It has been difficult to find any historical information about the formative years of our credit union, known as “Postal Worker’s Credit Union #8” in 1933. We’ve Googled. We’ve searched file archives. We’ve even looked into those customized “what was happening on your birthday” posters and wouldn’t you know it– they only went as far back at 1934!

If you have any ideas as to where we can find some credit union history, please leave a comment on this post.

While Postal Worker’s Credit Union #8 (our original name) wasn’t listed as anything significant on the internet, some financial-related events that happened that year include:

  • The Great Depression in the United States. In March 1933, President Roosevelt mandated a “Bank Holiday” in the United States. Imagine forming a financial cooperative during such dire times.
  • Congress passed the first federal minimum wage law in the U.S.: 33 cents.
  • The average household income was $11,342.

Fast forward to today.

  • Since January of this year, economists have talked about a “short, shallow recession” and “more serious economic decline.” Out of curiousity. I looked for a definition of recession versus depression and found this. (Depression or recession, credit unions continue to be a viable option for the consumer. We are better than banks. There, I said it.)
  • The minimum wage for 2008 is $6.55 (or will be as of July 24, 2008
  • According to the US Census Bureau, the real median household income in the United States climbed between 2005 and 2006, reaching $48,200.

An official summary of where Verity has been can be read here. Here are some personal recollections from my own 10 years of Verity history:

  • I began working at Verity (then, NW Federal Credit Union), in 1998. I’ve experienced a charter change, a name change and a core system change. I’ve witnessed how these exciting and stressful times have brought my co-workers together and tested our mettle. I’ve seen how we took care of our members during these transition times. Good people. Hard work. Hmm– could this be why we’ve been around for 75 years?
  • Home Banking was relatively new and marketed to be easy, safe and friendly in 1998. We were one of the first credit unions to offer it. I remember the graphics being whimsical and colorful. (One of these days, I’ll dig up some old pages and blog about how our online services have come a long way.) I updated the website using good ol’ fashioned HTML and FTP. Today, I don’t have to be the only one that can update the website and making a change isn’t as tedious as before thanks to content management systems. Today, so many more members are comfortable with online services– and they expect more. It’s not enough to be first– so Verity continues to improve its online services. Look for a future post about exciting changes ahead for our website and online banking.
  • Email. I remember using CC:Mail (anyone else?) Courier was your only font and forget about HTML email.
  • This blog. It wasn’t here 10 years ago. Blogs, Facebook,YouTube, MySpace. Social Media has made a huge impact in how we communicate and market to our members over the last 4-5 years and it will continue do so. You can bet that Verity will be fast followers of the next “big” thing.
  • There are many other staff members at Verity that have been here longer than I have– and I bet they have some great “history” to share. If you are a staff member reading this, please comment and share your recollections here. If you are a member, please comment and share your history with us. Perhaps it was when we were NW Federal Credit Union. Or, NW Federal Employees Federal Credit Union. Or, (dare I say it) Postal Workers Credit Union #8?

Happy Birthday, Verity. May you have many more!

Laurel McJannet

No biography available for this author.

4 Responses

  1. Ginny Brady says:

    Congratulations on 75 years of credit union service!

  2. I forgot to mention that we will be celebrating our birthday throughout our branches with refreshments and giveaways. We’ll be posting pictures on Flickr showing the festivities. Oh—and members that log-in to Home Banking today will have a chance to win $75, too. After all, it is an online branch. We’ll be awarding this randomly throughout the day. Online Branch winners will be getting an email from me today.

  3. Bill Hayes says:

    While I have only been here for 29 of these years, I have developed a strong respect for the history of our company. I’ve encouraged our staff to set aside time today to remember all of the members that we have helped (and continue to help) in their financial lives, as well as all of the employees that have spent an important part of their lives with us.

    I am proud of what we all have accomplished over the past 75 years. This is a day that we should all share that pride.

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