West­pac banks on 145 years’ trade

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor - by Tony Rag­gatt tony. rag­gatt@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

MILE­STONE: The Bank of New South Wales in 1869 WEST­PAC will cel­e­brate 145 years of bank­ing in the Townsville district tonight with the launch of the re­fur­bished Flin­ders Mall branch.

Townsville busi­ness peo­ple will at­tend the cel­e­bra­tion be­ing held on the rooftop of the mall build­ing – one of four West­pac branches in Townsville em­ploy­ing a to­tal of 170 peo­ple.

Re­gional gen­eral man­ager North Queens­land, Re­tail a n d B u s i n e s s B a n k i n g , Sarah O’Brien said West­pac, which first served the com- mu­nity un­der its for­mer name of the Bank of New S o u t h Wa l e s , h a d s e e n Townsville transform from a small re­gional hub into the heart of Queens­land in­dus­try and com­merce.

She said the econ­omy was sup­ported by a di­verse range of in­dus­tries from farm­ing to tourism, ed­u­ca­tion, de­fence and min­ing.

‘‘ We’ve lived through the set­back of Cy­clone Yasi, al­ways re-in­vest­ing in our com­mu­nity as the first pri­or­ity,’’ Ms O’Brien said.

At the re­fur­bished branch, cus­tomers will be able to view a pic­to­rial his­tory and mem­o­ra­bilia such as early uni­forms and other icons from when the bank first opened in Townsville in 1866.

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