Tributes to Mr Credit Union

Louis Gildea
Louis Gildea

A well respected Nelson gentleman who helped to found the area's Credit Union has died.

Great-grandfather Mr Louis Gildea, who died aged 83, was founder and member number one in Nelson Community Credit Union which has now become Pennine Community Credit Union.

The well-known Mr Gildea devoted much of his later life to the Credit Union, a passion he shared with his wife Mary, with the pair of them serving as president and treasurer until April 23rd 2004.

It was on April 23rd 1982 that 15 members enrolled as the first members of a savings club which was registered as a Credit Union on August 31st that year. In September 1982 the first loan was granted.

Mr Gildea, who leaves children John, Marg, Cath, Trish, Eddie and Marie, as well as eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Gerard Spain, director of Pendle Accountancy Services Ltd, paid tribute to Mr Gildea's service to the Credit Union.

He said: "The time and commitment Lou put into the Credit Union alongside Mary cannot be underestimated and without their drive we would not have the Credit Union we have today. An organisation which has now granted more than 30,000 loans to a value in excess of £40m. over its 35 years in existence.

"Lou’s achievements are not only acknowledged locally but on the national scene as well, when in 2014 he was awarded a 'Credit Union Pioneer' award by our national association ABCUL.

"The impact of PCCU on the local community can be demonstrated by the fact that in one year alone, PCCU saves its members £6m. of interest as compared to the cheapest door step lender offering. This is money which is re-invested by members in the local economy.

"Lou will always bee remembered for the fantastic legacy he has left the local community and will always be know as Mr Credit Union."

Louis' daughter Margaret Hillary said her father was also well-known from his time as a nurseryman at Pendle View Park garden centre.

She said: "Dad was always busy, always involved. He never really retired, up until the last few years. His first job was at Duerden's market garden and in his younger years he also enjoyed playing table tennis, billiards and snooker. He also liked a day at the races.

"He was loved, admired and respected by many."

A devout Catholic, Mr Gildea's funeral will be held on December 27th at St John Southworth Church, Nelson.