Teachers and Salaried Workers Co-Operative Credit Union Ltd. opened its Central Pines Shopping and Business Complex on April 11. Built by Woslee Construction, the $15 million complex will house a number of restaurants and a fast food chain, movie theatre, food store, clinic, bakery and retail stores.
During the opening ceremony, McDonald Rolle, Master of Ceremonies, gave praise to the Almighty God “through whom all blessings flow” before calling on Pastor Stephen Knowles of the Abaco Christian Council to lead in the invocation.
In his introduction of the Abaco Central High School Band, which provided the instrumentals for the National Anthem, Rolle encouraged the students to become whoever they want to be as he highlighted successful Abaco businessmen.
Donald Symonette, chairman, greeted the audience with the welcome, and soon brief remarks were offered by Renardo Curry, MP for North Abaco and Parliamentary Secretary, and Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of State for Finance, respectively.
Curry joined community stakeholders in a thunderous round of applause for such a substantial investment by the credit union. He acknowledged that the establishment of the complex was truly an historic moment for the people of Abaco in its extensive commerce history.
During his remarks, Minister Halkitis described the complex as an impressive project noting that the credit union had carried out a successful review of its service structure through its excellence in service delivery, an increase in its range of services and in serving the under-served.
“You’ve built a strong, viable institutional model for the rest of the region,” Halkitis lauded. “I hope that membership increases and that more lives are improved.”
According to Nathaniel Adderley, Director of Societies, the credit union’s commitment to serve people has caused it to become an indigenous model in the financial sector therefore its movement remains vibrant.
“Teachers and Salaried Workers contributes significantly to development and is a catalyst in economic advancement and job creation,” Adderley opined. “The co-operative model is a proven model of success.”
The Hon. V. Alfred Gray was introduced as the keynote speaker. Min. Gray said that Teachers and Salaried Workers Co-operative Credit Union was established in 1977 with a savings deposit of $90 and only 12 members to become a major financial institution that contributes to the development of The Bahamas.
“You’ve heard all of that, but what they did not say is that they have more money in the bank than the Bahamian government – that you did not know,” he chuckled. “And they have not told you that they are finished yet.
“I am extremely comfortable with the future of credit unions, and so it is my whale-sized pleasure to declare this wonderful building for business officially opened,” Minister Gray exclaimed.
A dance selection was performed by students of Central Abaco Primary School, followed by the vote of thanks by Lenn King, secretary to the board.
At the close of the benediction, Minister Gray assisted with the cutting of the ribbon and unveiling of the plaque at the Credit Union Building followed by a tour of the complex.