Since the winter of 1946, Oak Bank Credit Union has planted deep roots in the communities we live, work, play, and do business in.
Things were a lot simpler 68 years ago when there was little in the form of financial services for the people of Manitoba. The small rural municipality of Springfield was beginning to bustle with activity and the need for a centralized banking location began to increase. Not only was this as a result of the increased traffic and growth that the RM was experiencing, but also due to the fact that the 1940's saw the concept of the cooperative movement sweeping through the country. The foundations were laid in early 1946 when a representative of the Civic Employees Credit Union in Winnipeg was invited to speak about the principles of credit unions and the potential benefits of forming one in the community.
On January 21, 1946, after a majority vote was taken, ten courageous and forward-thinking individuals came together to apply for the charter, so that they could begin to offer financial services to the RM of Springfield and other residing communities. The founding fathers of the Oak Bank Credit Union were: John Speer, Herbert Grapentine, Edward Krombein, Wyllis Wyatt, James Beattie, Wilfred Grapentine, Leonard Edmonds, John Palidwor, Arthur Harvey, and Raymond Sellen.
In the midst of a typical Manitoba winter complete with unfavourable weather and road conditions, these charter members gathered for their first meeting on February 27, 1946 at Grapentine's Garage in Oakbank. They each paid a 25₵ membership fee, purchased a $5.00 share and signed the Memorandum of Agreement and application for Letters of Patent, laying the ground work for this new community venture.
On March 12, 1946 Douglas Campbell, then Minister of Agriculture, approved the Memorandum, clearing the way for granting the Letters of Patent application and allowing the Oak Bank Credit Union to operate it's business within the community.
On April 10, 1946 the Oak Bank Credit Union received their Letters of Patent of Incorporation under the Companies Act. On this day seven men were elected to sit as Provisional Directors. Those men were: Wilfred Grapentine, Wyliss Wyatt, John Speer, James Beattie, Raymond Sellen, Arthur Harvey, and Leonard Edmonds. Serving as Chair was Raymond Sellen, while the first Secretary elected was Arthur Harvey.
The next 68 years saw the credit union build off those foundations and continuously strive to provide the complete range of financial services sought by its membership. A growing membership and rising assets paved the way for further development of programs and support initiatives within the community.
Grounded in the spirit of people first, the Oak Bank Credit Union has grown from humble beginnings of $2,536 in assets, 10 members and one location, to over $188,000,000 in assets, more than 8,800 members, and three branch locations.