The St. Peter’s branch of East Coast Credit Union hosted a grand reopening celebration on Nov. 3.

HALIFAX: The St. Peter’s Branch of East Coast Credit Union (ECCU) recently held a grand reopening.

On Nov. 3 in St. Peter’s, the branch hosted the celebration, which started before the branch opened for the day, with a Smudging Ceremony conducted by Nora Bernard and Andrew Lafford.

Branch Manager Adele Hunt welcomed those in attendance, including the Vice Chair of the Atlantic Central Board, Martin Gillis, as well as Potlotek Chief Wilbert Marshall, and board members Dan Fougere, Melanie Sampson, and Bill Timmons.

“When I look around at this beautiful space, I want to express how our newly renovated location is truly so much more than just a new look; it is a renewal of our commitment to our members here in St. Peter’s and to our greater community,” Hunt told the crowd. “The goal of our branch transformation was to meet the changing needs of our members and to serve you in the best ways possible. We wanted to create a comfortable, welcoming, and open environment that encourages financial discussions, interaction, community engagement, and increases access to self-service technologies. It is about bringing you continued service excellence and creating a prosperous future together.

Photos by Jake Boudrot
Pictured cutting the ribbon at the grand reopening celebration of the St. Peter’s branch of East Coast Credit Union were (from the left): Branch Manager Adele Hunt, long-time Credit Union member Mimi Fougere, and East Coast Credit Union President and CEO Ken Shea.

Among the new features at the St. Peter’s branch are several new digital display screens to provide information on what ECCU is doing in the community and what products, services, and advice it has to offer, a new lounge to allow members and visitors to relax by a fireplace, as well as a new coffee machine.

To reduce the carbon footprint of the building, 54 solar panels were added to the roof which ECCU said has saved 4,300 kilowatt hours since August. They also installed new LED lighting which offers less power consumption over a longer period of time.

“… This branch transformation was truly a team effort by our staff, our members, the board, local tradespeople, and our system partners, and we would like to thank you all for your support during the process,” ECCU President and CEO Ken Shea told the crowd. “And to our dedicated members, we thank you for making us your financial institution of choice. We hope you enjoy our newly transformed branch, and we look forward to continuing to provide you with exceptional service now and forever in the future.”

Two days prior, Atlantic Central announced that ECCU was named the winner of the 2021 Coady Award which recognizes an Atlantic Canadian credit union, or caisse populaire, that demonstrates leadership in the areas of co-operation, volunteerism, education, and environmental sustainability.

“Credit unions have a long history of being tightly connected to the communities they serve. For more than 65 years the Coady Award has recognized an Atlantic credit union, or caisse populaire, (which) excels in their commitment to leadership, support and community service,” says Jim MacFarlane, Board Chair for Atlantic Central in the press release. “Through the Coady Award, we honour the vision of Rev. Dr. Moses Coady and demonstrate our collaborative model by coming together to celebrate our peers.”

Branch member Mary Anita Gerroir was invited to cut the cake at the grand reopening of the St. Peter’s branch of East Coast Credit Union on Nov. 3.

In 2021, ECCU introduced the #EastCoastCUCares Grant Program which invested $100,000 into local co-operatives and social enterprises to help strengthen the economy in Nova Scotia, Atlantic Central noted.

ECCU was also a key contributor to many important community initiatives, such as Project Sunshine to which they donated land to house a ground mount solar system for the St. Andrews Senior Housing Authority (SASHA), a community-run, non-profit assisted living facility, according to Atlantic Central.

ECCU donated $25,000 to the Coady Change Leaders program, which Atlantic Central said educates community members on social change, including community development, climate resilience, and women’s leadership.

Atlantic Central said it will donate $1,500 on behalf of ECCU to the charity of their choice. They said ECCU asked that their award be donated to the Red Cross Hurricane Fiona Appeal in Canada.

To celebrate, ECCU created the “Coady Award Roadshow” sending their award across Nova Scotia to visit each of their branches in communities they are proud to serve. The last stop was at ECCU’s St. Peter’s Branch during the grand reopening on Nov. 3.

“Volunteering, local giving, and our commitment to co-operative social responsibility are deeply rooted in our values. East Coast Credit Union is proud of the many projects and initiatives that led to us receiving the 2021 Coady Award, but the real prize is our ability to truly make an impact,” Shea said in the press release.

After Gills gave his congratulations, Mimi Fougere was invited to cut the ribbon, along with Hunt and Shea. Fougere has been a member of the Credit Union for 71 years.

Following the ribbon cutting and a presentation of flowers to Fougere, branch member Mary Anita Gerroir cut the cake and was also presented with a bouquet by Hunt.

The event concluded with cake and refreshments, as well as a ballot draw for door prizes which included gift certificates and a prize wheel.

Sally Van de Wiel, East Coast Credit Union Vice President of Operations, thanked Tyler Conaway, East Coast Credit Union Manager of Facilities, for his work on the renovations at the St. Peter’s branch.