Bank and Residence, 7 High Street, Willunga

The closure of the ANZ Bank in Willunga in 2012 brought an end to nearly 150 years of continuous banking activity in this building. It was originally a National Bank that opened in January 1866.

The building had a manager’s residence attached and was built by local builder John Richards (senior). It closed in 1895 after over 30 years of operation. Charles Oldham was manager at that time. His demise was sadly felt by the Wesleyan Methodists who presented him and his wife with an electro plated hot-water kettle suitably engraved, while Miss Esther Sadler, on behalf of the Sunday School, handed them a butter-dish!

A rival bank, the Bank of Adelaide, immediately stepped in to fill the gap and began a visiting banking service in the building under the supervision of Spencer Atkinson Hall and his clerk Mr. I. Isaacson. Starting in 1895 they came to Willunga on Tuesdays and Fridays, originally travelling from the Noarlunga Branch then from McLaren Vale from 1904. Business in Willunga improved considerably. In 1939 the bank became a full-time Branch of the Bank of Adelaide, with John Stacey appointed as the first Manager. He lived in the attached residence.

Many managers followed including Messrs. Taplin, Clare, MacGeorge, Tyler, Summerton, Hayes, Gasmier and Mudie. Until 1970 the office was very small and cramped. In early 1971 the banking chamber was considerably enlarged. Stone taken from the side of the old building was used to match the stonework of the existing facade. The Bank was highly commended for preserving the character of the building.

Following a corporate take-over in 1979 it became an ANZ Bank. In late 2012 the ANZ Bank closed the branch and business was transferred to the McLaren Vale Branch.

This building is on the City of Onkaparinga’s local heritage list (SA Heritage Places database #5478)

As you walk past, you notice the original cast iron frieze and bracketing on the front verandah.

References:

M P Vort-Ronald. South Australian Bank Branches: Vol 1: Bank of Adelaide. 2001 page 106.
1866 ‘Advertising‘, The Adelaide Express 23 February, p. 2. , viewed 03 Mar 2024,
1895 ‘Advertising‘, South Australian Chronicle 29 June, p. 4. , viewed 03 Mar 2024,

South Australian Register Tues 21 May 1895 page 6.

R W Gasmier article in Folder 42-17-26 at Willunga Courthouse Museum.

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