Extreme Emergency Causing Notice – Kapunda – South Australia
|Lord Palmerston Hotel - Main Street Kapunda|
During World War Two, the Japanese military had spread it's army across Asia, marching towards Australia with a ferocity never before witnessed in modern warfare. city after city fell to the Empire as they moved ever southwards. Singapore fell, and soon Australian soldiers were fighting even closer to their Island, and the threat of coastal invasion became much more real and terrifying.
By 1942 however, the tide was beginning to turn, and it was now the Japanese who were beginning to worry, so much so in fact that they began to evacuate their own people from possible invasion points by moving them to their furthest north Island of Hokkaido.
If the Japanese had of made it ashore and invaded Australia, the South Australian Government had devised a plan that would come into action if an “extreme emergency causing notice” had to be served, which would demand all banks in South Australia in metropolitan areas would have to transfer their head office, or State headquarters, if the banks head office was interstate, into country regional areas as a means of isolating them and making them harder to capture before important documents could be destroyed.
|Bank of Adelaide - 1907 - Kapunda|
The clearing house for Associated Banks in South Australia was to find its new home in Burra, where several of the States banks were already represented, these being the Bank of Australia, The National Bank of Australasia Ltd, and the Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd.
Banks that were choosing to station their headquarters in other towns, would also have to have a representative stationed in Burra to change their cheques through the clearing house.
Other banks were choosing other regional areas, the Bank of Adelaide made plans for its administration to work from Saddleworth whilst the Adelaide office would be moved to Kapunda, the headquarters to Balaklava and its Port Adelaide, Hindmarsh and Rundle Street branches would all be moved to Angaston in the Barossa Valley.
|English, Scottish and Australia Chartered Bank - Kapunda 1871|
The Bank Of Adelaide also made plans to move its Enfield, Keswick and Unley branches to Freeling, whilst its Hindley Street, Pultney Street and Gouger Street branches were to go even further north to Spalding, and the office on North Terrace to Booborowie!
The English, Scottish and Australian Bank Ltd was looking towards Clare, while the Head Office of Sydney based bank the Commercial Banking company of Sydney Ltd, was looking to go south to Naracoorte. The Commonwealth Bank made moves for Waikerie, and our very own State Bank had chosen Yacka as its escape plan.
The Savings Bank of South Australia chose Kapunda, and made moves to secure buildings in the town, one being the former Baptist Church on Hill street (now the Kapunda Museum) of which the basement, measuring 60ft by 40ft, and having two stair wells was considered extremely valuable to the bank, but they also needed somewhere to use as accommodation for the staff they would need to move the former copper mining town.
The bank also purchased the once grand Lord Palmerston Hotel which was situated in the main street of the town, and after service as a hotel, and horse sales yards, became the Kapunda Coffee Palace before falling into a state of disuse and neglect.
|Kapunda's Main Street circa 1880|
The Hotel, on the ground floor had a bar, dining room, four other rooms and a kitchen, and on the first floor another 11 rooms that could be used as bedrooms, more than ample for the staffs requirements if ever the move had to take place.
Fortunately for South Australia the Japanese never got this far, and an “extreme emergency causing notice” never had to be served.