Nominated by CUCM
Barney Martin was nominated for a posthumous Order of Merit Award by the management and board of Credit Union Central of Manitoba.
After starting his career in credit unions in Alberta, first with Tuxedo Credit Union then the Credit Union League of Alberta, Martin came to Manitoba in 1964 to take a position as General Manager of the Credit Union League of Manitoba.
The mid-’60s to the end of the ’70s was an era of steady growth and constant change for the credit union system — a time when credit unions were finding their way from church basements, kitchen tables and small operations into the wider banking world. Martin played an integral role in that growth and change. He was CEO when the Province created the Credit Union Stabilization Fund (now the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation) in 1965. He revised and enhanced drafts of the Credit Unions / Caisses Populaires Act that would be proclaimed in 1970. He brought together the operations of the Credit Union League of Manitoba and the Co-operative Credit Society of Manitoba (CCSM) in 1971 and, while serving as CEO of both organizations, saw the scope of their services grow. (The roles and responsibilities of these and other organizations dedicated to serving credit unions would be brought together in 1979 and later renamed Credit Union Central of Manitoba.) He was also CEO when CUCM opened Credit Union Plaza in 1979, and when skyrocketing interest rates shook the system’s confidence at the end of the decade.
Martin also played a key role in the re-branding of the credit union system with the Hands & Globe as the international symbol, replacing the man under the umbrella. He felt that the Hands & Globe better exemplified the co-operative values and collective strength of the credit union system.
Until his retirement in 1979, Martin worked with colleagues throughout the country and continent in the service of the financial co-operative sector. Starting in 1965 — when there was a great degree of affiliation between the U.S. and Canadian credit union systems — he served as a member and president of the International Association of Managing Directors of Credit Unions, and as the first Canadian representative on the Planning Committee of the U.S.-based Credit Union National Association. In 1969, he provided counsel to the creation of the Jamaican credit union system and served two years as a director of Alberta-based Northland Bank, a co-operative based banking organization.
Outside the credit union system, Martin served president of Riding for the Disabled, the Manitoba Heart Foundation, and the Canadian Heart Foundation.
Barney passed away July 9, 1992. He is survived by his wife Pat, daughter Debra and son David.