Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

05 October 2011

New Zealand Odyssey: The National Bank, Oamaru

'New Zealand Odyssey', published in 1989 by Heinemann, was authored by me, Don Donovan (who did the text and illustrations) and Euan Sarginson, who did the photography and design. In this series of blog posts, I will publish some of my drawings.

For sheer pomposity this pile takes the prize! In Oamaru, quite a small city even by New Zealand standards, the National Bank, built in 1871, breathes assurance to all of the surrounding citizenry. 'Give us your wealth. We'll keep it safe within these limestone Corinthian-capitalled pillars.'

It's glorious but I confess that I never looked beyond the fa├žade preferring to believe that the stone goes all the way round. That was in 1987-ish. I was in Oamaru in 2010 and the building is still there and, I believe, is still the National Bank.

What has changed is that it's no longer New Zealand owned, the ANZ bank from Australia now owns it. But it still sports the prancing black horse - the Lloyds TSB Bank of England horse - go figure!


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By Don Donovan