They call the 70th Anniversary the Platinum Celebration and on Friday October 28th, Integris celebrated 70 years in a big way.
“We are brimming with energy, passion and progressive ideas and cooperative values. We are always seeking to make Life Out Here better for members, staff and communities. We unveiled a wall mural that shows our respect and recognition for the First People here while celebrating our remarkable home. This is more than a beautiful picture, this is a statement of inclusivity and respect for all people – especially those who have been here for millennia,” says Dan Wingham, Manager of Partnerships.
The wall mural located in Fort St. James depicts a sunset over Stuart Lake, with the phrase: “Ts’uhoont’i’ Nak’azdli Whut’en bu Keyoh whusa’dli” which means, “Welcome to the Traditional Territory of the Nak’azdli Whut’en.” Integris worked in collaboration with Elder and Dakelh language teacher Sara Sam, former Chief and Nak’azdli Coucillor Fred Sam on the anniversary mural.
The project was also done in collaboration with Mayor Rob MacDougall and the team at the District Office through means of a Community Façade Grant.
Integris is an amalgamation of Prince George Savings, Nechako Valley and Quesnel and District Credit Unions. Prince George Savings, which was officially incorporated in 1946 merged in 2005 with the two community credit unions to become Integris.
In 1946, Thomas Switzer, the inspector of credit unions under the Attorney-General announced a visit to Prince George with the hopes of establishing a credit union. At that point in time, there were 160 credit unions in BC with 22,000 members. BC credit unions now have $66.4 Billion in assets with 1.9 million members, employing 9,082 British Columbians. Integris Credit Union and its 25,000 members was pleased to celebrate the 70th Anniversary on October 28, 2016.
BC Credit Unions have grown immensely over the last seventy years; Integris over the years has seen several name changes, mergers making it the great, member-driven, community minded organization it is today.
“We merged with Chempulp Credit Union in 1989 which was this small credit union run out of Don and Muriel Wheatley’s house. I used to hear stories about how pulp mill workers would show up in the middle of the night to cash a cheque. It was relationship banking on a whole different level and I think that we still incorporate those principles today,” says Communications Officer Cori Ramsay.
BC credit unions have made great strides for their communities and members but there is also a rich history. Besides Integris, Vancity is also celebrating their 70th Anniversary this year and Coast Capital celebrated 75 years in 2015.