4 Dandaloo Street & Nymagee Street
|Opened 1898 (100th Report); First manager was Mr. Malanby Dunn.|
1909 The Manager, Mr Malanby Dunn, was transferred to Malanda Qld to open a new branch there.
1934 Listed in Century of Banking.
NSW Heritage Office notes: The Commercial Banking Co. was the first to establish itself in Narromine in 1898 , but it was not until 1915 that this substantial building was erected for them.
A striking street corner building , this banded full brick two story building makes a major contribution to the main street . The architects use of rendered bands , gables and repetitive use of windows makes this very much an eye-catching commercial building that speaks of wealth, security, prosperity and service to the public.
This building is sited on the corner of Nymagee Street west side and Dandaloo Street on the other.
It is a two storey building that addresses that corner well.
The building is constructed in face brickwork, stretcher bond with an interesting combination of very hard dark manganese brickwork, a lighter speckled brown brickwork, and rendered bands: the three being used to decorate the facade including attached pilasters, rendered bands at window head, door head and at parapet level, and the base of the building contains a number of soldier courses and panels of the darker manganese brick.
On the whole the two storey building has made use of these decorative elements to create a very specific facade.
The upper floor has a parapeted gables facing the street, with small projecting hoods over a pair of windows. At ground level: another four windows; windows are generally timbered framed, tall rectangular and double hung. The main doorway is set on the corner, and contains a recessed pair of timber panelled doors with a small projecting decorative awning above the entry. Three marble lime steps lead to the entry porch.
The facade along Nymagee Street, is similar to that along Dandaloo Street with the addition of an aluminium window added at some later date.
The building appears to be in good condition. And well maintained generally. Date Condition Updated: 17 Oct 02
The Dubbo Liberal newspaper dated 8 January, 1898 carried the following information - “The Commercial Banking Company of Sydney has opened a branch at Narromine for the transaction of its usual business. Mr. Dunn, formerly of the Dubbo Branch, has been appointed Manager.
Narromine has been growing for some time past, and it is surprising a bank was not established there long ago.”
That same newspaper carried an ad which stated -
The Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Ltd.,
Capital £1,000,000, Reserve Fund £1,010,000.
A Branch of this bank has been opened at Narromine for the transaction of business.
M. Dunn, Manager. 3 January, 1898
Melanby Dunn wrote in 1936 -
“Narromine was the first branch opened since the financial crisis of 1893, when our Bank was temporarily closed from 15 May till 19 June of that year. So I was the first young man out of the barrier after that sad period of Australian finance, so far as the CBC was concerned.
The bank premises was a single room of what had been a small shop in Dandaloo Street. The balance of the building being occupied by Mrs. Dundas and family. She was a policeman’s widow - terrible conditions. The room was rented from Mr. William O’Neill for 10/- per week for 12 months with an option of renewal for a further 12 months.”
The work was hard and heavy. After about 6 months I asked for an assistant which Head office declined.
“The attainments of your branch do not warrant it,” wrote Mr. Michael Stirling Grant, then secretary at Head Office. “I was a fool to submit to the conditions, but I was young, ambitious and poor, and had to ‘fight.” Many decent youngsters later came to me there as assistants, and to all of them I owe some little debt for hard work and enthusiasm.
“Well, the bank’s wisdom in getting in first, into Narromine, has never been questioned. I built up a big business, partly owing to assistance from Mr. Holmes at Dubbo, but mainly because of the loyalty of the Narromine folk to their own ‘village’ or ‘town,’ as it later became, and my own very strenuous exertions. From 1893 till 1903 I went without what is now called a holiday. I was just contemplating a holiday before I left Dubbo in 1898 and put it off till 1903. The 1902 drought having intervened, when a great loss of money advanced seemed likely. There was, however, a great recovery in values and no money was lost. But in 1903 before the drought broke in April that year, I felt I must have a change so went to Tasmania with Royes Dunn, of “Tulwah Dowra.” Then on my return the drought broke. If that drought had not broken I think I would have. I have foolishly through life worried too much, very often about the affairs of others, and as my wife says - “It is always the Bank,” but the bank was my livelihood and my pride.
In 1910 I was ordered to proceed to Atherton, North Queensalnd, to open a branch there.”
Mr. Dunn’s memoirs were sent to us by his daughter, Lesley Roulston of Brisbane, in 1985. Mellanby Dunn married in October, 1912 , and died in Forbes in 1939. Unfortunately he never got around to finishing his life story.
If, as Mr. Dunn says, his first premises were with Mrs. Dundas, then her shop/dwelling in 1898/99 was in Dandaloo Street, Section 16, Lot 1, Subdivision 4, which is the present site of the M. & M. gift store on the eastern side of Dandaloo Street, beside the laneway.
Although the Municipal ratebook for 1898/1899 records the bank premises for the first time, and it has the bank on same site, or close by to where it is today. Dandaloo Street West, as it was called then, was not subdivided into Section and Lot numbers in these early years.
On 11 January, 1898 Head Office wrote to Mr. Dunn advising him -
“You may as desired rent another room of the cottage for a bedroom at a cost of 3/- per week making in all 13/- per week for rent of premises.”
On 12 February, 1898 Head Office again wrote to Mr. Dunn advising him - “The Board has increased your salary from £180 to £200 per annum, and have granted you a special Manager’s allowance of £25 per annum.”
On 17 June, 1898 Head office again wrote to Mr. Dunn stating -
“Re Premises: Referring to your letter of the 14th instant, as the site of your present premises is suitable, it might be well for you to endeavour to obtain from Mr. O’Neill proposals to lease to the Bank the whole of the building, he to render it suitable for our business, and get him to quote rent, and term of lease.”
On 20 June, 1898 William O’Neill wrote to Head Office and “enclosed a rough tracing and specifications of premises which should it be suitable, I can complete by January next. The building will be in every way equal to workmanship put in my own private residence.”
Is William O’Neill talking about his home which was on the present site of the United Services Club, or was the home he built on the corner of Nymagee & Dandaloo Streets south (present Post Office) built earlier than the Municipal Ratebooks record.
The rough specification says -
“Inside walls 12 ft high, outside walls 15 ft high, double roof, valley in centre, walls if required filled with sawdust keeps building cool in summer and warm in winter, in case of fire prevents flame rushing up between weather boards and lining building to be all wood except chimneys which are brick. C stands for chimney, w for windows, d for doors. Finished in first class style, lease 10 years, rental 27/6 per week, right of renewal at an agreed rental expiration of lease.
Can complete work by January, 1899. Will provide suitable premises for the bank business during erection next door. Bank to erect their own fittings.” (See rough plan attached).
O’Neill’s home, still in Nymagee Street, formerly on Post Office corner, had sawdust between the walls. But he may have been referring to his home which was on the present United Services Club.
The most amazing item in O’Neill rough sketch, and in another letter he wrote to the bank on 7 June, 1899, was his naming of Albany Street (not Nymagee Street as is now the case.)
On 8th June, 1899 the Bank wrote to Dunn and asked -
“When is Nymagee(?) Street to be continued westerly from Dandaloo Street, and who owns the corner immediately opposite the premises you occupy and next Kierath’s allotment in Dandaloo Street?
I take it the bank is referring to the Post Office corner, so had there been a house on the lot surely they would have mentioned it.
On 7th June, 1899 the following was written in a letter to CBC Head Office -
“Our present premises (wooden) narrowly escaped the conflagration in February last, although it occurred on the opposite side of the street. (Note - The Arcade fire).
I have it on good authority that the burglars who blew open a safe at Barlow & Co. (general storekeepers) came here for the purpose of operating on ours.....and while our premises remain as at present, the public cannot help feeling somewhat distrustful as to our defensive arrangements.
The Police force stationed in the town was eventually increased from one man to three.”
On 24 July, 1898 Head Office wrote -
“..the plans of the proposed building of which we approve except that we think the bedrooms are too small for your climate and should have 2 ft more thrown into them either one way or the other. We presume the walls are protected by verandahs tho the sketch does not show this.
As to the strong room door and counter which you say it is arranged we should provide we do not seem to have sanctioned this and as the former is an expensive item and a fixture we desire your explantion as to such an arrangement. We favor a cedar top and facing for the counter, but this may be erected as a movable fitting not a fixture, or provision made in the lease for its removal.”
In a later letter it seems the bank approved of the additions but stated the the whole of the counter need not be cedar only the top, the body and facing might be made of pine with some cedar mouldings.
In August the local manager for allowed £2 for removal of safe, books etc. to temporary premises while the new ones were being built.
On the 2nd January, 1900 the business transferred into a new wooden building with iron roof, containing seven rooms and a brick strongroom. These premises situated on the corner of Dandaloo and Nymagee Streets were specially erected for the bank by Mr. William O’Neill. Rental was £78 per annum. and the lease was for 5 years with an option of a further 5 years. The strongroom door was provided by the Bank.
On 9 January, 1900 a Head Office letter indicated the Manager and another officer were living in the premises. Mr. Dunn was a single man.
In September, 1900 Mr. Dunn was not given permission to connect the phone to the bank. Head office told him there were bigger branches than Narromine who did not have the phone connected.
In the same year the Bank was given permission and 5/- to alter all bank stamps from “Narramine” to “Narromine.”
In 1903 Mr. Allman was working at the bank with Mr. Dunn, and he was given permission by head office for two days leave to play cricket against the South Australian cricketers at Bathurst.
Other junior staff in the first years of the bank included Mr. Galloway (1903), relieving officer, H.B. Casey (1903, moved to Trangie 1904), Harry Stokes (1904), Kenneth Lindsay Scott (from Bathurst 1905, Stokes went to Trangie).
In November, 1905 Mr. Allman is to be married and will take over the premises occupied by Mr. Dunn, and will receive the relative allowance attached to the branch.
Mr. Douglas Vine Smith (1908), F.R.V. Fitzhardinge replaced Mr. D.V. Smith in 1909. In 1910 Mr. Lane was relieving the manager.
In April, 1910 permission was given for the landlord to add a kitchen 11 ft x 14 ft, a pantry, servant’s room 10 ft x 10 ft, and laundry 10 ft x 4 ft, with copper set in, floor the verandahs mentioned, and paint and renovate the premises in the manner suggested. For these additions the bank agreed to pay an additional rental of £20 p.a.
In November, 1910 William O’Neill sent a lease to the Head Office for 5 years from n November, 1910 at £105 p.a. with option of renewal for further term of 5 years.
Mr. Mellanby Dunn left Narromine in 1910, he had been involved in many organisations in Narromine from his time of arrival in 1898, and had been a keen cricketer.
Prior to 1912 when Narromine’s gold scales were forwarded to Cobar Branch, the Bank was a main centre for handling gold from the Tomingley mines.
On 30 August, 1913 the Bank purchased the premises from Mr. O’Neill for £1,200. In 1915 the wooden building was demolished and a two storied brick building containing banking chambers and residence was erected at a cost of £4,607. The strongroom door from the old building was used for the new strongroom. Mr. R. Hughes of Petersham was the contractor for the new building. These premises were occupied on 18 March, 1916.
Managers to date of merger with the National bank of Australasia Limited were -
1898 M. Dunn 1956 K.J. Mclean
1910 A.B. Cadell 1959 D.R. Anscombe
1924 D.F. Louche 1963 R.J. Gibson
1935 T.R. Farmer 1966 J.A. Williamson
1937 C.H. Headley 1970 L.P. Burns
1939 E.E. Peterswald 1976 G.D. Lawer
1946 T.A.Baker 1979 G.J. Roberts
1953 T.H. Honeyman 1982 Keith Scott
1981 sketch of early branch premises from Calendar May-June.
2002 photo by B.J. Hickson from NSW Heritage Office. The bank premises are now privately owned and rented by the National Bank of Australasia Ltd.