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International Credit Union Day earns a local proclamation

LIHU‘E — Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami said on Thursday that he learned the first credit union was formed in Germany.

“While researching credit unions for this proclamation, did you know where the first credit union was formed?” said Kawakami while meeting leaders of Kaua‘i’s credit unions to present the International Credit Union Day proclamation at the Lihu‘e Civic Center, Mo‘ikeha Building. “It wasn’t in the United States, it was in Germany.”

Present for the proclamation were representatives of the Kaua‘i Chapter of the Hawai‘i Credit Union League, all of whom head different credit unions on Kaua‘i.

Tess Shimabukuro, the CEO of Gather Federal Credit Union, is the president of the Kaua‘i Chapter of the HCUL. Conrad Rualizo is the CEO of Kaua‘i Teachers Federal Credit Union and the Vice President of the Kaua‘i Chapter of the HCUL.

Shane Corregedore is the CEO of Garden Isle Federal Credit Union and the secretary of the Kaua‘i Chapter of the HCUL. And Jacie Emoto, the CEO of McBryde Federal Credit Union, is the Kaua‘i Chapter treasurer.

“International Credit Union Day falls on Oct. 19,” said Shimabukuro. “But each chapter of the HCUL celebrates on a separate day during International Credit Union Week. The Kaua‘i Chapter selected Oct. 17 as International Credit Union Day.”

Celebrating 75 years since the observance started, ICU Day has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948.

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, democratically owned and operated, and founded by people working toward economic advancement.

“The Japanese call it ‘tanomoshi,’” Shimabukuro said.

Gather FCU was born when a group of eastside pineapple growers got together to hui their financial resources to get equipment that would improve their growing and harvesting efficiency.

Credit unions embrace a “people helping people” philosophy through the pooling of resources and leadership abilities for the good of the cooperative, empowering members to improve their financial futures, and uniting to help those in need, the mayoral proclamation stated.

“We haven’t gotten together for lunch in a long time,” said Shimabukuro, alluding to the pooling of leadership abilities. “The last one I remember was at the Hanamaulu Cafe.”

Credit unions provide an effective and viable alternative to for-profit financial institutions for millions of members in 118 countries around the world, providing a vast array of financial services for their members. On Kaua‘i, more than 58,000 members, associated through local, state, regional and international organizations share the same commitment to serving credit union members.

International Credit Union Day celebrates the spirit of the global credit union movement. The day is recognized to reflect on the credit union movement’s history, promote its achievements, recognize hard work and share member experiences.

“Maybe it’s time we do lunch, again,” Corregedore said. “How long ago did Hanamaulu Cafe close?”

The ultimate goal of International Credit Union Day is to raise awareness about the tremendous work that credit unions and other financial cooperatives are doing around the world, and give members the opportunity to become more engaged.

ICU Day on Kaua‘i is being celebrated on Kaua‘i on Oct. 17, the day of festivities for credit unions. Shimabukuro encourages credit union members to visit their respective credit union or credit union branch to celebrate.
Source: The Garden Island

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