75 years ago, Father William Dauphin at the St John the Baptist Parish in Brunswick had an idea. In 1941, it was difficult for people of modest means to play a part in the financial system. Getting access to credit was exceedingly difficult. Father Dauphin was aware of the economic struggles of some of the parishioners. He introduced the concept of a credit union to 37 parishioners. The notion was that ordinary, average people could invest in each other and create their own self-help financial organization. Father Dauphin believed that they could create an institution that fostered regular systematic savings and then make loans at a fair cost. The 37 parishioners that were gathered agreed and each invested one dollar to create the St. John’s Federal Credit Union.
Within 3 years the credit union had 171 members and deposits totaling $5,861.90. St. John’s Federal Credit Union grew to include the people of Cumberland and Sagadahoc County. In 2000 the name changed to Atlantic Regional Federal Credit Union, but the mission has never changed.
The goal is to help hard working people, who love life, and simply want to do better.
Today Atlantic is one of the largest credit unions in the state of Maine with $300 million in assets and over 19,500 members. We are here to serve our members, not to make a profit. Unlike most other financial institutions, credit unions do not issue stock or pay dividends to outside stockholders. Instead, earnings are returned to our members in the form of lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits, and lower fees.
Atlantic Kasasa Checking not only is a free checking account, but it actually pays members to bank with us. When you have an Atlantic Kasasa checking account it means you can earn a higher rate, or get cash back each month, and receive refunds on ATM fees. The Atlantic Kasasa Saver rate is better than most money market or timed deposits, earning you a higher rate on up to one hundred thousand dollars. Atlantic rewards members and helps them do better.
Father Dauphin saw an opportunity to help his congregation, but his “idea” has had a much larger impact.
The Atlantic 75th Anniversary is January 23rd. On March 13th, at Thorne Dining Hall, Bowdoin College, we will celebrate with a luncheon at our 75th Annual Meeting. All members are welcome and we would love for you to join us. Please reserve your tickets at any branch or call Rachelle Gauthier at 725-8728 ext.110. Tickets are $5.00 and proceeds will benefit the Maine Credit Union’s Campaign for Ending Hunger.
In the words of Atlantic CEO Roger Sirois, “Atlantic has a people-first philosophy with our members, our community and our employees.” Here’s to another 75 years of spreading financial wellness.
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