DUBLIN, Ireland -- Credit union visits are a regular feature of any WOCCU conference. It allows people from one country to see how credit unions operate in another country. Premises are looked at, computer systems discussed and refreshments are usually served, pleasant, informative, but somewhat cut and dried.
Rush Credit Union of Rush, Ireland hosted a group. Jerry Foley, past WOCCU chairman, is a member of the board and proudly was waiting along with the staff as they filled the double-decker that pulled up.
However, along with the staff was a full bagpipe and drum corp in kilts playing welcoming Irish music. Of the players there was a father, son and grandson. The visitors kept saying they never had a welcome like that. But it went on.
Inside flutists, accordionists and drummers were also playing Irish music. A special CD-ROM had been made to show the history and growth of the credit union as well as a quick tour of the region.
The credit union is the main financial institution of the community. Its members are often second and third generation of the original members. The bond is more than common, it is community in the old-fashioned sense of the word. For a short time everyone there was made a part of that community.
At the local pub, besides pub grub, there was more music, some singing, and a bit of Irish dancing before the group was put back on the bus.