- News of the day
Fraud Alleged. Charters Towers Case.
Charters Towers, Thursday. - Albert James Leyshon appeared at the Police Court on a second charge of false pretences - that by representing to James Henry Cooke Carson, manager of the Bank of New South Wales, that he was possessed of stocks and shares in Winchcombe, Carson, Ltd., Fresh Food and Ice Co., and the Australian Bank of Commerce, which were in the hands of Steele and Hill, Sydney, for realisation, he obtained from a bank a sum of £1193 1s 5d, with intent to defraud. Leyshon was committed for trial to the Circuit Court at Charters Towers on May 17.
The former Australian Bank of Commerce is a substantial masonry building in classical revival style located in the business centre of Charters Towers. It was built in 1891 as the premises of the Australian Joint Stock Bank to the design of Queensland architect FDG Stanley during the boom years of the gold field.
The Australian Joint Stock Bank purchased land for a new building in 1884 and in 1889 approved the plans for a handsome new bank, but decided that their allotment was inadequate for the structure. They purchased another block from Burns, Philp & Co. in May 1890 for £3610. Tenders were called for the new building and that of J James for £4693 was accepted, though he defaulted and the building was completed by Messrs Wyatt & Gates.
The new bank building was designed by architect Francis Drummond Greville Stanley. He was a gifted and prolific Scotsman who had been the Queensland Colonial Architect between 1873 and 1881, and in 1888 became the inaugural president of the Queensland Institute of Architects. He had designed many large and prestigious public and commercial buildings, including a number of banks. The new premises opened in early 1892 with banking facilities including a gold room on the lower floor and accommodation for the manager above, a standard arrangement in regional banks.
Courtesy of Queensland Heritage Register