union to open its membership to former employees, employees of subsidiaries and to members’ immediate families. Today, membership is open to eligible employees of non-group companies, which meet the criteria set by the Board of Directors.
1974 CECU is computerisedAt the start of Canning and Company, a manual system was used to record all members' savings in a copybook. There was a need to improve this system and Mr. Johnny Chong Sing created a Ledger Card System. This worked for a while but soon became too cumbersome as CECU’s membership was constantly growing. Johnny was again called upon to design a computerised system for the credit union.
1977 Fire at CECU head officeIn 1977, disaster struck when CECU’s offices, then located at Hilo Headquarters on Tragarete Road, Port of Spain were destroyed by fire. The Credit Union, along with Hilo was immediately relocated to Sea Lots. The Tragarete Road office was rebuilt but the need for more space saw CECU moving into offices at the Credit Union Bank.
1982CECU was the only non-banking organisation to grant mortgagesCECU, 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 CECU a mortgage loan facility in 1982, making CECU the only non-banking organisation in the country authorised to grant mortgages.
1984CECU purchases its own propertyBy 1984, CECU was able to purchase its own property at #10 Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain, operating an overdraft of $800,000.00 So strong was the Credit Union’s history that the bank demanded no security for the overdraft.
1995CECU becomes fully computerisedCECU further digitised its operations by integrating the Emortelle Core Banking Solution from Micro Software Designs (MSD), moving away from paper-based record keeping to a fully computerised database.
1999CECU signs onto the Family Indemnity PlanIn April of 1999, CECU found another way to help and protect their members as they signed up with the Family Indemnity Plan (FIP).
2002CECU boasts of assets over $64 millionFifty years later in the year 2002, CECU grew to be one of the most solid non-banking institutions in Trinidad and Tobago and boasted of assets over $64 million.
2006Collaboration with TECUCECU signed a letter of understanding with TECU Credit Union Co-operative Society Limited, giving members of CECU the option of transacting business at TECU offices and vice-versa.
2012CECU launches CECU CareIn 2012, CECU partnered with Sagicor Insurance Limited to offer a comprehensive medical insurance plan to its members. CECU was amongst the first Credit Unions in Trinidad and Tobago to offer Medical Insurance to its membership.
2013CECU re-launches its Mortgage PortfolioCECU revised its Mortgage Policy, allowing members to benefit from more attractive rates and longer terms of payment. The re-launch of CECU’s mortgage portfolio generated loans of $7,000,000.00.
2014First Special General Meeting HeldTo improve its operational efficiency, CECU held its first Special General Meeting (SGM) to make significant amendments to its Bye-Laws.
2016CECU reaches $300 million in AssetsFor the first time in CECU’s history, the Credit Union crossed the $300 million asset base mark with a 7.2% increase over the previous year, resulting in an asset base of $302,243,764.00
2019CECU Goes GreenCECU launched its ‘Going Green’ campaign making members' statements available online, effectively reducing the reliance on paper and reducing CECU's carbon footprint. Members can still request a hard copy statement if needed.
2021CECU hosts its first Hybrid AGMDue to the COVID-19 pandemic and event gathering restrictions which resulted, CECU was able to adopt and embrace the technological change of combining a face-to-face with a virtual AGM.