The Farmers' Bank of Rustico
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Acadians on PEI

 

Period     1860-1890

Rustico

Father Belcourt Arrives

Reverend Georges-Antoine Belcourt arrived in Rustico in late 1859 and took charge as Pastor. He was a visionary, a man ahead of his time. He believed in helping his congregation with practical as well as spiritual matters. He was a skilled carpenter and mechanic and designer and built almost everything from boats to buildings. The arrival of Father Belcourt infused into the community a new a life and a new purpose.

First People's Bank in Canada

In 1864, through the efforts of Father Belcourt , the first people's bank in Canada opened know as the Farmers' Bank of Rustico. This is believed to have been the precursor to the Credit Union Movement.

Father Belcourt transforms Rustico

"We hardly know what a great place Rustico has grown to be; a few years ago, the people of Charlottetown were accustomed to regard it as a scattered settlement of poor, uninformed and too often despised Frenchmen. Now it has a National Library under the patronage of the Emperor of France; a Reading Room well supplied; a Bank whose credit is established on the soundest basis; and a band, far more numerous than any we have in Charlottetown, with the most costly instruments, possessing all the latest improvements. These are a few of the institutions which we know Rustico to possess - that there are others of which we have no knowledge, is not at all unlikely." - The Examiner of Charlottetown, June 24, 1865

Drawing of Father Belcourt, circa 1860

Father Belcourt

Original Farmers' Bank 2 dollar banknote note

Farmers' Bank 2 dollar banknote showing a farm scene. Circa 1864, Farmers' Bank Collection.

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