Thirty–seven years ago, Montego Co-operative Credit Union Limited was formed. Some of the experiences the union had were never envisaged, but by utilizing the wisdom in hindsight, the knowledge gained had put us in good stead to capitalize on our gains and strengths and to correct our losses and weaknesses.
Montego Co-operative Credit Union was formed with the amalgamation of St. James and St. Paul’s Credit Unions and was registered on the 31 st December 1969.
The Credit Union then operated out of the St. Paul’s United Church Hall on a once per week, four-hour basis. At our first Annual General Meeting in 1970, we recorded a membership of 181 and by 1973 we were able to realize a profit of ninety-eight dollars ($98) after paying operating expenses.
Montego Co-operative Credit Union had some tough times during the early years of operation; competing with large financial institutions and a manually operated system was not at all very easy. However, in 1987 we were able to purchase our first computer system, an Astra 270 computer system complete with hardware and software.
Today, we are housed in our own property at 6 Sam Sharpe Square, (the hub of Montego Bay’s commercial centre). Our membership now stands at over 38,000 with total asset of $862.6 million, loans $413.3 million and savings of $650.1 million.
‘Montego’ has grown dramatically over the years. This is reflected in the wide array of services we now offer. We have been involved in community outreach programmes and have been awarding the Bayley-Hay Scholarship, in honour of one of our pioneers, the late Josiah Bayley-Hay, for fourteen (14) years to the tune of $1.4 million. The scholarship is awarded each year to two students who have been successful in the GSAT examination. However, the parents must be active Credit Union members for at least one year, to be eligible to apply for the scholarship.
In 2004, two additional scholarships were awarded to outstanding students in the GSAT exams, valued at $35,000. Presently, there are ten (10) recipients in the programme.
The fourteenth renewal of our Schools' Academic Championship Quiz was launched on April 24 2006. The Quiz involves schools from the primary/preparatory and all age/junior high levels in the parishes of St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland and Trelawny.
The final took place on the 29th June 2006, at the Montego Bay Civic Centre. Champions for this year are Corinaldi Avenue Primary in the Primary/Prep category and Farm Junior High in the All-Age/Junior High category.
We have also established partnership with our members’ children in schools by way of a savings programme named CLASS, Children Learning And Saving Smartly, which began in 2002. Through this programme, parents are allowed to access loans on behalf of the child/children, for school fees or any school related expenses.