Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, visited Assiniboine Credit Union’s McGregor Branch during her visit to Winnipeg. Branch Manager Brent Differ shares his experience meeting royalty.
Getting the News
The morning of March 31 I received a phone call with information which, if I didn’t know any better ,would be a great set up for an April Fools prank.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were planning a trip to Winnipeg — and Assiniboine Credit Union was shortlisted for a visit. As it turns out, Her Royal Highness (HRH) has quite an interest in credit unions in the United Kingdom and has heard about the good things Assiniboine does for our communities.
Preparing for a Visit from the Monarchy
Over the next several weeks, what started out as a nice idea quickly became an upcoming reality. From several visits with municipal, provincial and federal security officials to go over what we were wishing to show HRH, to meeting with representatives from Scotland Yard, the plans were coming together.
After careful planning and preparation, Assiniboine’s North End branch was chosen for a Royal Visit and having to keep this news under wraps felt like something out of one of my favorite UK exports, James Bond 007!
Greeting HRH with Open Arms and Smiles
Before I knew it the day had arrived. Kevin Sitka, our President and CEO, Margaret Day, Assiniboine’s Board Chair, and a few employees were in attendance, along with a select group of community partners, local businesses and early investors representing our credit union’s partnerships and commitment to community. To a crowd of about 100 people HRH arrived at the branch that afternoon and Kevin and Margaret welcomed her to the North End with open arms and wide smiles.
HRH was a very gracious guest; listening attentively to everything we had to say about what we are working to achieve as an organization. She made sure that she spoke to everyone in attendance and shook all of our hands. Before leaving, a small group of children from Splash Daycare presented HRH with flowers and a framed piece of art. Personally, this was my highlight.
To me, the most important thing about this visit was the recognition Assiniboine, and our North End branch, received. When the McGregor Branch opened in January of 2012 we made a commitment to this community to bring financial service to those who had previously been under-served.
I’m proud of my staff and my credit union. I’m proud to say that Good Things Happen Here. And it’s being noticed all the way across the pond!