The Credit Union was chartered in 1952 to serve the employees of Western Electric, known as Radio Shops Credit Union, which totaled approximately 2,000 members and a little over $100,000 in assets. More recently, we opened our Field of Member-Ownership on a selected basis to various groups and companies, which prompted the change in August, 1999 to Truliant -- more accurately reflecting our growing and diversified field of membership.
Today, we serve a membership of 180,000 with assets nearing 1.1 billion -- extending Credit Union services to more than 850 organizations located throughout five states. Our strong standing is largely due to our commitment in providing members the ease and convenience of innovative, automated services combined with the friendly, personal attention they expect and deserve. This philosophy has afforded us the opportunity to offer members a full array of financial services.
On October 26, 2011, LOP was invited by Truiliant Credit Union to participate in their 'International Credit Union Day'.
We set up a table with the Liberian flag, African artifacts and flyers that provided a brief history of our country, culture & currency. It was important and most appropo to show the transition of our currency historically.
The 'Kissi' money or 'Money with a Soul'
At the end of the 19th century, the so-called ‘Kissi money’ or ‘Kissi penny’ was introduced by the Kissi, Loma and Bandi peoples living in the border regions of nowadays Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. It was used quite extensively. Various sources mention the use of the Kissi money among and between the Bandi, Gbandia, Gola, Kissi, Kpelle, Loma, Mandingo and Mende tribes of this region. It was once thought that the money was 'minted' by the native 'blacksmiths' inthe 1880's who used iron smelted from the rich ore in the region. For many decades Kissi money circulated along with American, British and French paper money.
The Kissi money is an odd. Its a twisted rod of iron with flattened ends: a flat, hoe-like spatula at one end and a sharpened ‘T’ at the other. Its length varies from 9" to over 15"; longer ones represents a higher value. Larger ‘denominations’ also were created by twisting several pieces together/bundling them and securing them with a cotton or leather strip.
If an iron rod accidentally broke, it could no longer circulate; its value could only be restored in a special ceremony performed by the Zoe, the traditional witchdoctor – often the blacksmith – who, for a fee, would rejoin the broken pieces and reincarnate the escaped soul. Therefore, it was said that Kissi money was ‘money with a soul’.
The Kissi money was a general-purpose currency. Kissi pennies were tied in bundles of twenty and used for a variety of purposes. In the beginning of the 20th century a cow would cost 100 bundles, a virgin bride 200 bundles and a slave 300 bundles.
(Source: Kissi Money or Money with a Soul)