Remo DiPaolo

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.”