The early years of Casera Credit Union.

World War II was over, and young men marched back home to wives, young families and mortgages — if they could get them. Banks had always held the financial trump card, which, when turned over, revealed the rough reality of “no collateral, no loan.” For many of the men who found jobs at the Canadian National Railway Shops in Transcona, making ends meet was difficult.

Seeking fairness in matters of finance, and resisting the loan sharks that menaced the Shops, several CNR workers had observed the development of credit unions in Canada and decided that their job site would be ideal for an employee-run financial co-operative. After inviting a credit union official to speak to them about the benefits of financial co-operation, 10 employees invested $5 each for an opportunity to build a future for themselves, their families, and their co-workers.

On February 19, 1951, the Transcona Credit Union Society Limited was incorporated and the charter members — machinists Eric Hansen, Walter Keen, Walter Alam, Peter Mathewson and Robert Davison, boilermakers Charles Burkett, Arthur Everton and Harry Brown, craneman Thomas Herling and painter Michael Tomkiw — joined Francis Campbell Bell, Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture and Immigration, in signing the organization’s charter.

The group’s first Board of Directors meeting was held a month later in the CNR Shops. Arthur Everton was elected President. In those early days, the credit union was open to any person employed in the Transcona Shops and their immediate families. The business was conducted over the noon hour in the Shops with a system of collectors available to initial passbooks, collect deposits, and arrange small loans. By the end of the first year, there were 317 members and the Credit Union’s assets totalled $5,168.

Source: Legacy of Service — Transcona Credit Union’s First 50 Years