Our History: First Officers and Founding Board
A public hearing on the petition to form the Credit Union was held in Boston on July 19, 1911. The first organizational meeting was held on December 27, at which the first officers and directors were elected. These individuals shared a common background — born in Quebec, immigrated to Lowell in the late 1800s and established themselves in business, banking and law. All were active in civic and community life and served as either founders or members of Franco-American religious and cultural organizations.
- Ephrem Pelletier, President
- Léonce Fortin, Vice President
- Albert E. Jean, Treasurer
- Joseph Lambert, Secretary
- Louis Milot, a Board Member
- Atty. Joseph H. Guillet, a Board Member
- Napoléon Lozeau, a Board Member
- Thomas Caron, a Board Member
- Aime Gionet, a Board Member
- Fr. Charles P. Audibert, OMI, a Board Member and manager of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union.
The Credit Union’s offices were established at 725 Merrimack Street, the address of the church. Various reports over the early years place the bank headquarters in the rectory, library and church basement. It’s likely that all of these spaces were used for board and member meetings as well as storage of files and safekeeping of deposits. In any case, the Credit Union was firmly established under the umbrella of the parish. (Interestingly, this first headquarters, like the Credit Union’s current Tremont Place office building, was built on land originally owned by the Suffolk and Tremont Mills and purchased in 1888 by Fr. André Garin, OMI, for the purpose of building a new church in the heart of the French-Canadian neighborhood).
On December 29, 1911, a constitution was adopted and “for the moment, the credit union limited itself to deposits from the school children.” By its first annual meeting on November 15, 1912, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union reported savings deposits of $4,469 and assets of $6,063 as of October 31.
On February 12, 1912, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union received its certificate of incorporation and directors voted to officially accept deposits for shares. At its May 17, 1912 meeting “the directors voted to begin accepting loans and mortgage applications.” In addition to Fr. Audibert, officers and directors also served as credit union employees, providing teller, collection, auditing and other services during the Credit Union’s early years.