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27 November 2019
By Colin MacGillivray
About 200 Dimboola residents celebrated a piece of the town’s heritage with a photographic recreation of the opening of the National Bank of Australasia.
The bank building was officially opened in 1909 and celebrated its 110th anniversary this year.
Since it stopped operating as a bank the building has been a private residence. Chan Uoy bought the property in April.
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Mr Uoy said he was immediately drawn to the building’s heritage architecture and wanted to make it a point of pride in the town.
“With the loss of the Dimboola Hotel across the road – which everyone said was a fantastic, majestic building – I sensed there was a bit of sadness and sense of loss in terms of heritage,” he said.
“I bought the bank because I love heritage and architecture.
“I’m restoring the vault and I want to be able to share this space with the community and tourists as they come through, because it has been shut up.
“I had families come through for Halloween and they remarked that they had lived there for 16 years and had never experienced the inside of the bank before.”
Mr Uoy said upon joining Dimboola and District Historical Society he came across a photograph of the building’s opening, and immediately began thinking about recreating the occasion.
“It’s a fantastic photo – about 250 men were in all the windows upstairs, downstairs and in front of the building,” he said.
“They’re all in suits and bowler hats, so it’s a striking picture.
“I spoke to people about reproducing that picture and they all said it was a fantastic idea. We decided to do a re-enactment of the photo shoot, but we wanted to get women and children and some of the local Aboriginal people involved as well to represent Dimboola in 2019.”
Mr Uoy said about 200 helped recreate the photo.
“There has been a lot of curiosity and support from people who want the bank building to be part of their community again,” he said.
“This confirms how important heritage is to the people of Dimboola.
“It’s been a really interesting community experience.”
The entire November 27, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire November 27, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!