Credit union honours Biddlecombe

Harley Biddlecombe was posthumously honoured with one of the top provincial credit union awards, the B.C Credit Union distinguished service award.

The late Harley Biddlecombe was honoured with the B.C. Credit Union distinguished service award.

The late Harley Biddlecombe was honoured with the B.C. Credit Union distinguished service award.

Harley Biddlecombe was posthumously honoured with one of the top provincial credit union awards, the B.C Credit Union distinguished service award.

Biddlecombe, who served as Valley First president and chief executive officer for 31 years, was recognized for his long service and dedication to advancing and strengthening the credit union system. His contributions over many years were felt throughout the province where he served on numerous boards and committees.

“Harley was such a powerful force at Valley First and throughout the province,” said Valley First president Paulette Rennie.

“For his contribution to the credit union system to be recognized like this is a truly fitting tribute to his memory. This award has extra special meaning to Valley First because we would not be where we are today if it weren’t for Harley’s passion, vision and leadership.”

During his impressive tenure at the helm, Biddlecombe built Valley First from a two-branch operation to become the eighth biggest credit union in the province. More recently, he was a major driver behind the merger of Valley First and Envision Financial and the formation of First West Credit Union. Unfortunately, Biddlecombe died in October 2009 before he could see his hard work become a reality.

The award, which was presented at the Central 1 AGM, was accepted by Biddlecombe’s wife Vickie and First West Credit Union vice-chair Colleen Lister.

Valley First is a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.’s third-largest credit union, which has 37 branches and 29 insurance offices throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Kitimat and Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. First West has approximately $6.2 billion in assets under administration, 167,000 members and 1,300 employees.