Week of May 7 –May 13, 2006, Vol. 1, No. 25

Edited and Compiled for you, by Rising Tide Co-operative Ltd.

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Openings – “Twenty percent of us cannot say we’re off to Mars or doing great things when 80 per cent are living in inhumane conditions – unless we’re saying we are more human than they are, that we have a higher priority. And not one of us is more human than the other.” –Romeo Dallaire http://www.romeodallaire.com/   Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. Send your favourite quote about celebrating co-operatives, communities and a better world for all, to News1@nbnet.nb.ca

This Week in Co-op Circles

·      The British Columbia Institute for Co-operative Studies (BCICS) has announced the names of the co-operative developers who have been selected from across Canada to participate in the core sample of the Best Practices project. Peter Hough, Canadian Worker Co-op Federation, based in New Minas, NS, and Glen Fitzpatrick, Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Co-operatives, St. John’s, NL, were selected from the Atlantic Region.  The developers met in Toronto, May 5 and 6 for in-depth discussions on best practices in co-operative development and began the work of generating useful tools and resources for those interested in starting co-ops.  The sample reflects gender, sector, and geographic diversity. A total of 37 names were suggested.

·      Bergengren Credit Union in Antigonish, NS, celebrated a stellar year at this year’s recent AGM. A patronage rebate of $400,000 was given to the more than 14,000 customer-owners. http://www.bergengrencu.com   Located on the town’s Main Street, the credit union’s neighbours are three branches of large banks. But Bergengren remains competitive and in touch with the community it serves. It has donated land for a senior’s housing project in the neighbouring community of St. Andrew’s, where it operates a branch. During the past year the credit union made a substantial donation to the MRI fund for the District Health Authority. Its successful financial literacy program at a local high school is now being adopted by the Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia to be used at other high schools throughout the province. Board chair Kevin Bekkers says it was the credit union’s “most successful year” to date. Deposits grew by 4.7 per cent and loan growth was about 3.5 per cent.  

·      Wayne Lee, from Indian Head Consumers Co-operative in Stephenville, NL, (Zone 10), Michael Oulton, from Scotian Gold Co-op in the Annapolis Valley (Zone 4) and Adelard Cormier, from Saint-Paul-de-Kent Co-op in New Brunswick (Zone 6) were elected to the board of directors of Co-op Atlantic at their 78th annual general meeting. http://www.coopatlantic.ca

·      O’Leary Co-op in O’Leary, PEI held their annual general meeting in April. The members passed resolutions of appreciation and support to the Board, staff, and manager of the store and also to those involved in the medical profession in West Prince. The members have been very active in the past years in supporting their community. In 2005, they called on the Minister of Health and Social services to approve a fifth physician position for the area, and in 2004, they requested the community of O’Leary and the government explore the possibility of developing more building lots in the area. The co-op collects money through 50/50 draws and contributes to IWK and O’Leary Wildlife Federation, as well as several community groups and teams. Currently general manager Clair Sweet says they are just starting to organize a youth membership committee. Youth who accumulate dividends by becoming store members will be able to withdraw them for their post secondary education.  Visit O’Leary Co-op at http://www.coopatlantic.ca/storeInfo.aspx?id=26

·      At Co-op Atlantic’s  http://www.coopatlantic.ca AGM in Moncton, May 5-6, more than $5,000  was raised to contribute to the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) http://www.coopscanada.coop/coopdevelopment/coopdevfoundation

CDF raises funds for Canadian Co-operative Association’s programs which support the sustainable development of credit unions and co-operatives in less developed countries and small-scale co-operative ventures in Canada.


Expanding Your Back Yard – It’s gardening season. Here’s some information on co-operative and community approaches to this spirit restoring endeavour. http://www.canadiangardening.com/howto/gaining_ground.shtml


What is Your Vision Statement?  – This week’s Vision Statement comes from the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union. “Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union will be the superior provider of the ideal financial service experience.” – www.nlcu.com Send your co-operative or credit union vision statement to News1@nbnet.nb.ca

Co-op 101 Educational Links – Seniors’ Housing Co-operatives throughout the United States were developed in response to various needs. Read the story of one couple in southern Minnesota http://www.villagelife.org/news/archives/3-14-97_seniorcoops.html

More information can be found at http://www.seniorcoops.org/ http://www.seniorcoops.org/hull.html After reviewing their extensive Web site, if you want additional information on the Senior Co-operative foundation, send your questions by e-mail to terrym@seniorcoops.com



Words and Expressions from Yesteryear  - ***NEW FEATURE*** - Try your luck at figuring out a saying from years gone by. Last week – “She was all mops and brooms.” – ANSWER: This refers to the untidy condition of the hair. This week“Come day, go day, God send Sunday.” Good luck! Send your guess to: News1@nbnet.nb.ca  


You CAN Do That the ‘Co-op’ Way  - Each week we will feature a co-operative formed to meet a particular need in communities around the world. This week, from the province of Quebec, La Conference des cooperatives forestieres du Quebec. The 36 members of the CCFQ make up the majority of forestry cooperatives operating in Québec. They are drawn from all parts of Québec. CCFQ members account for approximately 95% of the total revenue of forestry cooperatives (excluding minority shareholders). In 1998 these cooperatives had over 3,550 members, created jobs for approximately 6000 individuals and had revenue totaling over $400 million. http://www.ccfq.qc.ca/


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

·      May 24, 2006 – Shean Investment Co-op Annual General Meeting, Inverness, NS

·      May 31, 2006 – Shean Co-op Annual Meeting, Inverness, NS

·        May 31 – June 2, 2006 - “Working Together to Make a Difference”, a national community investment and corporate social responsibility (CSR) forum for credit unions, community investment organizations and co-operatives, Winnipeg, MB www.csrforum06.com

·        June 6, 2006 – Vermont Employee Ownership Conference, Burlington, Vermont. For more information, go to www.veoc.org

·        June 8, 2006 – 9th Annual Meeting, TEAMWork Co-operative Ltd, at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind auditorium, 6136 Almon St, Halifax

·        June 9-10, 2006 – Annual General Meeting and Mini-Congress, Canadian Co-operative Association, London, Ontario

·        June 14, 2006 – Building the High Performance Co-operative Workshop, 10 am – 12 Noon, Truro, NS. To register contact (902) 893-8966 or e-mail: nscoopcouncil@eastlink.ca

·        June 14, 2006 – 67th Annual General Meeting, Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, Truro, NS

·        June 15-17, International Symposium: The Co-operative and its Workers, Saint Mary's University, Room 415, Sobey Building, 923 Robie Street, Halifax, NS. The Symposium will explore how co-operatives manage the relationship with their workers and the interdependence between workers, consumers and primary producers.  Key questions that will also be examined:  How do co-operative values shape how co-operatives relate to their workers?  If unions and co-operatives have many shared values why do they not always have harmonious relationships?  Papers will be presented by participants from co-operative businesses, labour unions and academics.

·        June 30 – July 2, 2006 - 60th Annual Congress and General Assembly of the Conseil Canadien de la Coopération (CCC), in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia. Le Conseil Coopératif Acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse is currently helping CCC with the various preparations of the congress.

·        July 7-8, 2006 – Annual Festival of Place-Based Business, Cape Breton University

Remember to send news items and bulletin board items to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


Contest of the week - Contest of the week   - Announcing last week’s winner – Joyce Humble, Capital Credit Union, Fredericton, NB. All entries have been added to the Contest Can and the lucky submission for May will be announced the first week in June. Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon. Send your answer to  contest1@nbnet.nb.ca Last week’s answers:

1. Billy club 2. Tommy gun 3. Jack in the box  4. Pat on the back  5. Mark down 6. Lazy Susan 7. Johnny come lately 8. Port-a-John or Johnny-on-the-Spot or John
This Week’s Contest - Determine the one word that can be inserted in both spaces in each sentence. The meaning and pronunciation of the word in the two locations are different.


She shed a ___ over the ___ in her expensive evening gown.


A ___ is a ___ portion of the entire year.


He ___ a rope around his leg to stop the ___ from bleeding.


It was easy to ___ class because student ___ was excellent.


The farmer was able to ___ better ___ than anyone else.


It’s Easy to Cook -We would like to include your recipes made with Co-op brand products like Co-op Gold, Market Town and Harmonie. Send in your suggestions to cooking1@nbnet.nb.ca. Tell us a bit about why your recipe is a favourite. Those who contribute recipes will be eligible to win a cookbook.

Stir-Fried Fiddleheads
1 pound fiddlehead ferns
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon honey, dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water

Salt and fresh black pepper

Wash fiddleheads in several changes of cold water. Pick through them, discarding any brown husks and cutting off any discoloured ends. Heat oils in a wok. Stir-fry fiddleheads with coriander over high heat for 1 minute. Add honey water and cook ferns for 1-2 minutes more, or until tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once. Serves 4. May is Spring vegetables month -  asparagus, rhubarb, fiddleheads. Do you have a good recipe for spring vegetables?  If so, please send your recipe to: news1@nbnet.nb.ca


Our Readers Write - Tell us what you think. Send news, events and information for the Co-op Community Bulletin Board. Suggest features you think might be beneficial to people reading Co-op Circles. We want this electronic newsletter to serve you (be sure to include your e-mail and phone number). Send your item(s), comments and suggestions to News1@nbnet.nb.ca  

·      Missed "Words and Expressions" the first time through. Long may your big jib draw is a South Shore expression which is a wish for long and good life. The jib was one of the sails which schooners used to ply the oceans. If your jib was full of wind you were making good progress. – G.W.


Co-op Circles is part of Rising Tide Co-operative’s commitment to the Co-op Principles of Co-op Education and Concern for Community. This electronic newsletter is published every week. It is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in co-operative and community development in Atlantic Canada and around the world.

We will be happy to put you on our Co-op Circles mailing list. We are proud that co-operators from Canada, the U.S, England, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are part of our Circle. To subscribe: coop_circles_subscribe@email.com or to unsubscribe: coop_circles_unsubscribe@email.com Tell your friends about it. Please e-mail us with your questions, suggestions and memories at News1@nbnet.nb.ca.

Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, May 17, 2006.