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Never say never!

July 28th, 2011 -

Shirley Howell had no idea when she started working at Fletchers Credit Union that she would be the longest serving staff member there 24 years later. She had just moved with her husband to Auckland from New Plymouth and figured the drive from Pakuranga to the Penrose site on the motorway was far too daunting anyway!

Then, the Credit Union operated out of a little prefab on the Fletchers’ grounds. It was closed on Wednesday so the staff could perform all their batch transaction processing, then it would open and staff would look up a hard copy trial balance so members could transact. Manager at the time, Ngaire Ellison, would visit other sites with forms and a small amount of cash. Another Manager, Denise George, went on to manage a Credit Union in Sydney. The Credit Union then sewed just Fletchers’ employees and their families. Shirley recalls manually writing all members’ Christmas Club cheques on the 1st of every December.

Fast forward to the present day: NZCU Employees has been on the NZACU online realtime bureau for the last 4 years, and Accesscard has been taking care of most transactions for the last 2+ years. Shirley admits that the new computer system did present her with a few challenges, but now finds it “marvellous” and with the help of NZACU and each other, their fantastic staff have risen to that challenge. The Credit Union is cashless, but has an external ATM. And she loves their new uniforms!

Over the years, there have been some redundancies at the site, but Shirley notes with pleasure that sometime former members as well as non-Fletcher staff have joined under the open bond. Shirley has 2 children and 4 granddaughters, and knows how she will spend her retirement, probably starting in 2012 as this is both her 25th anniversary at Employees and her 65th birthday. She is proud that the Credit Union has always operated on a first name basis, and will miss seeing members.

Doesn’t Shirley Howell sound like a real Credit Union person?

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