“With so many Credit Unions, no­body need ever com­plain about a lack of easy ac­cess to a fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion; wher­ever you live, you will live in easy reach of a Credit Union Of­fice.”

The Star (St. Lucia) - - CREDIT UNION SUPPLEMENT -

two front teeth on that same hill thanks to win­ter, snow and to­bog­gan­ing again: that time I used a low stonewall as an emer­gency stop. That hill had a lot to an­swer for. It was al­ways a long trudge back up the hill laden down with shop­ping bags full.

The Co-op was re­ally the cen­tre of our lives back then. Our in­sur­ance com­pany, and we had pre­cious lit­tle to in­sure af­ter the war, was the Co-op In­sur­ance Com­pany. In town, there was the main store that stocked just about ev­ery house­hold good and ap­pli­ance imag­in­able. In my teenage years, when I thought I would be­come a painter to ri­val the Im­pres­sion­ists, I bought my oil paints at the Co-op.

Much later in life, when I was al­ready a suc­cess­ful writer of text­books, I fre­quently lived for months on end at the in my life from my ear­li­est days, which goes a long way in ex­plain­ing my ab­so­lute faith in the global phe­nom­e­non that in Saint Lu­cia is rep­re­sented by the Co-op­er­a­tive and Credit Union Move­ment.

The ti­tle of this piece is, as you may have no­ticed, Safety in Num­bers; so here are a few – num­bers, I mean. Ac­cord­ing to the World Wide Web, Saint Lu­cia has 18 credit unions (but there may be more: this num­ber may be out of date). Of a pop­u­la­tion that num­bers between 160 and 200-plus thou­sand, depend­ing on whether it is an elec­tion year or not, an im­pres­sively pre­cise num­ber of Saint Lu­cians, 81,022 in all, are mem­bers of a credit union.

With so many credit unions, no­body need ever com­plain about a lack of easy ac­cess to a fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion; wher­ever you live, you will live all-time favourite? Well, ask your­self, “Are we not all Work­ers?” We work to help our­selves; we work to sup­port our fam­i­lies; we work be­cause we have to, and we work be­cause we must; we work for small causes and we work for greater ones; we work to make our coun­try great, suc­cess­ful and at­trac­tive to our vis­i­tors; we work for Saint Lu­cia.

And so I re­turn to the thought that prompted this tale: Yes, we have safety in the num­ber of credit unions and co­op­er­a­tive so­ci­eties that op­er­ate in this small is­land state, yet would it be too hereti­cal to ask whether or not Saint Lu­cia would ben­e­fit from hav­ing one united credit union. I’m not sure – what do you think?

Edi­tor’s note: The pre­ced­ing was first pub­lished in April, 2015.

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