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Keep Svg engines running

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Ah want to write about Engines, de driving force dat could mek anything move: Far-ward, Back-ward, In-ward, Out-ward, Up-ward and Down-ward. Yes Lie-Za say an Engine could be machinery, people, OR Plant, like Bananas, dat was once de driving-force in our E-con-Amy.

She say in SVG de Engine is our Un-Banking Financial Institutions, dat is driving SVG silently and smoothly like any Rolls Royce is our Credit Unions and NIS. Anyone can become ah member and every member becomes ah shareholder. As ah shareholder yuh take part in Meetings and yuh select de people yuh want to manage; yuh could be elected to manage. Yuh Credit Union is ah save-all; ah lend-all. It provides all sorts ah benefits and financing, from yuh wedding, honey-moon, raw-toon, medicals during and after pregnancy, Tuition, Scholarships, land and home ownership, car, small business, yuh say way yuh want to go and yuh Credit Union Engine will tek yuh dey.

Lie-Za say: “Hats Off” to de RSVGPCCU (Police) Credit Union, quite possibly de ‘newest kid on de block’! Already de Union is making some progressive strides, done purchase its own head-quarters, ah prestigious building on Bay Street. But de No 1 story in de Newspaper ah few weeks ago is what touched Lie-Za: “Eighty (80) Police Officers’ children received scholarships and bursaries to Secondary Schools in SVG!” De headline should ah read “No Police Officer’s child left behind!” So she challenged me to name any poor and humble Police Constable’s child, dat went to Grammar School wid me back in de 1950s. Ah was stumped because ah could only remember half-ah-dozen boys whose dad was Police, but dey were all Big-Wig Police: Colonel Anderson, Deputy Chiefs Thomas, “Sir Rex” Roberts and Charles, Station Sgt Commission and Mrs Prescod; and maybe ah few others. But what ah transformation today! Like RSVGPCCU running on ah 6-cylinder, 4-Wheel Drive Engine.

Another Engine, de Teachers Credit Union (SVGTCU) is dis year celebrating “Forty (40) Years!” SVGTCU is ah prime example of de ole saying: “ Out ah Evil cometh Good!” In 1975 when de Teachers took Industrial Act-shun, went on ah Peace-full march round de town, de under-paid Police fired Tear Gas pon de under-paid Teachers. Dat Black Friday, Teachers, men and woe-men, were arrested, dumped in cells and slept in Police Barracks for de weekend. Mek matters worse, dat end-ah-month, Cato Labour Party refused to pay de strikers. Ah remember ah devastated looking Jeff James’ face when he told me dat he went to de Treasury and dey was no salary. Dat he, Blazer and other Teachers at Timmy Richard’s Secondary were fired. Life is ah beach, from Fire to Hire, today Blazer is head ah de Commission for hiring Teachers.

But dat was ah wake-up call foh de SVGTCU. De Union had no reserves (Strike Funds) to subsidize its members. Dat was unthinkable, not wid subscription being ah $1. 00 ah month, and even den teachers refused to join de Union. But “Necessity became de mother of Invention” and so de I-dare of ah Credit Union developed. S0 SVGTCU kicked off in 1978. De Pie-in-ears were stalwarts like Blazer Williams, Verni Blemco, Lennox Morrris, Pa Jack, de unforgettable Yvonne Francis-Gibson and others, Boring maybe, but members today enjoying de fruits from ah mustard seed dat germinated, survived de drought and is now bearing all kind ah fruits. Members could now save, borrow to buy land, build house, buy car, student loans, loans foh Christmas, Easter, Carnival and Vacation. De Union has grown “leaps and bounds’, de Engine is running in overdrive, wid nuff to show. When members drive along Back Street, dey can take pride in ah modern office dat some visit only when dey want ah loan, hardly ever attend ah General Meeting.

Next week ah go write bout KCCU, de Turbine and GECCU, de Role Model. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

l Bassy Alexander is
a land surveyor,
folklorist and social commentator.

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