When Scotiabank opened its North Burnaby branch at 6715 Hastings St., there was only a smattering of people living in the area, according to longtime client Wesley Brooks.
"My kids used to go down the lane to get lost in the bush," he said of the area. "There were very few houses around at that time."
Brooks, who now lives at New Westminster Quay, said he has been a client of the branch for 53 years.
"I moved into that neighbourhood and that was the handiest bank," he said. "They always treated me really well, so I stayed with them."
Brooks moved to North Burnaby in 1960 and began working for the municipality, running equipment, he added.
His wife worked at Burnaby North Secondary School, he said.
"We both started working for Burnaby the very same day," Brooks added.
He worked for Burnaby for seven years, though he lost the fingers of his right hand on the job in 1965. He was also involved in building Simon Fraser University, he said.
Brooks moved to New Westminster in 2001.
Since he left North Burnaby, the neighbourhood has changed even more, he said.
"The house that we lived in has been torn down and a big one built there now," Brooks said. "The whole area has changed a lot."
Brooks attended Scotiabank's 60th anniversary celebration on Nov. 23, helping Burnaby North MLA Richard Lee cut the cake at the event.
Andrew Porter, who has been branch manager at the Burnaby North's location for nearly two years, spoke with the NOW on the day of the celebration.
"It's been a fun time so far," he said. "I'm sure the rest of the day will prove fun and entertaining and enjoyable as well."
Scotiabank has a strong commitment to community initiatives and is known for its work in the community, which makes it a good fit for the area, according to Porter.
"North Burnaby really has a community feel," he said. "They do so much - the merchants do a lot in the community, the customers that we see and speak to every day just have a real family type of feel to them."
The celebration was a great success, Porter wrote in a follow-up email to the NOW.
"We had a great turnout with approximately 50 Scotiabank clients and staff attending the formal event and many more celebrating with us throughout the rest of the day," he wrote.
The branch presented a cheque for $1,408, raised at a recent function, to the Vancouver chapter of Habitat for Humanity at the celebration, he added.
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