Friday, December 3, 2010

Historical Vignettes: Thunder Bay Branch

The Thunder Bay Branch of Ukrainian Credit Union Limited was founded in 1994. UCU recognized a strong and active Ukrainian community in Thunder Bay that no longer had a local credit union servicing its needs and saw an opportunity to fill the void.

The member service area in the Thunder Bay branch

UCU is very active in the Ukrainian community in Thunder Bay. The branch staff take part in the community in the form of volunteering at various events. UCU has also provided financial support for many organizations, associations and groups in the Ukrainian community including churches, dance groups, schools, and Prosvita. UCU has also extended support to other local organizations in the wider community in Thunder Bay.

The original UCU branch in Thunder Bay operated from 1994-95, but due to the small initial membership base, the branch was closed. For the next three years, as UCU worked diligently to build relationships with local residents and Ukrainian organizations, existing members were serviced via U-Touch telephone banking and Interac. 

Branch staff from left to right: Maria Mitea,
Danuta Sterniczuk and Oksana Harapyuk.

By 1998, UCU felt that the membership base was large enough to justify re-opening a branch. At first, the new branch operated out of a temporary location leased from Superior Credit Union. In February 1999, UCU purchased the beautiful building at 303 East Victoria Ave. that formerly belonged to Ukrainian Ft. William Credit Union. The Grand Opening of this branch was held on May 15, 1999.

303 Victoria Ave. – branch location from 1999-2008

New branch at the Port Arthur Prosvita

In 2008, UCU decided on another relocation. As in many other Ukrainian communities around Ontario, the centre of Ukrainian life gradually shifted to other parts of town. Using feedback from the membership, UCU decided that locating the branch at the Port Arthur Prosvita would provide the most convenient access to the greatest number of members.

UCU members at the 2004 - Annual Branch Conference, which was also
used as an occasion to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of UCU.
Over 150 members were in attendance.

No comments:

Post a Comment