The timeline: 1944 - present

1944 Members of the Elks and Farmers Institute meet and decide to form a credit union. In April, the following fourteen trailblazers sign as Chartered Members: Ed J. Antosh, G. Eric Axen, Jack Castle, Tommy W. Clarke, J.W. Cooper, Leo L. Davis, Jack Edwards, Rod E. Farquharson, John B. Foston, J. Eddy Holmes, John F. Jacobsen, Art Swann, F. Clifton Thorne, R. (Bob) Watson. They each buy one $5.00 share and pay a membership fee of .25 cents. The total? $73.50. On June 5th, we receive our Charter and designated Number 121 – while the world’s largest armada of ships makes its way across the English Channel for the D-Day landings on France’s Normandy Beaches. Later, our first year-end financial report, dated December 31, 1944 shows a surplus of $0.27.

1945 The first annual statement dated February 29th, 1945 reads:

Share capital………………….. $2,478
Loans made ……………………$2,080

1945 The first priority is to approach the public, promote the benefits of a credit union, and encourage members to buy shares. (In fact, June 19th meeting minutes state the President has sent for, and received, a complete set of study lessons on credit unions.) Soon, an Ed Bishop moves to Squamish and buys a house that requires a $400 down payment. He becomes the first member to receive a loan of that magnitude.

1946 Construction on the first building is started. With the help of donated lumber from Empire Mills, volunteers complete the edifice in one weekend. Our first home is 14 ft x 18 ft, and constructed on skids so that it can be moved later. It is decided not to use credit union earnings for the purpose of building, but to raise funds by sponsoring dances which bring in $60.75. Business hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. and Fridays, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. In August, the Board pays $50.00 for a paint job that includes a sign in black letters on white reading SQUAMISH CREDIT UNION.

1946 A safe is needed for money and records. Tom Clarke is asked if he knows where we can obtain one. Tom says the P.G.E. Stores where he works have an old safe that had not been opened for year because the combination is lost. The safe is brought to our office where Tom tries several combinations – finally the door swings open. Meanwhile, Secretary and Treasurer Rose Lampert is seen in the mornings packing her brief case in one hand and a bag of kindling in the other, in order to start the fire at the office. Rose is known as Mrs. Credit Union.

1950’s We purchase three lots – including a former tennis court – totaling 75 ft on Cleveland Avenue. We sell half the property to the local Legion.

1960’s We move to new premises on Cleveland Avenue, between Fields and Loggers Inn. Total loans granted top the $1,000,000 mark.

1970 We move to the corner of Winnipeg Street and Second Avenue. The property, a 100 ft x 120 ft plot, enables us to build a modern facility with ample parking.

1972 Incorporated in 1950, Woodfibre Credit Union is purchased by Squamish Credit Union on April 15th.

1980’s We are appointed as the Motor License office for the Squamish area.

1987 We become the first financial institution to operate an ATM, installing one in the 7-11 beside McDonald’s on Highway 99.

1993 Squamish Insurance Agencies Ltd. on Cleveland Avenue is purchased and moves to the Highlands Mall the following year.

1997 Our Highlands Mall branch opens next to Squamish Insurance.

2005 Vancity presents us with a partnership model that was seen as an ideal way for us to expand our offering to members. The merger takes legal effect on December 31st. Under the new model, Squamish Savings operates as an independent business within Vancity, preserving local decision-making while backed by the resources of a larger network.

2009 Squamish Savings continues to operate a motor vehicle office as well as our two full-service branch locations and two insurance agencies. We remain as passionate about community today as we did in 1944.

2010 Squamish Savings moved both of its credit union locations into one brand new location at the Chieftain Centre. Squamish Insurance/Motor Vehicle Licensing Centre continues to operate out of the same premises. Our other insurance agency remains at the Highlands Mall in renovated premises.