Wednesday 01st May, 2019
Les Walker takes a bow after 37 years
The 2nd May is a historic day in the story of First Rate Credit Union.
Not only do we celebrate the 72nd Birthday of Les Walker, our office manager, but we also see the end of an era and wish Les farewell as he heads off into retirement.
Les has been with the Credit Union for the 37 years of its existence, helping to set it up as a volunteer from 1 hangar at Warton back in 1982 when the collectors would follow the pools man and collect cash weekly from the few handfuls of members that the Credit Union had.
Later, after a period in the works Police Les retired from BAE Systems and became the Credit Union’s first paid employee where he has continued to this day, guiding and building the credit union to the great success story that it has become today.
Over 37 years he has seen his Credit Union grow from the original 21 members saving a few pounds in cash from each weekly pay packet, to its current place as one of ABCUL’s large asset credit unions, serving 4000 members who are part of the BAE systems family, holding over £14M in assets and with members saving and borrowing millions of pounds every year.
Les said, “I’ve stayed so long because I’ve never seen this as a job. I’ve never had that Monday morning feeling, I’ve enjoyed coming in every day to look after my baby, but my baby has grown up and it’s time to hand it over to the next generation of credit union people to continue it into the future. I’m confident that I’m leaving it in safe hands.”
Operations Manager Mike Barry said “I’ve known Les for over a decade and there are those volunteers still involved with the Credit Union who have been with him since the very start in 1982. It’s that kind of dedication to the co-operative movement and to the credit union members that helps the organisation thrive. This credit union will never be able to thank Les enough for his tireless commitment covering almost 40 years, making the credit union what it is today. We wish him every enjoyment with his family in retirement.”