“A speech worthy of a wider audience,” was how Tom Noone, the acting Master of Ceremonies, ably described it on Saturday night last, on the occasion of a banquet, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Thurles Credit Union. Fully supporting Tom’s remark, Thurles.Info is proud to publish, in full, the text of this speech, made at this event, by Guest Speaker, Thurles born, Mark Fielding, Chief Executive of ISME.
Note: ISME is the independent organisation for the Irish small and medium business sector, with in excess of 8,500 members nationwide. ISME’s mission is to independently represent, promote and support owner/managers of small and medium enterprises and be vigilant, decisive, and direct in promoting and defending their interests, while helping members to better manage and grow their business through the provision of excellent information and services.
If you are a small business presently seeking direction, a Minister or Politician (regardless of your party affiliations) a Union organiser, then this text is a must read in full, and at least twice. For in this text Mr Mark Fielding amply expresses the most intimate thoughts and feelings of the people of Ireland today, especially in the light of our current financial state.
Read Mark Fielding’s Address:
“Where there is no vision the people perish.“
“The founders of Thurles Credit Union in 1961 had a vision. I would like to congratulate the Thurles Credit Union, Board, Supervisors, Management and Staff and the members themselves on your anniversary, and on the valuable work that you have carried out since the inception of the organisation in 1961.
Mark Fielding, Chief Executive, ISME.
Credit unions are economically important as they mobilise household savings as loans, and socially important, as that they help create community social capital. Guided by that philosophy, the fundamental business purpose is to provide high quality financial services at fair prices to anyone who wants them. By excelling at this purpose, they build the capital reserves needed for sustainability. They are a vital store of intergenerational capital and a facilitator of community social capital.
In time consolidation may see the network consolidate down to less than 100 larger, sustainable credit unions, while maintaining most of the existing branch footprint. Wisely used, state funding will restructure credit unions into a modern credit co-operative system.
Some local politicians have accused Mathew Elderfield of driving people into the arms of loan sharks. Perhaps they should consider why so many credit unions are in financial trouble and why others like Thurles CU are in rude health; why lending has been restricted in some and continues to grow in places like Thurles. It is important to distinguish between a credit union and the people who govern and manage them and here again Thurles is an exemplar.
With the Government and Central Bank intent on stabilising the sector, credit unions need to realise the opportunity it proposes and through prudent management, become a leader in the sector.
When I was asked to speak on this occasion I began to think about what I would have said to a gathering of Thurles people back in 1961, the year of the birth of this fine Credit Union. So Imagine, if you would, what someone like me would say about the FUTURE, back there in 1961, allowing our fancy take flight, looking forward to the next 50 years, back then.
Continue reading Mark Fielding – No Vision People Perish