The A to Z of ANZ’s 145 years in town - STEPHANIE HORTON

December 13, 2017

ANZ bank (Old Union Bank) in celebrating 145 years in Rochester on January 1

ROCHESTER’S ANZ bank is turning 145.

Opening its doors on January 1, 1873, the bank has been servicing the community ever since.

Starting as the Union Bank of Australia, Rochester opened as a sub-branch or agency of the Melbourne branch.

Temporary premises were secured by George Benjamin Nankivell, who held the position for a few days.

He was succeeded by Alexander Webster Cruden and had an assistant by the name of Mr E Spring.

Unfortunately, hiring these people was a mistake.

They were both suspended from duty in December 1874 following prima facie evidence of embezzlement.

Spring was allowed to resign because it was found he was under the influence of Cruden.

Cruden was charged and found guilty of improper practices.

He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with hard labour.

Fast-forward to 1880 where the bank registered as a ‘‘limited liability company’’ for which purpose all the branches’ customers (258 in total) were required to be notified in writing.

The list includes many family names still synonymous with the Rochester district.

It wasn’t until 1884 when the Rochester bank branched off into its own entity.

A new building was confirmed in October 1906, because the old building was considered to be uninhabitable.

At the time, it cost 3000 pounds, plus a further 250 pounds to cover the cost of the additional land.

The new building, which is still used today, was completed in 1907 and is regarded as worthy of inclusion (with 116 others in Victoria) on their ‘Designated List’.

Banking has seen many changes since it began in Australia.

Most bank staff at the time joined as supernumeraries and served their first three years without salary, instead receiving a small gratuity that allowed them to live without the assistance of their family.

Like many other occupations, most jobs were filled by men, until the WWI, where women took up the vacancies.

Computer banking was introduced in the mid-1960s and decimal currency was introduced in early 1966.

It wasn’t until October 2002 that the first female manager was appointed in Rochester.

Since then, there have been a further five female managers, including Margaret Fraser, who has been in the top job since 2014. Marg has been with ANZ since December 2001.

“I am proud to be employed by a company that values its employees, including the mature aged worker,” she said.

Marg is a firm believer in ANZ’s promise to shape a world where our communities can thrive.

ANZ Rochester is open five days a week and all services including home lending, business and financial planning are available.

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