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Regarding Mike Welch’s Oct. 6 column, “Information Flow Inspires a Few Questions”, I heartily agree with his take on International Credit Union Day. I don’t think U.S. credit unions make enough public notice about this day. It especially pains me because it was my father’s idea back in 1947-48. He got the approval of the CUNA board and went ahead with the idea. His name was Charley Eikel and he was then assistant managing director of CUNA and CUNA Mutual. His idea was: on that day, during the dinner hour, CU chapters would meet throughout the U.S. and Canada. They would interrupt their meal to listen to the President and Prime Minister congratulate the credit union movements for all they do for ordinary people. It would be on a popular network radio program, the Kraft Music Hall, sponsored by Kraft Foods. It was to be the first program of the new season. Al Jolson was the program’s guest that night. My father and a woman employee of CUNA, Mary Jean McGrath, went to meet with Mr. Kraft in Chicago. They made the proposal and Mr. Kraft was very excited about the idea. However, Kraft’s ad agency pooh-poohed it, telling Kraft “this was no way to sell cheese.” My dad thought his idea was original but it wasn’t. Roy Bergengren inaugurated the first Credit Union Day in 1927 but the idea fell through the cracks a few years later. Bergengren was alive and well in 1948 but never spoke to anyone about that 1927 effort. So they all thought it was something new. Why is International Credit Union Day always on the third Thursday of October? Because the Kraft Music Hall’s new season began on the third Thursday of October, 1948, and they never thought about changing it. Chuck Eikel Retired CUNA Mutual Group Madison, Wis.

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