John Retires

At the end of March, we said farewell to John Macdonald, who retired after a long association with Voyager Alliance and the wider credit union movement.

Well known amongst members, John visited Depots and Offices across the country, meeting members old and new, as part of the Voyager Alliance Business Development Team.

A bus driver himself for many years, John worked for Greater Manchester Buses North, which later became First Buses, at the Queens Road Depot. He joined the credit union as a member in 1994 and remembers how different things were in the 1990s.

“When the credit union came to Queens Road, 5 Reps from the trade union worked as volunteers” remembers John. “If you wanted to make a withdrawal from your credit union account, you had to find a Rep (if they weren’t on the road or on holiday!), complete a withdrawal form and then wait until the following week for a volunteer to come with a zipped folder with your cheque inside! Once you received your cheque you then had to find a National Westminster Bank to cash it – our nearest was at Cheetham Hill, and the traffic could be a nightmare!”

John joined the Voyager Alliance Board in 2006, and was a Director for 10 years, including a stint as President/Chairman. Passionate about credit unions and the unique way they help members improve financial resilience, John was keen to be involved in the wider credit union movement and served on the ABCUL Board (Association of British Credit Unions Ltd) for 3 years.

Former Voyager Alliance President, and current Penny Post Group Director, Gary Robertson, has many happy memories of working with John over the years, including a learning visit to Georgia Unite Credit Union in Atlanta.

“We attended their AGM and Event Day, and were inspired by the enthusiasm of everyone involved, from the Cheerleaders chanting the credit union motto … ‘What do we do… serve, what do we do… serve’ to the passion and leadership skills of the CEO, Deborah, who personally knew every member of her Team and their family”, remembers Gary. “Atlanta was like no place we’d ever been …. crossing 12 traffic lanes to get back to our hotel, and being too scared to visit the Coca Cola Museum as we were being followed through downtown Atlanta, were moments we won’t forget!”

“John and I have become good friends and are both keen supporters of Manchester United Football Club” continues Gary. “I took him to watch a match in my new car and remember John casually opening the door and pranking it against a wall!”

So, what plans does John have for his retirement?

More time with his family and grandchildren, some DIY projects, a pint or two of Peroni, and hitting the open road with Lynda, his wife, and Betsie, his beloved motorhome!

Undoubtedly, John has been a good servant to Voyager Alliance over the years and fundamental for its growth and success.

Enjoy your retirement John, you’ve earned it!