Tag Archives: Unity Credit Union

Co-operatives continuing to contribute to communities

For over a hundred years, co-operatives have been part of the fabric of Saskatchewan communities.

In Senlac, Saskatchewan, the first grain elevator was built in 1911 – a Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Company venture. The farmer-owned SCEC was founded in 1911 and 40 elevators were built in the first year. The elevator at Rockhaven, with many Swarthmore area farmers among its members, was one of another 93 SCEC elevators built the following year.

In Unity, SK, the Producers’ Creamery was established in 1914. Although it was eventually sold to private interests, it started as a farmer owned co-operative.

Snow plow clubs in rural areas operated on a co-operative basis for many years, before rural municipalities took over the job of keeping country roads passable in winter.

co-op red sheildEarlier this year, the Luseland location of Delta Co-op held 100th year anniversary celebrations. Originally the Grass Lake Grain Growers Association Limited, the local co-operative was formed in 1915. In later years, the organization was renamed the Luseland Co-operative Association Ltd, and today is part of Delta Co-op. Delta Co-op itself celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2014.

The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan gives some early history. “Farmers … began to use co-operatives to supply themselves with goods and to help them take control of handling and marketing their produce.” The first co-operative named by the encyclopedia is the Grain Growers’ Grain Company, formed in 1906. The second was the elevator co-op.

The encyclopedia goes on to say, “the hardships of the 1930s strengthened the co-op movement, and co-operative methods were used to meet a wide variety of needs, including marketing, banking, insurance, the refining of oil, and provision of farm implements.”

“Banking by co-operative methods,” of course, are credit unions. Established in 1940, the Macklin Credit Union will celebrate its 75th anniversary later this fall. Unity Credit Union will follow suit with its own 75th anniversary celebrations in 2016. What is now Credit Union Central, in 1941 was the Saskatchewan Co-operative Credit Society – English Canada’s first credit union system.

cu logo

The longevity and continuing success of local co-ops and credit unions are a testament to the power of business by co-operation. In Saskatchewan, approximately 490,000 people – almost half the population – are members of 51 different credit unions. In Saskatchewan, 1,280 co-operatives continue to operate, employing some 15,000 people.

Those involved on boards and in management will say the success comes from the enterprises being owned and controlled locally by members, not by lone CEOs or far-off shareholders. Members are accountable to each other for decisions made, and those decisions are made democratically with everyone having a voice. Profits are returned to members via equity cheques and cash-back dividends.

Because members, directors and staff live and work in the communities served by their co-ops and credit unions, monetary and volunteer hour donations are made to other community organizations and events.

Since 1982, C-op Week has been proclaimed across Canada every October. Members of co-operatives and credit unions will celebrate Co-op Week Oct. 11 to 17 this year.

International Credit Union Day has been celebrated even longer, first being recognized in 1948. This year, Credit Union Day is Oct. 15.

“Co-op Week is a time to reflect on the contributions the co-operative sector has made to the lives of Canadians and celebrate the impact that co-operatives have in our communities,” says the Saskatchewan Co-operatives Association’s website. The Canadian site says it this way: “Co-op Week is the opportunity for Canadian co-operative and credit union members to celebrate the fact that they have collectively helped to build this country. Co-op Week is recognition of their continuing contributions at home and abroad.”

co-op welcome

Stop in at your local co-op or credit union next week to congratulate them and see what special activities they have going on as part of their Co-op Week celebrations.

Unity Western Days Decorating Contest

Congratulations to the Unity Credit Union – winner of the Press-Herald’s Western Days decorating contest for businesses. The credit union transformed their branch into an old-time saloon, complete with a poker game in progress, wanted posters hanging from the ceiling and plenty of cowboy hats and liquor bottles.

Unity Credit Union, Unity Western Days 2015


Unity Credit Union, Unity Western Days 2015

Unity Credit Union, Unity Western Days 2015

Unity Credit Union, Unity Western Days 2015

Unity Credit Union, Unity Western Days 2015

And congratulations to Wildeman Sports Excellence for their second place finish, on the strength of their wonderful window display, which unfortunately does not translate well into a photo but here’s a hint.

Wildeman Sports Excellence, Unity Western Days 2015




Next week’s paper

A little bit about farming, a little bit about policing, a little bit about agricultural safety, a little bit about Western Days, a little bit about football, a little bit about faith – just some of what awaits you in the May 25th issue of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald. More specifically, check out:

  • the story and photos on the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day held at Unity SK May 20 for Grade 4 and 5 students;
  • a story and photos on celebrating a 100th birthday;
  • the story and photos about a UCHS student playing football at Mosiac Stadium; and
  • details on Luseland needing and starting to fundraise to replace their swimming pool and arena.

Add in Faith Matters, the RCMP report, school news, a David Letterman inspired Top 10 and some ads for events upcoming in June and it’s another jam-packed paper full of local information.

Below: Unity Credit Union transformed itself into a old-time Western saloon for the week leading up to Unity’s Western Days. Check out the paper AND watch for more photos to be posted at unitystories Monday.

Western Days at Unity Credit Union



Next week’s paper

Be sure to check out the Evolution 2014 pages in next week’s paper and learn more about some of the people and businesses serving Unity and area. Along with Evolution, in next week’s paper, you will find:

  • who won what where in Delta Co-op’s and local credit unions’ Members Matter Most promotion;
  • an introduction to our new staff member at the Press-Herald;
  • the game report on the Midget AA Lazers’ first win of the season; and
  • more lucky winners – Trip of the Month and the Hospital Auxiliary’s 50/50.

Pastor Bruce Moir’s take on the sometimes scary times we are living in, thank you cards,  and upcoming events, among other items, round out the October 27th issue of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald.

As part of Co-operatives Week in October, Credit Union Day was celebrated October 16. Staff at the Unity Credit Union brought all kinds of home baked goodies to treat any and all members who came to the branch that day.
Unity Credit Union, Unity, Saskatchewan

Next week’s newspaper

News, info, photos, upcoming events, sales, job opportunities – all found in the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald paper coming out March 31, 2014. Monday’s paper includes stories on:

  • EMT shortages and the effect on nearby communities;
  • the Unity Miners as league champions – get the details of the final game and on the players and executive involved this year;
  • Unity Credit Union holding their AGM, reviewing 2013 and looking forward to 2014; and
  • the Senlac Cafe serving up gourmet meals.

The Top 10 lays out the  benefits of being a blood donor, while the editorial on page 4 explores in greater depth what it is like to be a donor.

Events in the past week at Unity, SK, included the Lions’ Spring Fling, where Jim Sego acted as MC and the Meota Hobby Band performed for attendees.

Unity, SK Lions ClubMeota Hobby Band