This has been a tremendous year for the JTA Co-op Credit Union Ltd, it was one in which we celebrated sixty glorious years of serving Jamaica’s teachers. Over these past six decades we have touched the lives of thousands of teachers, their immediate families and those of the students they encounter in the classrooms year after year.
When our founding fathers established this noble institution sixty years ago the impact it is having today was nothing but a dream. In 1959 when the JTA Co-op Credit Union came into being its sole focus was to serve the financial needs of Jamaica Teachers. To that end men such as Desmond Gascoigne, Clevens Stuart and W.S.A Johnson canvased the length and breadth of the island championing the virtues of teachers owning their financial independence, thus owning their own credit Union. In those formative years the idea of teachers owning their own financial organization was revolutionary, completely unheard of, but the idea caught on like the famed wildfire. Today the Credit Union has become a family, a home, a safe place where members can save borrow and invest. Over the years the Credit Union has become an institution that is deeply entrenched in the psyche of Jamaica’s teachers.
To celebrate this our sixtieth anniversary the JTA Credit Union choose to focus on the people who have made us who we are, those who own us, our valued members. To that end we undertook several activities to show our members just how much we value and appreciate their support. The JTA Co-op Credit Union Ltd. rocked the island from Portland to St. James and back to our home base in Kingston. The celebrations began for us on Sunday January 20 with a church service, then on April 26 we hosted the first of two regional fairs. Our members on the Eastern side of the island were treated to a fun filled day of activities that culminated in a free concert. This activity we staged again for members on the western side of the island on May 24 th , on both occasions our members enjoyed themselves immensely.
The JTA Co-op Credit Union used this anniversary celebration to offer tertiary scholarship to not only members pursuing higher education but also student teachers attending our local teacher training institutions. These individuals are on the cusps of entering the teaching profession. In addition to these scholarships, the Credit Union awarded three schools cash prizes totaling $2.2m toward implementing school projects that will significantly impact the institutions learning and teaching capabilities. This year our Credit Union day’s activities were like no other, our members came out in their numbers to spend the day with us enjoying their special gift and an outside broadcast just for them, but we didn’t stop there. We rounded out the evening by treating our members to a free movie.
For several years members seeking unsecured loans over a specified amount were required to provide one, two or even three guarantors. Our members in recent years began to find this requirement burdensome. Whether by coincidence or design the JTA Co-op Credit Union Ltd. did away with the guaranteeing requirement in this our 60 th anniversary year. The collective sigh of relief that came from our members could be heard loud and clear, right across the island.
These are some of the activities that the Credit Union undertook to celebrate our 60 th anniversary and our members. We must pause however at this point to acknowledge the members of staff of the Credit Union. They have been dedicated, committed and on many occasions have gone beyond the call of duty. To all members of staff of the JTA Co-op Credit Union Ltd., we say a big THANK YOU! All we are and all we have accomplished could not have been without you, our staff.
So, what can our members and our staff expect in the coming years? The credit union will persist in seeking ways to improve the service to our members, we will continue to listen to your needs and respond as quickly as possible. And we will never stop empowering our staff so that they are in a position to help each member to choose the JTA Co-op Credit Union first and above all as they reach for financial independence.