For our sales conference activity this afternoon, we went to Lévis. We were taken on a guided bus tour with Manon around the city plus given a tour of Maison Alphonse Desjardins. We were split up onto two buses ... one for those who spoke English and one for those who spoke French.
Back in 1900, Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins founded the Caisses Populaires Desjardins (today Desjardins Group), a forerunner of North American credit unions and community bank. They started the Caisse in their house, which is now a museum.
Francine gave us some history of the house and the Desjardins Movement.
Then into the museum, which is like stepping back in time. Here's the dining room.
Can you guess what this is? It's a washing machine!
It was in the kitchen.
The living room/parlour ...
Alphonse's desk ... this is the first ledger where they kept track of accounts.
The upstairs where the bedrooms were is now used as office and conference room space (so we couldn't go up there).
As you leave, you are welcome to take a souvenir.
Notre-Dame-de-Lévis is kitty corner to the museum. Built in 1850, it was extended in 1854 and became the second largest church of its time in America. The Desjardins were religious and believed in temperance.
More than 110 years later, the Desjardins Group, with about 40,000 employees across Canada, is the largest association of credit unions in North America. I bet Alphonse and Dorimène would be proud!