History buffs from all over the state and beyond discovered a bit of VSECU history at the Vermont History Expo at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds on June 26-27. As the sponsor of the Genealogical Resources and Archives Center at the Expo, VSECU was given the opportunity to share U.S. credit union history as well as the story behind VSECU at our booth in the Genealogical building.
Visitors to VSECU’s booth learned about Edward Filene and Roy F. Bergengren, two prominent pioneers of the U.S. credit union movement in the early part of the 20th Century. VSECU was also excited to share our “link” with Bergengren through his granddaughter, Kathy Pelletier, a VSECU member. Pelletier, who recently retired as a guidance counselor from U-32 High School in Montpelier, graciously allowed VSECU to borrow two wonderful displays about her grandfather for our historical exhibit. She said she has been invited by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and other groups across the U.S. to help commemorate her grandfather’s leadership in creating a strong foundation for the building of credit unions across the country. One of her recent speaking engagements took her to Estes Park, Colorado, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of CUNA in 1934. Bergengren was CUNA’s first managing director.
Another aspect of VSECU’s booth focused on “Games Our Parents Played.” Young and old alike stopped by to play “Graces,” a popular game in the 19th and early-20th centuries, tiddly winks, jacks, pick-up sticks, whizzers, marbles, hopscotch and more. According to Lynette Kemp, who coordinated VSECU’s booth, “We found it surprising how many children stopped by who had never played hopscotch, and most had never even heard of tiddly winks. The games really inspired some interesting and fun conversation.” She said quite a few older adults fondly recalled spending hours playing jacks or marbles on the playground.
(Top) Thank you to VSECU member Kathy Pelletier for allowing us to borrow these great displays about her grandfather, Roy F. Bergengren, early pioneer in the U.S. credit union movement.
(Middle) Visitors take a trip through VSECU history via our timeline, 1946-2010.
(Bottom) VSECU staff member Tom White plays “Graces,” a game popular in the 19th and early-20th centuries, with a young visitor to the VSECU booth.