Port Fairy banks on community support as new branch opens

Port Fairy community bank’s Ralph Leutton, Ashley King and Peter Langley celebrate the opening.

Port Fairy community bank’s Ralph Leutton, Ashley King and Peter Langley celebrate the opening.

EIGHT community groups are the early beneficiaries of Port Fairy’s new Bendigo Bank, following the official opening of the establishment yesterday.

In what was coined as “just the beginning” for the new financial institution, it didn’t waste any time showcasing its willingness to give back to the town, handing out seven $500 cheques and one $1000 cheque.

Child Care Action Group, Community House, St Brigid’s Crossley Hall, Yambuk Community Corporated, Port Fairy Hospital Auxiliary, Port Fairy Agricultural, Pastoral & Horticultural Society and Port Fairy Sea Scouts were all given $500, while the Port Fairy Winter Weekend’s Dachshund Dash was allocated $1000.

It was a sign of what’s to come for the Port Fairy community according to one of the bank’s directors Ralph Leutton, who spoke at Port Fairy’s Reardon Theatre yesterday.

“This is an example of what it’s all about,” he said.

It’s been a long time in the making to get to this point.

On the steps of the new bank read the words: “Our mission — to serve the community and support the community”.

It seems fitting that Port Fairy now has a bank on Bank Street and it won’t be long before the community starts reaping the rewards of its investment.

“Many community banks take two or three years to get into profit. I reckon we’ll be in profit within 12 months,” said Mr Leutton.

Directors, supporters and pupils from St Patrick’s and Port Fairy Consolidated primary schools packed out the Reardon Theatre where they cut a cake, unveiled the bank’s plaque and enjoyed a sausage sizzle and cuppa to celebrate.

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