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President's message

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A message from Kendall on Island Savings' 70th Anniversary

March 5, 2021

2021 is big for Island Savings—it’s our 70th year (wow!) of being part of Island communities. On March 9, 1951, we opened our first location in Duncan, known then as Duncan & District Credit Union. If you’re a history buff, you might recall that the 1950s was a period of economic stability and prosperity across Canada, following some very difficult decades worldwide. It’s truly an honour for us at Island Savings to think back to that time, realizing that members like yourself embraced the credit union for its refreshing neighbour-helping-neighbour, community-focused approach to banking.

While it’s true we’ve grown and adapted since that time, we’re still inspired by that spirit of localness. In fact, our growth as part of First West Credit Union has enabled us to do more and more good things for members. Take for instance the Simply Free Account®. With a great sense of pride and excitement we were able to introduce this market-leading, no-fee account in 2015, made possible by joining First West Credit Union. We continue to feel that same pride today, knowing that this value-rich, everyday account keeps hundreds of dollars in bank fees in your pocket every year.

And when it comes to the neighbourly Island way of life, it also means a lot to us that, as part of First West Credit Union, we have the financial strength to continue making meaningful investments in our communities. So as we’ve grown in recent years, we’ve simply been able to do more good things in partnership with locally focused non-profits and charities in Island communities. Consider our signature cause, The Full Cupboard, which we were able to launch when we joined First West Credit Union. The Full Cupboard program has raised $404,400 and nearly 12,000 pounds of food for Island food banks since start up in 2016. We’re grateful for the growth that has made this program possible, seeing that it has helped us extend our reach and touch the lives of people we may not have been able to benefit otherwise.

Ladysmith Family & Friends (LaFF) comes to mind too as a recent example of a community organization we were able to come alongside in their mission to help families thrive—especially as the global health crisis impacted their operations. Check out the video of their story here.

Truthfully, these examples are the tip of the iceberg. There are scores of other locally focused organizations doing good things in Island communities that we’re thrilled to have the resources to support. Last year alone, we were able to invest more than $512,000 in Island communities through donations and programs, including a relief program addressing hardships due to the global health crisis.

What I want to leave you with is this: a sense of legacy. With Island Savings, you’re not just getting a local, remarkable banking experience. You’re also part of a lasting legacy of good things that is 70 years strong and will continue on, as we build our financial strength for the future, for members and for Island communities. Thank you for continuing to choose Island Savings and partnering with us to keep good things growing.


Kendall Gross | President, Island Savings

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