Bank of Montreal

Amherstburg BMO branch celebrates 113 years



By Jolene Perron


While the Bank of Montreal is celebrating 200 years of business, the Amherstburg branch, as one of the oldest in Canada, is also celebrating a milestone of their own.

“Amherstburg is also 113 years and because of the history of Amherstburg it was fitting to have a really big celebration,” said branch manager Karen Davidson. “I invited all the retirees to come to the celebrations. It’s because of the people that helped form our branch. It’s a friendly atmosphere, it’s a family atmosphere and we’re excited to be able to be a part of this.”

Jim Inglis, David Blyth, Julie Barker-Merz, Karen Davidson and Ramo Dipaolo stand for a group photo Nov. 24 at BMO Amherstburg Branch during their celebrations.

In attendance at the celebrations Nov. 24 was the senior vice president of BMO’s southwestern Ontario division, the senior vice president of commercial, the regional vice president with financial planners as well as their regional vice president. They also invited past managers, employees who used to work at the Amherstburg branch who are still working for BMO elsewhere and retirees, such as Betty Federico, who was secretary to the manager when she began. She retired completely two years ago after 61 years with BMO.

Betty Federico (right), who was employed with Bank of Montreal for a total of 61 years, points to a black and white photo of herself with other branch members during the Amherstburg Branch’s celebrations Nov. 24.

“It was much different than it is today. Everything was hand written. It was great,” said Federico. “It was a great place to work, they were very accommodating with your lifestyle, and your home life, so it was great for me. I got to talk to a lot of people, and I like to talk. It’s amazing,”

Federico told a story about how she was insistent she didn’t want to do telebanking at the ATM, so the manger at the time told the tellers not to wait on her until she went to the ATM machine. She explained it was a lot of fun and they always had a great time.

Davidson echoed Federico’s feelings about the company.

“I’m so proud, I’ve worked for the bank for more than 30 years, and my father also used to work for the bank as well,” said Davidson. “This is all I know and I’m so proud to be able to work for an organization with that history, the family atmosphere, just wanting to help others and the community as well as our customers, it’s exciting.”

Amherstburg’s BMO one of the oldest branches in Canada



By Jolene Perron


The month of November marks a very important month, not only for the BMO Bank of Montreal in Canada but also for the Amherstburg branch which is celebrating 113 years.

On Nov. 3, BMO turned 200-years-old. The Amherstburg branch was first opened Nov. 21, 1904 by the Molson’s Bank, which is now amalgamated with the Bank of Montreal who took over the private banking business of the Cuddy-Falls Company, according to branch manager Karen Davidson.

“I have worked at the Amherstburg branch for over 11 years becoming branch manager in 2013,” said Davidson. “I am proud to be part of an organization that for two centuries has put our clients first and supports the community where we live and work. I am a second generation banker and have worked for BMO Bank of Montreal for over 30 years and take pride in where everything started and I’m energized and excited to be part of a stable organization with a long history and reputation.”

The first BMO bank was opened on Nov. 3, 1817 and the first permanent bank in British North America opened its doors on St. Paul St. in Montreal. Davidson explained prior to this, pioneer Canadians mainly used bartering for means of payment, and Bank of Montreal became the model for the Canadian banking system. It was the first to issue Canadian banknotes in 1817, the first to finance Canada’s transcontinental railroad, the first to offer internet banking across North America and the first listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

According to their BMO history book, Davidson said the bank’s geographic expansion followed the paths of Canadian trade and investment. It took just one month for Bank of Montreal to open a “substantial agency in Quebec,” which was followed by locations in Toronto, Kingston, Queenston, Perth and Amherstburg.

“I have had the pleasure to work for many great leaders, one being June McManemy, branch manager who was one of the first female branch managers for BMO in Essex County, 1983, and retired back in June 2007,” said Davidson.

The branch will be having a celebration Nov. 24 with current and past employees to commemorate the bank’s 200-year existence, as well as the branch’s 113 anniversary.