Today we remember and celebrate the life of our founding Chairman Cliff Jury, late of Brisbane, formerly of Mooloolaba and Mount Isa, who passed away peacefully, aged 97 years. Dearly loved Husband of Margaret (deceased) and Father of Glenys, Sherrill (deceased) and Leone. Loving Grandfather of four, Great grandfather of 10.
Our current Chairman Bruno Cullen, who joined the Credit Union as a Member when it first opened its doors in 1971, speaks highly of Cliff Jury. Cullen says, “Cliff was the rock the organisation was built on with great support from Mount Isa Mines (MIM). He was rightly so proud of how the Credit Union evolved from a loan of $60,000 from MIM (repaid quickly), to the $2.2 Billion organisation it is today.”
During Cliff Jury’s years with the Credit Union, he came into contact with people from all walks of life. Cliff saw people who had come to Mount Isa with little become well established with their own home, furniture, car and a quality of life that the Credit Union helped to provide. The experiences of one fellow in particular always stuck in his mind:
“Now this fellow owed money to banks, finance companies and was even borrowing money from his friends. Through the Credit Union he was able to consolidate his debt and schedule his repayments to suit his budget. Eventually he was able to get back on his feet. He would come to the Credit Union and ask us if he could afford a new fridge this week and we’d check his record and tell him to maybe come back in a month or two because he would be better placed by then. Sure enough he’d turn up again in another couple of months and we’d give him the money for the fridge. He ended up owning his own house and I think his wife started up her own business. Now that’s a real success story.”
During his time as Chairman he remained committed to what he referred to as the ‘credit union philosophy.’ In later years, he described himself and the others who helped establish the Credit Union as ‘well-meaning amateurs’ and by this he meant that, while they may not have known much about credit unions in the beginning they knew what they wanted to achieve cheap and readily available finance for Mount Isa workers. As the expertise of the directors and the managers grew, so too did the organisation. The Credit Union was, in effect, set up by Members for Members. This philosophy and focus that Cliff drove home in all our hearts is still the philosophy of our organisation today.
We’re incredibly proud of our rich history and the early years Cliff spent as our founding Chairman from 1971 and 1982. He will always be remembered with fondness, and his stories will live on in the Credit Union’s future to follow.
Picture: 1971. Our Directors (L to R) Joe Doherty, Gerald Behan, John Wilmot, Cliff Jury, Jim O'Toole (Treasurer), Nev Nicholls, Geoff Topfer and Bill Harper.