Historical information

This Bank Manager’s Diary is one of a set of five Bank of Australasia, Warrnambool branch, diaries that span the years 1895 to 1899. A Butt was Manager from 1895-1904 and J R McCleary was Accountant and Acting Manager for 12 months, until 1900. Either or both of these men could have filled in the bank’s Diary.

Each of the diaries in the set was manufactured by the famous Melbourne stationers, Sands & Mc Dougall Limited. The business was established as a printing partnership in 1851 by John Sands and his brother-in-law Thomas Kenny, and in 1860 Dugald McDougal joined them. The firm was re-named Sands & McDougall a year later after Kenny retired. The company was renowned as stationers, booksellers, printers and account book manufacturers and by the 1870s was one of the largest businesses in Australia.

The Bank of Australasia was incorporated by Royal Charter of England in March 1834. It had its Australian beginning on 14th December 1835, opening in Sydney. The Acting Superintendent of the bank at that time was David Charters McArthur. He was Superintendent from 1867 to 1876. The Melbourne branch opened on 28th August 1838 in a two-roomed brick cottage on the north side of Little Collins Street. By 1879 the bank had been upgraded to a magnificent two-storey building on the corners of Collins and Queens Streets, with the entry on Collins Street In 1951 the Bank of Australasia amalgamated with the Union Bank to form the Australia and New Zealand Bank, now known as the ANZ. Then in 1970, the ANZ merged with both the ES&A and the London Bank of Australia to form the ANZ Banking Group Limited. The ANZ Banking Group Ltd kindly donated a variety of historic items from the Bank of Australasia.


In 1854 Warrnambool had two banks, the Union Bank and the Bank of Australasia. Later, completely different bank businesses opened; in 1867 the National Bank of Australasia, then in 1875 the Colonial Bank of Australasia. The original Warrnambool branch of the Bank of Australasia was established in July 1854, and operated from a leased cottage on Merri Street, close to Liebig Street. The bank next bought a stone building previously erected by drapers Cramond & Dickson on the corner of Timor and Gibson Streets. Samuel Hannaford was a teller and then Manager at the Warrnambool branch from 1855 to 1856 and the Warrnambool Council chose that bank for its dealings during 1856-57. In 1859 Roberts & Co. was awarded the contract to build the new Bank of Australasia branch for the sum of £3,000; the firm built the Warrnambool Post Office in 1856 and purchased land in Timor Street in 1858.

The land was on a sand hill on the northeast corner of Timor and Kepler Streets and had been bought in 1855 by investor James Cust. The new building opened on May 21, 1860. The bank continued to operate there until 1951 when it merged with the Union Bank to form the ANZ Bank, which continued operating from its Liebig Street building. Warrnambool City Council purchased the former Bank of Australasia building in 1971 and renovated it, then on 3rd December 1973 it was officially opened as the Art Gallery by Cr. Harold Stephenson and Gallery Director John Welsh. The Gallery transferred to the purpose-built building in Liebig Street in 1986 and the old bank building is now the Gallery club.

Staff at the Bank of Australasia in Warrnambool included the following men but others were also involved: Samuel Hannaford, Teller then Manager from 1855-1856; Hawkins, Manager in 1856, W H Palmer, Manager from January 1857 until November 1869 when the Teller Basil Spence was promoted to Manager; H B Chomley, Manager from April 1873 and still there in 1886; A Butt, Manager in 1895-1904; J R McCleary Accountant and Acting Manager for 12 months, until 1900; A Kirk, Manager 1904; J Moore, staff until his transfer to Bendigo in December 1908; J S Bath was Manager until 1915; C C Cox, Manager until April 1923; Richard C Stanley, Manager 1923 to April 1928.


The set of diaries has significance through its association with the Bank of Australasia. The early Australian bank was established in 1834 by Royal Charter and opened in Sydney, Australia, in Sydney in 1835. The bank had many Australian offices in November 1877, particularly on the east and south coasts. Victoria had 45 per cent of all Offices.

The set of diaries is locally significant for its association with the Warrnambool Bank of Australasia, which was established in 1854. It was Warrnambool Council’s first bank. The bank continued to operate until the organisation's merger in 1951 when it became the ANZ Bank Group today. The Bank was an integral part of the growth of local commerce and the community.

Physical description

Bank Manager's Diary, 1896. One of a set of five diaries of the Bank of Australasia, Warrnambool, from 1885 to 1899. Printed label attached on front endpaper. Manufactured by Sands McDougall Limited, Melbourne.

Inscriptions & markings

Printed on spine "DIARY / 1896"
Printed on label in blue ink "NO a 41969 Date 3 7 1895/ Sands & McDougall Limited / Manufacturing Stationers / 365 Collins Street / Melbourne" "IN RE-ORDERING THIS BOOK IT IS NECESSARY THE NO. & DATE ONLY"