Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CBC, Fortitude Valley

Back in 1834, a new bank started up in Sydney, joining the two existing banks - Bank of New South Wales and Bank of Australia. The new bank was to be known as the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney. None of these banks exist today, except that Bank of New South Wales changed its name to Westpac Banking Corporation and still operates under that new name. The CBC of Sydney became one of the larger banks through until its merger with National Australia Bank in 1982. When I was working at AMP, the CBC was the bank my employer used, and I had associations with various branches - Maryborough, where I worked for six months, and Mount Isa (two years). Then, when I was back in Brisbane as the AMP Cashier, I had to transport the day's receipts to the bank's Queensland Head Office which used to be on the north-eastern corner of Queen and Creek Streets. Back in those days, banks used to be keen on owning their own premises, unlike today, where the preference is not to have those assets, with leasing being better for the bottom line. Today's picture shows the CBC branch at Fortitude Valley, on the corner of Brunswick St and Ann St. The photo was taken in 1954, and the building is all dressed up for the visit of the new Queen.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; # 189945)

The Valley has moved on from its days as one of Brisbane's retail centres, and now the focus is more on entertainment - pubs, nightclubs and markets. The Valley Markets were in full swing on the day I visited the old CBC premises at the top of the mall. In keeping with the current trends in the neighbourhood, the building has been restyled as the Bank Vault lounge. Live entertainment, drinks and food are now the currency here.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

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Next: Two to the Valley

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