Two hundred years is a long time in anyone’s books.
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It’s an especially long if you’ve been trading for that long as a company and on April 7 that is exactly what Westpac will be celebrating.
Historically the Cowra branch has been operating for 132 years with the official opening of the branch on March 21, 1885.
The decision to open a branch in Cowra was because of booming local conditions and the importance of the district as a leading agricultural and pastoral area.
At the time, resident J.H. Forbes, made all the preliminary arrangements for setting up and opening the branch, but G.S. Evans was appointed the first manager of the branch.
Mr Denis C.J. Donnelly, a local storekeeper and miller, was the branch’s first customer opening an account on March 23, he also assisted Mr Forbes in setting up the branch, leasing the original premises to the branch.
Contractor John Rathborne and Nelia Creek farmer Edmund Hogan were the two other opening account holders.
The branch moved twice once in 1886 to a buliding leased by Mr Alford and again in 1892 to a building leased from Mrs. Mary Anderson, before a purpose built premises was erected on land purchased by the bank in 1908 designed by architect Alfred Allen.
At the time the new building was described as described as, “a comfortable brick building…best site in Cowra. Central and suitable for requirements”.
Those who wish to learn more about the history of Cowra’s Westpac branch can do so Friday with displays on the banks history, a sausage sizzle and giveaways.
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