Opening the Commercial Bank in Gunning, 1881: Cheers to you, and cheers to you, and cheers for the cheers!

Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, Gunning. Photo via CBC Officers Club Inc website

(From our Correspondent.)

On Friday afternoon about twenty-five gentlemen met at the new premises of the Commercial Banking Company, invited by the manager, Mr. W. T. Busby. The gentlemen made a start to inspect the building, first viewing it from Yass-street, from where it presents a pleasing aspect, the private residence having a verandah running the full length of the building facing both Yass and Waratah streets. The whole is enclosed by a neat batten fence. On entering the building we first enter the hall, which is wide and lofty, being thirteen feet in height, as are also all the rooms. Six rooms in the private residence are gone through and are all found fitted with grates for coal-the three front ones fitted with handsome marble mantle-pieces. At the rear we find a kitchen fitted with a splendid cooking range, a pantry, two servants' rooms, a bath-room fitted with a large-bath, and a pump connected with a large underground tank, a wash-house fitted with a copper, a two-stalled stable, coach-house, and in fact everything that comfort and convenience requires. We next enter the room set apart for banking purposes, which is large; and well furnished. The strong-room here is the centre of attraction, being built of bricks and cement and hung with a massive iron door. 

Mr. Busby next asks those present to go to the counter, which was spread with a nice assortment of pastry, &c., supplied by Mrs. Lawliss. When all had partaken of the good things provided, Mr. Busby stated that it was now three years ago since he first wrote asking the company to build in Gunning both for his own convenience, and also that of his constituents; and although there had been much delay he rejoiced to see his efforts crowned with success by having the commodious building in which we now stand erected. He would ask all present to charge their glasses and drink "Success to the Commercial Banking Company. 

Mr. Saxby then asked for glasses to again be filled. It was now 36 years since he had carried on business in Gunning, and he was greatly inconvenienced for a long time on account of there being no bank in Gunning; he therefore wrote to the Commercial Banking Company, asking them to open a branch; but it was not before he told them he should write to another company.that they made a move in the matter. He then spoke of the manager, Mr. W. T. Busby, who he esteemed highly both as regards his business transactions, and also as a gentleman and fellow-citizen, and hoped he would long be spared to occupy his position as manager. He would now ask them to drink the health of the manager.

The toast was drank with much enthusiasm and musical honors. 

Mr. Busby thanked all present for the manner they had drank the toast, and said he should always endeavour to do his best for all his constituents. He would ask them to drink to the health of the contractors, Messrs. Dow and Hutchison, who had carried on their work almost without a fault, and had gained the esteem of all with whom they had come in contact with. He was sorry Mr. Hutchison was not present. 

The toast was drank heartily. 

Mr. Dow, in responding, stated that it was the first contract they had had in the colonies, only being twelve months since they landed; but that they had endeavoured to do their work well, and hoped they should build many, banks for the company. They had been kindly treated while in Gunning, and on behalf of Mr. Hutchison and himself, he thanked them for the kind manner they had drunk the toast. 

The company then dispersed, having spent a very pleasant afternoon, and thanking Mr. Busby for the kind reception he had given them.

The above article appeared on page 4 of the Goulburn Evening Penny Post on Tuesday 25 October 1881. View the original article on Trove.