Northern Credit Union branch manager stepping down

BARRY’S BAY – After more than 30 years with local credit unions, Diane Prince is hanging up her hat.
Diane Prince, branch manager at the Barry’s Bay Northern Credit Union, is retiring this summer. She has been with local credit unions for more than 30 years.                                                                                Photo Christine Hudder

Staff Reporter

BARRY’S BAY – After more than 30 years with local credit unions, Diane Prince is hanging up her hat.
Born and raised just outside of Combermere, Prince attended a one-room school house in Purdy. She went to high school in Bancroft, where she took an interest in accounting and bookkeeping.
“I was very strong in math,” Prince said. “That was one of my stronger subjects.”
Upon graduation, she worked for seven years with Bell Canada in the accounting department. She eventually married and had one son.
Her husband at the time was with the Canadian Forces and the couple lived in Germany for some time. It was there that Prince got her first taste of the banking world when she worked for the Bank of Montreal. When they returned to Petawawa, the couple went their separate ways.
Prince decided to return to her roots and moved back to Barry’s Bay to raise her son.
She took up a teller position with the Madawaska Valley Credit Union, an institution that was only open from Thursday through Saturday.
“When I worked with Bell, it was all inter-office, so you didn’t get to deal with people,” she said. “When I worked for the credit union, I was dealing with people all the time. I really enjoyed the people contact and working with them.”
Ron Harrison was the branch manager at the time. The credit union was located in downtown Barry’s Bay in the late 1970’s.
It merged with the Deep River branch and became the Valley Savings Credit Union in 1982. From thereon, it was a full service credit union. The building shifted locations, from where McDougall Insurance is to the current location on Paugh Lake Road, where it became known as the Barry’s Bay Northern Credit Union.
In 1989, Prince jumped at the chance to become branch manager at the credit union in Eganville. She remained in that position for 15 years.
“You kind of get bored doing the same thing all the time,” Prince said. “It was a challenge. I like challenges.”
She returned to Barry’s Bay when former Branch Manager Larry Serran retired. She has been there ever since.
Over the years, Prince has witnessed many changes to the financial institution, especially on the technology end of things.
When she first started, everything was done manually, from withdrawal slips to ledger cards. Now, she said, it is all computerized.
There are pros and cons to the technology, but she has noticed some added challenges when it comes to loans.
“Technology took a lot of character out of lending,” she said. “We used to lend a lot on character because you know your members so well. Now you don’t see that aspect of lending. Sometimes it is harder to process a loan.”
Story continues in the May 30 issue of