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A message from CEO Taras Pidzamecky

Dear UCU Members,

All of us at UCU hope that despite all the necessary anti-pandemic measures everyone has been called upon to take, that you and your families are making the most of the beautiful summer weather.

On our part, we have introduced new mask-wearing protocols for our branches and offices, and have begun reviewing the return to longer branch hours, all in the context of provincial and municipal re-opening and public health measures.

As a result of restrictions over the past four months, we have noticed members taking ever greater advantage of our on-line and call centre services for their routine transactions. Moreover, both members and branch staff have adapted well to combining remote technologies with limited in-branch meetings, held using anti-pandemic protocols, to complete more complex transactions.

To ensure continued high-quality service as your needs change, we are closely observing what impact these pandemic-driven changes are going to have on member preferences in the post-pandemic future when it comes to using in-branch and remote service channels.

June was a busy month with our first ever on-line Annual General Meeting held on June 17, 2020, owing to the need to maintain social distancing. The postponement of our original April 21, 2020 AGM date was done with the requisite regulatory approval and gave our Board time to adopt revised by-laws permitting the holding of virtual membership meetings, which made our June AGM possible.

The AGM honoured the service of the four directors who retired from the Board since our 2019 AGM, including Past Chair Andre Sochaniwsky, Borden Osmak, Peter Szlichta, and Natalia Werhun-Popowich, and welcomed three new directors, Taras Hetmanczuk, Orest Sklierenko, and William Roman. During this year’s memorial commemoration for members who passed away in 2019, the meeting remembered past UCU director Michael Romach, past Ukrainian (St. Catharines) director Andrey Bourak, retired Hamilton Branch General Manager Adam Sotnicki, and Olena Alexeyeva, a member service representative at the Bloor West Village branch, for their service to UCU and the credit unions who merged with us over the years.

Finally, the month of June ended off momentously with the closing of the credit union’s most successful share offering, with almost $10 million in subscriptions for UCU’s 75th Anniversary Class A investment shares. A sincere thank you to all subscribing members for their confidence in UCU and its vision of a prosperous financial co-operative that serves its members and community in both good and challenging times.

Despite these challenging times, UCU remains open for retail and commercial lending, be it for your home renovation, construction mortgage, small business, your children’s education, residential mortgage, or a new or used car. Please talk to us first, and for members experiencing or anticipating financial issues due to the pandemic, please do not hesitate to contact your lender or branch to see how we can be of assistance.

On behalf of everyone at Ukrainian Credit Union Limited, I wish you a safe, healthy and restful summer, and leave for your reflection the invocation delivered at the beginning of this year’s AGM by Rev. Father Bohdan Hladio of St. John’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Oshawa:

O Lord, Our God, Creator of all, Master of Heaven and earth! We ask that you send Your Holy Spirit upon all the directors, employees, and members of our Ukrainian Credit Union.

Grant that we would always strive, in whatever way we can, to manifest the virtues of peace, justice, mercy, and reconciliation in our lives and in the world. Whether in facing racial injustice; religious intolerance; state sponsored violence or terrorism; whether for those suffering in the Donbas, in Crimea, or here on our own continent, we pray in the words of St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

Lord, guide our thoughts, words, and actions tonight. Bless this meeting, that it might be unto Your glory, for the benefit of all our members, our community, and our whole society.  Amen.

Co-operatively yours,

Taras Pidzamecky, CEO