On 10th December, 1964, a number of Email employees met in the staff canteen to discuss the formation of a Credit Union. The then Email (Orange) Employees Credit Union was formed with 19 members who joined at this meeting. A board of nine directors was formed and Tony Siemer was appointed Chairman.
Tony Siemer was the main person behind the formation of this Credit Union and he remained as Chairman for the first two years. In the early years the volunteer directors did all the work as there were no paid employees. Directors collected the $10 shares from members, issued receipts, collected savings deposits and conducted the Loan interviews. With all the members working at Email, the Directors knew the people they were interviewing for loans personally and took into consideration the character of the member when approving loans.
The loan limit in 1965 was £400 pounds.
Growth Was Rapid
In the early days many people were suspicious of the Credit Union as few people in Orange knew anything about what a Credit Union was. As more and more people discovered the ease of saving through payroll deduction and became aware of our philosophy of members helping members, growth was rapid.
Much of the credit for this development should be given to Pat Egan who was Chairman of the Board from 1967 to 1984.
By 1971 we had over 1,000 members. In 1973, Email (Orange) Employees Credit Union became Orange Mutual Credit Union. In 1976, Phil Nokes took over management of the Orange Mutual Credit Union and remained as General Manager until his retirement in 2004.
The 1970's saw many changes to the Credit Union. It was during that time we amalgamated with Orange Base Hospital Credit Union and Ophir County Council Credit Union. At that time, our assets passed the $2.5 million mark, our membership passed 3,000 and we purchased our first computer system.
On the 1 November 1982, Orange Commonwealth Credit Union merged with Orange Mutual Credit Union. A Director of the Commonwealth Credit Union, John Jones went on to serve on the Board of Orange Credit Union for 17 years.
Today, Orange Credit Union employs 38 staff and has 16,500 members with assets over $140 million. Paul McNamara, General Manager, has been on staff since 1989, and has served as General Manager since January 2005.
For a more comprehensive history and photos, see our Facebook page.