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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]



The history of banking in Marlborough dates back to 1860, when a branch office of the Bank of New Zealand was opened at Picton, under the management of Mr. Bridges. An agency was also opened at Blenheim, but in 1865, when the seat of Government was removed from Picton to Blenheim, the chief branch of the bank was also transferred to the capital. There are now three banking houses transacting business in Blenheim; namely, the Bank of New Zealand, the National Bank of New Zealand, and the Bank of New South Wales. On page 84 of this volume some information is given concerning the operations of the banks doing business in New Zealand during the year 1904. A large amount of business is also transacted through the Post Office Savings Bank. For the three months which ended the 30th of June, 1905, the money deposited in the savings banks of the colony amounted to £I,705,218, and the withdrawals to £I,582,604. Of these amounts, the eight savings banks in the Blenheim district received £33,691 75 in deposits, and paid out £26,164 12s 7d in withdrawals. The excess of deposits over withdrawals—£7,526 14s 5d— was, with the exception of the four chief cities, and Invercargill and Nelson, greater than in any other district in the colony.

The Bank of New South Wales opened a branch in Blenheim in September, 1884, and at first it had premises in High Street. Its present building was completed in the early part of October, 1903. It is of brick and plaster, two stories in height, and stands at the corner of Market Street South and Charles Street. The bank occupies only a portion of the ground floor, and the remainder of the building is let to tenants. Mr. McFarlane was the first manager of the branch, and Messrs R. C. Tennent, E. J. S. Eckford, and R. W. Jenkins have been his successors.

Mr. Richard W. Jenkins joined the Bank of New South Wales in 1869, was transferred to Blenheim, in September, 1890, and has since remained in charge of the branch.

Bank of New Zealand , Market Place, Blenheim. This is an imposing two-storey concrete building, situated at the corner of High Street, and facing Market Place, and was erected in lieu of the one destroyed by fire on the 1st of November, 1876. The manager's residence also forms part of the building, and the ground at the back is tastefully laid out. The public office is handsomely finished and decorated, and the manager's room is comfortably furnished. There is an agency at Picton, which is controlled by the Blenheim manager, and the institution has clients in all parts of the district. Six officers are employed; and Mr. A E. Mills is the present (1905) manager.

National Bank of New Zealand , Market Place, Blenheim. The Blenheim branch of the National Bank of New Zealand page 338 was opened in 1873 by Mr. William White, in temporary premises at the corner of Grove Road, near the present Omaka Bridge. It was afterwards removed to Market Place, adjoining the present site, which was purchased from the Government Insurance Department in 1890. The bank has clients in all parts of the Marlborough district, including Kekerangu, Havelock, and all through the Pelorus Valley and Sounds. There is a staff of four officers, and Mr. J. G. Wolferstan is the manager.

Mr. James William Black , who is now accountant at the National Bank, Invercargill, was formerly Acting Manager of the National Bank, Blenheim, where he was appointed in 1897, and for three years previously had acted as accountant. He is a son of the late Mr. William Black, at one time manager of the National Bank, Nelson. Mr. Black was born in the South of France, and educated at the Melbourne Grammar School. He came to New Zealand in 1870, and joined the National Bank at Nelson two years later. He has been stationed at Dunodin, Napier, Wellington, Greymouth and Lyell, and was accountant at Reefton before removing to Blenheim. Mr. Black takes a keen interest in boating and other local sports.

Blenheim Rifle Corps: Training Camp, 1905. See page 322.

Blenheim Rifle Corps: Training Camp, 1905. See page 322.