Just Jerilderie: Looking back on historic robberies

The time between Christmas and New Year was a wonderful opportunity for some to clean out offices, filing cabinets, and family memorabilia, not to mention wardrobe recycling, and re-purposing, with trips to the Op Shops.

Your correspondent had fun going through old scrap books dating back to the early 1970s, and found some gems among newspaper articles.

There were reports in great detail on the Ned Kelly Centenary celebrations in Jerilderie in February, 1979.

There are some photos of well-known local people looking very young and spry.

Other articles covered a couple of bank robberies in Jerilderie (separate to the Ned Kelly raid).

One was the Westpac Bank invasion in June, 1970, when the publicans of the then New Riverina Hotel, were notified by their permanent resident Mr Jack Monsant of a disturbance in the bank next door.

Licensees Graeme and Trevor Miller investigated, notified the local constabulary, and helped to bring the would-be thieves to justice. Shots were fired!

Another earlier incident in August 1964, was the hold-up of the ANZ Bank, which then had an adjoining residence.

The manager at the time, his wife, and son, and the then bank accountant and his wife, were locked in the strongroom for about five hours.

The robber let the accountant’s wife write a note to the milkman, which was left in a milk bottle (in the days when milk was delivered in glass bottles to your door every morning).

The local milkman was able to let the captives out around 5am, after he realised the note was not, in fact, a joke.

It should be noted that neither the Westpac nor ANZ Bank are still operating in Jerilderie.

The Westpac Bank was in the building now occupied by The Jerilderie Veterinary Clinic, and the ‘old’ ANZ Bank, with manager’s residence, has long since gone.

The ANZ Bank moved its business into a new building now occupied by Nutrien Ag Solutions, managed by Ted Nugent, before closing its services to the town, a few years ago.

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Last year’s abundant rains may have caused some havoc with crops, but gardens have thrived, increasing and multiplying with gay abandon.

Neila and ‘Butch’ Price have an Illawarra flame tree in their garden, which a friend from that area gave them many years ago.

Neila said it had not flowered for 42 years until recently when it suddenly burst into bloom, much to the delight of the family.

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Wayne Neilson has been raising money for the McGrath Foundation since November, and will be losing his hair today at 3.30pm for the cause.

Wayne’s wife Jenny also entered the fundraising, at a later date, with a promise of extra sponsorship if she coloured her hair pink.

Jenny is now sporting a pinkish hairdo and the funds have increased accordingly.

Donations may still be made to the McGrath Foundation, and thanks have been expressed to all donors who have contributed so far.

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Sympathy is expressed to Sandra Parker and all the family of Des Parker, who died at Berrigan on December 29, at the age of 88.

A graveside service was held for Des at the Jerilderie Lawn Cemetery yesterday.

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Sympathy is also sent to Rita Chen and her family, following the recent sudden death of Rita’s father, in China.

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Lastly, a big cheerio to Nina Zampin who is recovering from surgery in Melbourne.

We wish Nina a speedy recovery.

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