#18 Old State Savings Bank Audio Script

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DW The State Savings Bank was established in 1842 as the Savings Bank of Port Phillip. It was legis- lated in 1912 as the State Savings Bank of Victoria when this charming little building was built, a stark contrast to the palatial Oriental Bank you saw back up Main Street. The SSB as it was known was absorbed into the Commonwealth Bank of Australia organisation when bad loans forced its col- lapse in the 1980s.
Local historian Val Wilson currently lives in the house formerly occupied by the bank manager. She takes up the story.
VW Many Victorian school students will remember Tuesday Bank Day when they took money to school to be recorded in their blue SSB bank books. This was to teach them the value of saving, a les- son which today’s older generation rarely forget. Many Victorians bought their homes through a State Bank loan.
When the bank was wound up many of us weren’t happy.
Subsequently the building was used by the Mornington Crime Investigation Unit. When they left, the building was used for a series of different businesses. For a long time it was an antique shop and the residence at the rear was rented out. And then it became a restaurant.
You will notice that the current restaurant’s careful restoration was recognised in the Heritage Awards jointly sponsored by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and theNational Trust of Victoria
The brick pillar which held the safe can still be seen inside, as can the [original ?]wooden floors. On a wintry day, the fireplace warms restaurant patrons as did it the Bank Manager for all those years.
DW From here, you might like to walk further along the Esplanade to Kirkpatrick’s and the Royal Hotel, then cross to Mornington Park where there are a number of things to see. There are informa- tion boards with details. Or you could enjoy the panoramic view from the clifftops, looking out over the Mornington Pier and Yacht club to Melbourne in the distance. Or walk up to the Schnapper Point headland to see the impressive memorial to Matthew Flinders.

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