BANKS IN KATANNING
Situated in Clive Street the Bank Buildings has some aesthetic significance, adding to the streetscape of the street.
It is also significant in that much of the original fabric is intact and little alterations have been made, particularly to the exterior.
It is also historically significant in that it contains an original baker’s oven and there is a shed out the back which has the remains of in-town stables used for the old Baker’s horse and cart.
The Bank Buildings were constructed in 1909 and although it has never housed banking institutions it has been utilised for other commercial purposes including a bakery (it still contains the original bakers oven) as well as a tailor shop.
The Bank Buildings have also housed PM’s Restaurant, Katanning Family Steakhouse, Taylor’s Family Restaurant to name a few, and has living quarters upstairs.
A restrained Federation Italianate two-storey building of three shops and residences with its exterior little altered.
It has a panelled balustrade to the parapet with a curved pediment over the central bay with “Bank Buildings AD 1909” in bas-relief.
The brickwork is tuck-pointed and the upper windows are double hung sashes.
The original timber shop fronts are in place, with its original bull nosed verandah and it has pressed metal ceilings and timber floors with arches joining all three shops.
Garage and shed were re-roofed with steel in May 2001.
UNION BANK BUILDING
The ANZ Bank alludes to the boom time in Katanning, when there was much building activity, particularly on the eastern side of the railway line.
It was at this time that Katanning was really developing as a town and many services and amenities were needed for the growing population.
The building is a substantial two-storey structure thereby giving it some aesthetic and architectural value.
At its time of construction it was considered one of the chief architectural structures of the town.
The ANZ Bank recently celebrated 100 years of banking in Katanning but has since moved into a modern new building adjacent to Woolworths on the other side of the railway line.
The Union Bank commenced business in 1904, the manager being N J Treleavan, making three banks in the town.
The bank was situated in the building vacated by W J Rogers, who had built a new store and quarters.
In 1911 the bank erected its own premises. This large two-storey structure consisted of banking chamber, manager’s room and strong room, as well as a commodious private residence for the manager and his family.
In 1931 Treleavan was succeeded by F W Skevington, then in 1934 Mr N W Broun was appointed. The first customers of the Union Bank were Ross and Thomas Anderson.
In the early 1950s the Union Bank and the Australasia Bank merged to form the ANZ Bank.
The building is a two storey Federation Free Style bank and manager’s residence.
It is symmetrically organised around the disproportionate entry portico.
The portico features an exaggerated baroque like broken pediment over the arched entry, with large metopes and dentils under the cornice and the portico is flanked by arched windows.
The first floor is recessed with a verandah within the setback. The verandah is carried by stout piers with stylised capitals carrying in turn the lintel.
Over the lintel the gutter is carried on closely spaced brackets while the balustrade to the verandah is made of pierced masonry and the tiled roof has decorative ridge tiles.
A wrought iron fence has been added to the front of the building.
COMMONWEALTH BANK BUILDING
The site that the Commonwealth Bank building now stands has a long history of commercial use.
The bank represented the economic growth and stability of the Shire of Katanning and its survival through the Depression years.
The building also has some architectural and aesthetic significance, despite the 1960s extensions, which are fairly non-intrusive.
Originally a symmetrical brick and tile two-storey building with prominent vertical piers utilised for the entry the building also features strong vertical and horizontal vertical lines and curves.
The front elevation is treated in a symmetrical ABA rhythm, with the central bay being the dominant feature.
Using stripped down classical organisation, decorative motifs such as fluted recessed reveals, panels and frieze have been applied in the Modern or Deco manner.
In 1966, additions were made to the side and rear of the building, providing more office space for the growing number of staff and customers.
These extensions affected the symmetry of the building as well as changing the central entrance to the side.
It is considered that the grey paint to the walls is inappropriate and the addition to the south intrusive.
On this block Beeck eventually built “a wood and iron shop, with living quarters attached, which was to be their home until his death in 1934”. [GSH, 2/8/57, p.2]
In 1935 the land was sold to the Commonwealth Bank.
Unlike the rest of his family, Paul Beeck did not work on the land but rather decided to open his own saddlery and harness business in the town.
However, his skills also extended to marvelous versatility.
He was known as a “wizard with leather, could make an excellent iron tank, mend a watch, cut hair, give a smooth shave and if necessary, pull a tooth for a desperate patient”. [Bignell, p. 153]
His shop was popular and an integral part of the local business history of Katanning.
His wife, Mary, also put her hand to most things and was for many years Katanning’s only laundress.The present Commonwealth Bank building was erected in themed to late 1930s.
In 1966 the bank underwent extensions costing more than $40,000.
The extensions included the addition of a single storey to the western side of the building, as well as extensions to the rear to provide more office space.
The Great Southern Herald reported on the activity: When the work was completed, the main entrance to the bank would be located in the new section facing Clive Street.
This would open into some 400 square feet of public space.
A special parking area for bank clients would be provided behind the premises with a separate entrance leading in from the car park.
New office accommodation would be provided for the Branch Manager and the room now used by him would be taken over the Development Bank Field Officer.
Office space would also be provided for his own staff. [GSH, 1/7/66,p. 1]
The new extensions also allowed for an interview room, voucher room, storeroom, staff room and new staff toilets.
BANK OF NEW SOUTH WALES BUILDING
The Westpac Bank (formerly known as the Bank of New South Wales) represents the economic growth of Katanning, being one of many banks established in the Shire along Clive Street, although this bank building is located on the western side of the railway line.
The building has some aesthetic significance with a strongly designed (classical form) central bay and prominent corner location.
In 1910, a branch of the Bank of New South Wales was opened in Albion Street, then G W Cussen set up temporary premises for the bank in Clive Street.
In December 1911, Porter & Thomas Architects, from Perth called for tenders for alterations and additions to the Bank of New South Wales, which were completed in 1912.
In 1927, the Bank of New South Wales absorbed the WA Bank.
The original building is a three bay frontage with a tiled gambrel roof and stucco facade, symmetrically disbursed around a pedimented central bay with rusticated pilasters and engaged ionic columns.
The double hung windows appear to have been replaced.
The design style could be described as Federation Free Classical and a later addition to the left is more or less in keeping with the original building.
An ATM (automatic teller machine) was installed at the front of the building in October 2000.
History of The Bank of New South Wales
Westpac has a long and proud history as Australia’s first and oldest bank. It was established in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales under a charter of incorporation provided by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. In October 1982 it changed its name to Westpac Banking Corporation following the acquisition of the Commercial Bank of Australia.
When it opened its doors for business the first employee was Joseph Hyde Potts. As a porter and servant, he received a weekly ration from the King’s stores and an annual salary of 25 pounds.
This was a challenging time, beginning with a serious loss in 1821 when it was discovered that the Bank of NSW’s Chief Cashier had stolen half its subscribed capital, none of which was ever recovered.
The Bank’s major expansion began in response to the gold fever in 1851 when it saw an opportunity to set up gold-buying agents in response to the needs of miners and merchants. It had grown from a single office in Sydney to a network of 37 branches by 1861.
The crash of the New York stock market on Black Thursday, 24 October 1929 signalled the start of the depression in the international market. The first significant sign of this in Australia came in January of that year, when Alfred Charles Davidson became general manager.
Davidson advocated a bold initiative to adjust the exchange rate on London downwards from par to £A130 = £100stg in 1931. This helped soften the impact of the depression on Australia and spark the ailing economy into recovery.
Following the acquisition of the Commercial Bank of Australia in 1982, Westpac expanded rapidly in the 1980s. However, as a result of the economic downturn at the end of the decade, Westpac declared a loss of $1.6 billion for the financial year ended 30 September 1992.
From 1993 to 1999, under the leadership of Robert (Bob) Joss, Westpac underwent a substantial rejuvenation program and then instigated a number of acquisitions in Australia and New Zealand to expand its retail footprint in markets where it was underweight, acquiring:
- Challenge Bank Limited, Western Australia in 1995
- Trust Bank New Zealand in 1996
- Bank of Melbourne in 1997.
Westpac began the new century as a principal sponsor of the very successful Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
In 2002, the bank began a strategic reshaping commencing with the sale of its long-
standing iconic finance company, Australian Guarantee Corporation Limited (AGC) to GE Australia.
In the same year, it began to expand its wealth management business with the acquisition of:
- Rothschild Australia Asset Management
- Parts of BT Financial Group
- 51% of Hastings Funds Management Limited, moving to 100% ownership in 2005.
In 2008 Westpac merged with St.George Bank Limited, resulting in a much larger multi-brand Group.
The effective date of the merger was 1 December 2008 and, 0n 1 March 2010, The Westpac Group commenced operating as a single authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI), and the legal entity St.George Bank Limited was deregistered.
From that date St.George Bank became an operating division within The Westpac Group.
On 25 July 2011, Westpac Group, through its operating division, St.George Banking Group, launched the Bank of Melbourne.