Bank Security

Security in the Bank fifty, sixty years ago in one respect was a joke. Sure we were armed, but no attention was given to the condition of the revolvers our principal arm. Generally they were in poor condition, dirty, and in one case I found the revolver fully loaded, with a live round under the hammer. Not a good idea, as the cartridge had been deeply etched with a dent on the primer where the firing pin had been resting. I knew from my Service experience that this was not safe a practice. One friend during the War threw his webbing onto the back of a truck and as a result of this, his .38 fired, hitting him in the mouth and exited on the side of his spine missing all of his vital body parts on it’s travel. However it blew him out of the War and the sky, as his flying days were now over. He carried a constant reminder with his missing upper teeth and part of the roof of his mouth. One problem in the Bank was when we went out to Agencies we were not supervised. The young male staff couldn’t leave the pistols alone, they were always practicing ‘Fast Draws’ and other cowboy tricks. It had to happen, and one young Junior accidentally loosed of a round which ricocheted around the Bank missing all other employees.


I replaced the spent round, and seeing it had missed everyone in the Agency, considered it more prudent just to forget the whole incident, and not start a witch hunt.


We at this time we shipped very large sums of money all via the normal Postal Service. The parcels were registered, and insured, but only wrapped in brown paper, or a locked canvas sack. At one time they were sewn into calico, but this practice fell by the wayside, and was soon forgotten. Currency parcels would contain up to $50,000 which would be in today’s value, ten times that. Coin was generally shipped by Rail or Bus, in lots of five $100 canvas bags, all contained in a recycled ammunition containers. No special care was given to these boxes. I can remember one day I sent a couple of bright lads down to the Reserve Bank Depot for a very large coin order. On their return I said ‘You are one bag short.’ ‘Go and search the taxi again’. No joy there. They then returned to the Depot, lying in the street in plain sight was their missing money with the passing public stepping over it. What an honest bunch we all were in those days.

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