Beryl Jean ABERNETHY (24/5/2013)
John Beer advised the following was in the Sydney Morning Herald on 27 May 2013:
ABERNETHY, Beryl Jean (nee Thorsby). 20.09.1918 - 24.05.2013
Died peacefully at Brookfield Village, Brookfield, Queensland. (Formerly of Epping NSW)
Loving wife of Bob (decd). Much loved mother of John and Myra and mother-in-law of Kathleen and Roger. Loving grand- mother of Duncan, Matthew, James, Laird and Daniel. And great-grand- mother of their children.
A gentle, caring woman.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Alzheimers Australia would be appreciated and can be left with the Funeral Director at the service.
John "Jack" ALPEN (15/5/2006)
John Searle was unable to fulfil his hopes of attending the June function, but wishes to record the following:
Our paths crossed at an early date, without either of us knowing the other. Gladys and I were married at Parkes, and the Reception was held at the home of an Uncle of hers. In those far off days (1948), a means of communication, called Telegrams, was frequently used to convey good wishes to the Bride and Groom. Some of my friends knew I was in the CBC Bank, and that I was being married in Parkes, and they sent Telegrams - c/ CBC Bank. John Alpen was then Accountant at Parkes Branch, and he knew Gladys’ Uncle, and was aware of the Nuptial Occasion . He obliged by delivering the Telegrams to the Uncle’s address, but we didn’t meet.
It was not until about 1956 I think, that we did meet when I was Manager at Tottenham. John, by then 2 I/C CBC Savings Bank, was visiting Branches to see how we were handling this new fangled form of Banking. Later, some will remember, he succeeded Don McClymont as Savings Bank supremo, in which period he earned the nickname of “Mr Skippy”, because of the style of Money Boxes introduced then.
From that time at Tottenham, John took a close interest in my movements, but we did not work together until John succeeded Alan Bamford as Chief Manager in Victoria, and, from Manager Melbourne Office, I became his Assistant. In a recent Newsletter Noel Smith recalled his time in Melbourne with the two of us.
From Melbourne I went to London, where Jack, having retired, and Barbara visited us. After our return to Australia, we were able to keep in touch, and we have happy memories of visiting them when they lived at Newport, and later at Bayview Gardens Retirement Village. Later, after Barbara’s death, I can recall John giving us a report of the Olympic Games in Barcelona, to which he had made a special trip, because a Grandson was a member of the “Awesome Foursome”. John and his son, George, built a home at Byron Bay, designed with a separate area for John, where I was able to visit him – by then I had retired, and Gladys and I visited the North Coast twice a year. to see a Brother and Sister of mine. John later moved to Queanbeyan to be near other Family, but unfortunately our communications after that were by telephone only.
I’m sure that many Officers of my vintage will have happy memories of “Mr Skippy” – John, or Jack, as he was known to many.
Kevin Meyer advised that John's death notice was in the Sydney Morning Herald on 16th May. He died in Canberra, where his funeral service is to be held. He was born on 31/10/1912.
Richard Nott emailed:
I worked in Savings Bank Administration for about three months in 1967. Jack as Savings Bank head ran a tight ship. One day he came down to me in an agitated state and when nearby personnel hit the ground as if a Mills bomb was to explode I knew I was in for something. He asked why I had appointed an agent at Fairy Meadow as I had no authority to approve such a request. I replied that I believed it to be fairly insignificant and suggested that he confirm it.He explained that he couldn't and only Roger Cavan the General Manager of the bank could. "You're kidding !" I retorted and added " But you're the head of the Savings Bank managing millions of bond holdings, how come you can't control such a small operational issue ?" I had obviously touched a raw nerve but I think my behaviour was mitigated by empathy with the situation. Some months later he asked me to help him out with a delay in getting the School Savings Bank system set up in the ACT and I was pleased to help him. We then both went to Canberra to ensure they system was in place and every branch knew what was happening. Barry Ward the ACT Chief Manager and John Culf the Asst Chief Manager met us in the Bank car at the airport. Barry bounded out at first stop to open the door. At the next stop Culfy bounded out and at the third stop I opened the door and retained the role. Coming home, looking over his half moon glasses Jack gave a wry smile and said he was glad to notice that I had quickly learned my pecking order in the transport role. The half moon glasses surfaced again the next week.I was at the Wahroonga tip and saw an identical pair on the rubbish and took them home.Fred Vogelmann, the Assistant Savings Bank Chief Manager was scared to death of Jack, so I snuck into Fred's office early on Monday morning and put the glasses under Fred's chair in the hope that when he heard the crunch and saw the outcome he would have had a severe tummy contraction ! I never heard what happened.Another day Jack noticed me somewhat reflective and I told him I was not popular at home for spending the $300 of carpet money we had saved by buying Vam shares that had dropped from $4.00 to $1.50. A week later he came up and told me he had had my housing loan extended by $300 to cover the carpet. This was the best unsolicited gift I ever received and that unexpected act endeared him to me. About ten years ago I was completing some insurance work with his son George and Jack invited me to lunch. It was a great day, mainly because I had a chance to tell him about the Fred Vogelmann story and to tell him how much the $300 meant in restoring my grace at home. I held him in the highest personal regard and was pleased to see him achieve a senior management role in the bank as he was one of the best technicians and brains that I had the pleasure to work with. His gruff front was largely that and he was a wonderful compassionate manager. Sadness is a price of affection, and I am saddened by his passing
Kerri Kleidon of the NAB Queensland Retirees' Newsletter advised in their February 2006 issue that George has passed away. She says he apparently worked at Lismore many moons ago.
George in 1969-70 was working in Brisbane Office Accountants Office and had a home in Brisbane and used to welcome people to stay there till they arranged other accommodation (e.g. John Beer stayed there initially after being allocated Audit Clerk in Queensland for 6 months from January 1970.)
John AUSTEN (10/9/2007)
Des Akers advised: There is some sad news that John Austen passed away yesterday after suffering a stroke from which he never recovered. As far as I know, John spent almost his entire career here in Victoria. I knew John when we were both Assistant Managers at Melbourne Office about the time of the merger. I also got to know John and his wife Norma in Adelaide where he was a branch manager. He was 74 years of age.