|1932 October 24 CBC first opened in Woodenbong in premises occupied by Mr. S.W. Reid, Auctioneer, in Unumgar Street. November 5 Mr. H.A. Oliver was appointed manager.|
1932 November CBC moved into premises in the building formerly occupied by Mr. L. Kirkmaster when he first went into the grocery business.
1933 H. Oliver was unable to to persuade either bank management or a private individual to erect a new building, so he purchased land for £45 and erected a building at a cost of £650. He rented the premises to the bank for 13 years before selling out to the Bank.
1933 Mr. H.K. Knox was appointed manager.
1934 Listed in Century of Banking
1937 Mr. C.W. McLaren manager through the war years.
NAB photo 11/05 by Geoff Chapman
Ian S Watts stated in 2005 : "Woodenbong, my second managerial Branch, was built by the then Branch Manager for six hundred pounds. If I remember correctly, he built it because the Bank would not, and he felt the future prospects of the Branch were good. Oddly this was my second visit to Woodenbong, as I was the Junior on the staff when I was called up by the RAAF for war service in May, 1943. When my family and I arrived the next time, the residence was in a very poor state. Following representations and a visit by the Bank architect, major renovations were carried out. Although isolated, Woodenbong is situated in breathtaking mountain scenery. The one drawback, winding hilly roads, whichever way you travelled.
2008 - photocopies of all the black & white photos at left, together with the following article from a book produced by the School were provided by Ray Smith.
The first permanent bank in Woodenbong opened on October 24,1932, in premises occupied by Mr. S. W. Reid, auctioneer, in Unumgar Street. This was the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney. Prior to this, a biweekly agency had been conducted in Woodenbong by the Queensland National Bank, Urbenville Branch. It seems that the Bank of New South Wales had intended to open a branch in Woodenbong but was beaten to the punch by the C.B.C. by just one week. As a result, the Bank of New South Wales cancelled its planned opening.
A month after opening its branch in Mr. Reid's office, the C.B.C. moved into new premises. These were in the building formerly occupied by Mr. L. Kirkmaster when he first went into the grocery business, prior to purchasing Mr. Sketchley's old store. On November 5, 1932, Mr. H. A. Oliver was appointed as Woodenbong's first permanent bank manager. He was unhappy with the banks premises, which he considered totally unsuitable for banking purposes. However, no other more suitable premises were available in the village and Mr. Oliver was unable to persuade either the C.B.C. management or a private individual to erect a new building. As a consequence, he decided to build one himself. The result was the bank building currently occupied by the National Australia Bank in McPherson Street, directly opposite the site of the former bank in Mr. Kirkmaster's old store.
Mr. Oliver purchased the land for the new bank for 45 pounds and erected the building, containing a main office, manager's office, lounge, dining room, breakfast room, three bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, laundry and garage, at a cost of 650 pounds. In more recent years, the original building has been extended. Mr. Oliver rented the premises to the bank for thirteen years before finally selling out to them. Despite his significant contribution to the village, Mr. Oliver remained as bank manager in Woodenbong for just one year. In 1933 he was succeeded by Mr. H. K. Knox, who served till 1937, and then Mr. C. W. McLaren, who held the position through the war years.
Mr. Oliver later wrote of his days in Woodenbong in the early 1930's. At the time, the village population was just one hundred and twenty.
"It was an adventure to take out a car. Cars then bogged in the track in front of the bank (McPherson Street), so I bought a horse, saddle and bridle and searched out business on horseback. I think Woodenbong would be the last N.S.W. branch to draw forage allowance."
There are two photos of the 1932 branch in McPherson Street, the first of the actual branch with Reg Shane (Teller) and Mr. Olvier (Manager) in front of the old bank in Kirkmaster's ex store and the second of the street with the branch visible at far left.
Next photo is of the Hotel Woodenbong before the fire, followed by photo of extensions being carried out to the bank in 1952 then a photo of the bank after the renovations.
Lindsay Lodge Guest House, the last of the black & white photos, is where all Bank staff lived, including Ken Ryan, Max Vardy and Bill Wardell amongst others.
The bank was largely unchanged when Geoff Chapman took his colour photo in 2005.
2018 May article forwarded by John Beer:
Bank explains why it's closing this Northern Rivers branch by Susanna Freymark 23rd May 2018 4:28 PM | Updated: 24th May 2018 1:00 PM
UPDATE, Thursday 1pm: NAB has responded to residents' concerns about the closure of the Woodenbong branch.
A spokesperson for the bank said: "In Woodenbong, the way our customers are banking has changed dramatically over time.
"Almost 82 per cent of our customers who do their banking at Woodenbong also use other branches including Kyogle.
"Branches will play an important role in banking for many years to come, but with customers changing how they are banking, we will be closing NAB's branch in Woodenbong on May 30, 2018 .
"NAB customers are still able to do their banking in person using Bank@Post services at their local post office."
Original story: At the end of this month, the National Australia Bank branch at Woodenbong will close.
From May 30, residents will have to travel to alternates branches.
That's 60km to the Kyogle branch or 70km to Beaudesert across the border.
Woodenbong correspondent Joyce Marsh said it would be a dark day when the NAB closed, leaving the Woodenbong area without any bank.
"For dinosaurs like me who have grown so used to the staff who were not only problem solvers, with great patience and understanding, but they unfailingly led us through the intricate changes in banking, making sure we fully comprehended the procedures," Ms Marsh said.
"They have always willingly extended personal friendship to us. Gone are the days of first name basis."
NAB was contacted five days ago for a statement but none was forthcoming.
Woodenbong Post Office banking facilities will continue to be available.