The $176 million Holy Rosary Credit Union in Rochester, N.H., will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012 and to commemorate the milestone it has published a historical memoir.
Written by Rochester city planner Michael Berhendt, “Comme D’Or" (Good as Gold) chronicles the rise of the 17,000-member institution and “explores the broader credit union movement and the rich Franco-American experience,” Holy Rosary CU said.
The 196-page book begins with the credit union’s 1962 establishment by a group of parishioners of Holy Rosary Church to provide credit to French Canadian immigrants who could not get loans from local banks.
It recounts how business was conducted in the basement of the church on Sundays after Mass where funds were collected and reserved in a shoebox. The credit union now has four branches in surrounding communities.
“Many mythic stories - some charming, some outlandish - are captured: the elderly lady who borrowed $20 every September to play Beano at the Rochester Fair; the owner of a wrecking company, who had his truck hauled away for nonpayment, only to have it returned by the credit union the very next day after he kvetched to everyone in town; and many others featuring local and well-known members of the community,” Berhendt said.
The narrative also is enlivened with cameos with Rocky Marciano, Marilyn Monroe and Marvin Gaye and encounters with arachnaphobia and an aggressive eggroll, said the author, who is planning several book signings this month.
The book is selling for $10 during the holiday season with proceeds going to local charities.