Commemorative mural unveiled

The last of five murals commissioned by the Eltham Community Development Group to mark the town's heritage was unveiled last week.

The mural on Bridge Street commemorates the Bank of New South Wales, which opened an agency in town in 1887. Two agents came all the way from Hawera, which would have been tough going when it rained, Eltham Community Development Group chairperson Stewart Wakeling said at the unveiling. The agency bought the site in 1905 and erected the building the mural is on in 1911. The name was changed to Westpac in 1982.

The bank closed in April 1999 and that September the Eltham Historical Society bought the building.

The building has a lot to tell. One tale, remembered on the memorial plaque for the mural, is of local lads who, in 1915, tunneled under the bank in an attempted robbery, but were discovered before they could break through the safe wall.

Artist Ben Barrett painted the mural.

- Stratford Press

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