Ararat’s Banking History Conserved at Langi Morgala Museum | The Ararat Advertiser

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A PART of Ararat’s banking history has been preserved for future generations through the efforts of two visitors to the Langi Morgala Museum. Debbie Squires and Teresa Collis, members of the East Gippsland Family History Group, scanned the original bank register from the Bank of New South Wales Ararat branch during a visit to the museum last week. Dating back to 1857, when the bank opened in a tent on the Ararat Goldfields, the ledger was the original used to record depositors’ signature specimens. The ledger was discovered in a vault at Westpac Bank in Ararat by manager Tony Hamann, who instead of sending it to the bank’s museum in Melbourne, donated it to the Ararat and District Historical Society. Company president Tammi Munro said the ledger was an extraordinary testament to Ararat’s early years. “The Bank of New South Wales was the first bank to open in Ararat, so most residents had an account with the bank,” Ms Munro said. “Their names and signatures are written in this register.” MORE NEWS: The ledger forms the centerpiece of a museum display case, alongside the original lock from the current Westpac building and old photographs of the bank from the past 165 years. The exhibit caught the attention of Mrs. Squires and Mrs. Collis while researching the family history in Ararat. “When Debbie offered to digitize the register, we jumped at the chance,” Ms Munro said. “The company doesn’t have access to scanning equipment, but after seeing how quickly Debbie scanned the entire newspaper, we’ve added a book scanner to the top of our wish list.” Ms Squires, who has been involved with heritage groups and projects for the past four decades, said the book reader was able to scan an entire book in 30 minutes and had become a treasure trove for the East Gippsland community . Members of the East Gippsland Family History Group are taking the machine ‘on the road’ to help preserve the history of their area. said Ms. Squires. . “As a result, a lot more people are now more aware of the need to scan important documents, but we still have elderly residents who are not aware of these things. “We can copy things for these people so that there is a record in case of another fire. or disaster strikes, while preserving our history for future generations.” While you’re with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Ararat Announcer. To ensure that you are up to date with all the news from across Ararat County, sign up here.