Credit Union House Honors Clarence Hall for Inspirational Leadership
Posted March 18, 2013
Washington, D.C. (2/24/13) -- Issaquena County is the least populated county in the state of Mississippi and among the poorest counties in the United States of America. But in the small town of Mayersville, you will find a very humble, very small, nondescript metal shed-like building. At first glance it is nothing special to behold, but to the 1,338 people who live in Mayersville, it is a lifeline that pumps hope throughout the tiny town. Issaquena County Federal Credit Union is the only financial institution they have and it is run on the philosophy of "people helping people." To the many citizens who had been denied credit in the past, it means they now have a chance at home ownership, car ownership or just a chance to provide a nice Christmas for their children when times are tight.
Perhaps even more special to the community than the Issaquena County Federal Credit Union, is the man who unlocks its doors day after day, even on weekends if a need arises. Clarence Hall, Jr.
Hall is a man who has traveled the world, served his country in trying times, shook the hand of a United States president, raised a daughter who earned four educational degrees and in 1957 was the first person in Issaquena County to pay the poll taxes to vote. He was also instrumental in bringing running water to Mayersville.
He lives his life by the philosophy "Do right and right will follow you."
In 1969, at the age of 45, he chartered the Issaquena County Federal Credit Union, where he still works today. He spent 38 of those years volunteering his time without receiving a single paycheck. In 43 years the Credit Union has never had a single quarter missing.
In the past year, Hall has received two special credit union honors. The first was being inducted into the Mississippi Credit Union Hall of Fame, the state’s highest credit union honor. More recently, Hall traveled to Washington, D.C. for induction into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders, a national recognition for individuals that have shown commitment that inspires others in the credit union movement.
And Clarence Hall is without a doubt an inspiration for credit unions, as well as his family, his community, and the human spirit.
Charles Elliott, Mississippi Credit Union Association president and CEO, said "Clarence Hall has suffered a lot over the years and has tried to do a lot of things to right injustices and give people the basic human rights that were denied to them many years ago."
Mr. Hall was born in 1924, his parents grew up on a plantation and his mother passed away when he was 11 years old. He had very little formal education because he worked in the fields by day, but at night he would stay up reading by the light of a kerosene lamp. He later attended agriculture school in Delta City for four years.
"I'm just thankful for the people of Issaquena County," Hall said.
“I've been through the struggle and have seen the changes made in the state of Mississippi. We've come together as a nation of people, working together. I believe in education and people doing things for themselves."
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Learn more about Clarence Hall:
View Mr. Hall's bio here.
View a video about Mr. Hall here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysoJRASxlLY