Showing posts with label Banking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Banking. Show all posts

Friday, December 15, 2023

Blind date leads to 65 years of marriage for local couple

By Ed Pierce

A blind date isn’t always terrible and for one local couple, it turned out to be the adventure of a lifetime, as they recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

Ronald and Alice Walker married on Dec. 6, 1958 in South
Portland and to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary,
they were treated to a special lunch and party by the staff
at Ledgewood Manor in Windham, where they now reside.
Ronald and Alice Walker were married on Dec. 6, 1958 in South Portland, and they were treated to a special lunch on their anniversary by the staff at Ledgewood Manor in Windham where they now reside.

Alice is originally from Rumford and moved to Portland as a girl. She was working for a bank when friends set her up on a blind date in 1958.

“I had heard about this place called the Log Cabin Restaurant on Ocean Street in South Portland near the old Dyer &McLaughlin Grocery and we agreed to meet there for dinner,” she said. “Little did I know what would come of it.”

Growing up in Westbrook, Ronald was always mechanically inclined and had started a job working in piping and welding when he first was approached to meet Alice for a blind date at the restaurant in South Portland.

“I first thought that she was stuck up,” he said. “But then as I got to know her, she kind of grew on me.”

The couple started dating and eventually fell in love, got engaged and after their marriage then settled into life at their own home in South Portland. Soon two children came along, including a daughter, Lori, who now lives in Gray, and a son, Craig, who lives in Gorham.

Both Ronald and Alice continued to work and raise their family and by the time Alice’s career was finished, she had accumulated more than 46 years of service while working in the banking industry.

Like many other young parenting couples in Maine at the time, the Walkers devoted their free time to their children and their life together as a family.

“Ronald liked bowling and so did I, so we bowled a lot and we bowled together or on the same team,” Alice said.

The entire family were avid bowlers and Ronald’s twin brother, Roland, once served as president of the Greater Portland Bowling Association.

“We spent a lot of time at the bowling alley when the kids were little and as a family, we attended many ball games all over the place too,” Alice said.

The Walker family also spent many carefree summers swimming, camping, boating, and fishing on Crescent Lake at Kokatosi Campground in Raymond.

“Those sure were good times and truly unforgettable,” Ronald said. “It’s a beautiful spot for families.”

After a lifetime of eating Alice’s cooking, Ronald says one of her meals that she cooked for the family stands out above all the rest.

“Her meatloaf was really something to look forward to after a hard day at work,” he said. “It was very good and very tasty. It became my favorite of everything that she cooked for us.”

According to Alice, her husband has always been a typical man and although he’s rather rough around the edges, she learned to adapt to his cantankerous ways through the years.

“I’ve learned just to ignore him and to agree with everything he says and then do exactly the opposite,” she said. “It’s something that’s helped me over the years. He does have a heart of gold though.”

As time passed, the Walker family has grown to now include four grandchildren, including triplets.

Now in their 80s, Ronald and Alice Walker look back fondly at their life together and say that as their health declined, they are grateful to be able to be together at Ledgewood Manor in Windham.

They say they are blessed to have found each other back in 1958 and that their marriage has lasted so long.

For their anniversary lunch, the couple dined on macaroni and cheese, fruit salad, and sparkling juice at a table adorned with flower petals. Alice was presented with a beautiful assortment of roses to commemorate the special occasion and everyone attending the celebration was treated to a piece of chocolate cake.

Both Ronald and Alice say they are grateful that others have remembered their wedding anniversary and made such a fuss about it.

Their advice for couples contemplating getting married is simple.

“Save your money for retirement,” Ronald said. “You’ll really need it.” <

Friday, July 15, 2016

Evergreen Credit Union looks to be the first LEED certified building in Windham - By MIchelle Libby

Last Thursday, Evergreen Credit Union held a ceremonial groundbreaking at their location on Route 302 in North Windham. The interim CEO as well as many of the members of the board of directors and the community participated. 
The new building, which will be done early next year, will be a LEED certified space, the first in Windham according to Town of Windham town manager Tony Plante and the credit union CEO. “LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient. They use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As an added bonus, they save money,” according to the US Green Building Council website. 

“It will continue our mission on sustainability. This is one more way to accomplish our mission,” said Evergreen Credit Union Interim CEO Tim Verrault. “The building is really outdated. We want top notch.” 

The credit union has tripled its membership since opening in Windham. Evergreen Credit Union has four locations with 23,000 members in Cumberland County. It has been in existence for 65 years dating back to SD Warren Credit Union, which existed for the paper mill in Westbrook. Membership now is based on those who work or live in Cumberland County or have immediate family members who are already members, said Verrault. 
The new building will be the first time Evergreen has done a redesign of a branch by creating a whole new building. Other branches have been renovated, but this is exciting for all involved.
“We only do financial institutions,” said TLA president and architect Jim Durgin. “This is the first LEED certified building we have done.”

The new branch will have “dialogue banking” where tellers are no longer behind a locked counter, but are accessible to the members. The “pod” concept makes the space very open and welcoming,” Verrault added. 
The physical space will increase as well from the existing 2,500 square feet to 4,000 square feet. Verrault expects the new space to be state of the art for its members and employees. 

Evergreen CU is doing this to “promote better service for all existing members,” said Howard Lowell, marketing director. “They’re not doing this to grow, but to provide state of the art services.” existing building was purchased in 2001. “At the time we knew it was going to be a temporary branch,” said Verrault. The credit union plan to recycle as much of the materials as they can from the existing building. 

When the demolition begins on the building built more than 20 years ago, banking transactions will take place in a rental unit in the parking lot behind the bank. The special bank rental from Portland Safe will be open for business on July 25th. There will be plenty of signage marking the temporary location, said Verrault. 

The temporary branch will have three teller stations plus the drive up window. There will still be traditional banking services, like night drops, walk in service, and drive up service all with the same hours. 

“The new structure provides the same security practices utilized in the original branch,” said Verrault. The nine employees will continue to do their jobs in the temporary location. 

The construction will be completed by Allied Cook and the interior design will be by TLA Architects.  The new building will fit in with the 21st Century Plan for downtown Windham, according to Verrault. 

“When you think about what’s to come, it will be worth it,” said board of directors member Julie Lunt-Farley.

R to L
Robert Dodge – Board of directors
Julie Lunt-Farley – Board of directors
Jennifer Breton – Board of directors
Tim Verrault – Interim CEO
Chris Doe – Board chairman
Patty Ross – Branch manager
Tony Plante – Town Manager
John Holt – Board member
Dawn Dyer – Sebago Lakes Chamber of Commerce director
Jim Durgin – TLA Architect
Tom Greer – Pinkham & Greer Civil Engineers
Matt Cook – Allied Cook Industries