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B.C. credit union system celebrates 75 years 

Credit Union Man With UmbrellaThe first credit unions in the province were chartered under the Credit Unions Act in 1939.

But it wasn’t until the following year that the British Columbia Credit Union League, the umbrella organization for financial co-operatives in B.C., was created.

And this year marks 75 years of the credit union system in British Columbia.

Enterprise magazine is a legacy of the B.C. Credit Union League. In 1941, a year after it was founded, the League began publishing a monthly magazine called the B.C. Credit Unionist. In 1967, the periodical was renamed Enterprise magazine.

Based in Vancouver, the B.C. Credit Union League provided practical advice to credit unions on operational matters and guidance on administrative and governance issues. It also provided supplies, such as passbooks and adding machines.

The B.C. Credit Union League provided practical advice to credit unions on operational matters.

The British Columbia Credit Union League was affiliated with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the organization for credit unions in Canada and the U.S. The League supplied provincial credit unions with letterhead and signage that featured an image of the “little man under the umbrella.”

The image, registered by CUNA in 1936 (pictured above), shows a cheerful fellow, striding confidently forward and carrying an umbrella that protects him from a deluge of “Financial Distress, Sickness, and Hard Times.” (Coincidentally, “Moneybags,” the top-hatted caricature of a financier in the Monopoly board game, also appeared for the first time in 1936.)

The little man under the umbrella logo was used by B.C. Central Credit Union until 1978, when it was replaced by the hands-and-globe logo, which is still displayed by many credit unions today. ◊