Well, there was no opportunity to secure an apprenticeship in my chosen field, so I looked for other job opportunities that might be available. The Commonwealth Bank was hiring staff and at reasonable rates of pay. (As I later found out, almost all of my former class mates also joined banks or insurance companies). I was initially assigned to Preston branch. Preston branch was one of the larger ones in the northern suburbs and at that time was fully mechanised with ledger machines. My initial duties were fairly basic, usually looking after the rubbish, counting money boxes, ensuring the all of the public space was neat and tidy, and filled with adequate stationary and working pens, as well as general dog’s body duties.
I enjoyed my time at Preston and it was not long before I was transferred to East Preston. This was a small branch with only three staff and a manager. A major culture shock was encountered at East Preston. Having learnt the processes with the latest ledger machines, every record at East Preston was hand recorded. Passbooks, ledger cards and balance sheets were all hand recorded and added. My training saw me elevated to teller and I enjoyed the interaction with the customers. I was apparently so good at customer relations, that I was asked to call on some of the older clients who had fallen behind in the mortgage payments. This was usually done on the way home after work, as I had, by this time purchased a car. I was subsequently transferred to Preston South which was a similar sized branch but with additional staff, as the branch handled the banking and payroll for a number of large manufacturing and wholesale businesses, including PANCH hospital.
I enjoyed my time at Preston South and somebody obviously saw my ability to adapt to job changes at short notice. I was transferred to Relieving Staff. This involved travel to all parts of the state to cover staff shortages due to illness or annual leave. I was later seconded to Staff Training section where I was again involved in travel all over the state to teach staff the new computer systems. During this time I married, and the bank transferred me to my nearest branch, Moonee Ponds. After a period as Lending Officer, I was transferred to Glenroy, where I was promoted to Officer in Charge of Meadow Fair sub-branch at the age of 24.
I would have to say that 1964 was most certainly the year that formed the foundation for my future business and corporate career.