The Farmers' Bank of Rustico
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Farmers' Bank

Interviews


Edward Blanchard

 

Farmers' Bank
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Establishing the Farmers' Bank ( 2:45 min 4.11 MB )

TRANSCRIPT:

Father Belcourt stressed the importance of the inhabitants to take control of their economy and the only way they could do that was by establishing their own banks.

So Father Belcourt was quite knowledgeable. He had heard about a number of small farmers' banks that were operating in northern part of France and Germany they were operating very successfully and these banks were formed by groups of farmers, small groups of farmers, and they were operating very, very successfully.

So Father Belcourt says, well, if they operate there at a profit why not in Rustico?

So then this is where he urged the people to get together save some money and try establish a bank. So in 1863 he drew up the first terms of a bank contract which was presented to Island Government and passed by the Government.

Passed three readings by the Island parliament of the time and then of course that was around 1862 or 1863 and of course at that time Confederation was only passed in 1867 and the Island did not join Confederation until 1873, so the act that was prepared by Father Belcourt, even though it was passed by the legislative assembly in Charlottetown, it had to go to London for the royal assent and of course it took a lot of time because over there they were amazed - there was - they were really struck by the smallness of the Farmers' Bank at that time that Father Belcourt proposed it was a small bank it only had a capital of stock of about 1,200 pounds which was about $3,900.

Of course the English people over in London were awed by that amount they said - oh my gosh, small business that's not worthwhile looking at but anyhow Father Belcourt continued to write letters to support his idea of establishing a bank and finally the royal assent was receive in May 1864.

So that's when the bank started.

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