COMMUNITY Bank Trafalgar and District Bendigo Bank branch manager Phil Drummond retired recently.
Mr Drummond served the role of branch manager with distinction for a decade, following corporate roles with Baw Baw Shire, Narracan and Warrnambool councils.
As a community bank, where profits are distributed back into the local area, Mr Drummond said it was an honour to know the local branch had made a difference to Trafalgar and surrounding areas.
“It’s terrific, and that is why I chose to work here, my values are around community and always have been,” he said.
“I chose to come here simply because of the community focus of the bank rather than banking per se.”
Mr Drummond said it had been great to work with a number of local groups, and pointed to the refurbishment of the Trafalgar and Yarragon railway stations as particular highlights.
“We’ve done a lot with sporting clubs right across the region and a lot with schools,” he said.
“I think the most important thing from my perspective is whilst the sports community is really important to rural areas, the arts programs and things we’ve supported are also really important because they give people an opportunity who aren’t sporting minded to pursue other interests and we’ve been very focused on supporting art shows and performing arts programs with different groups over those years.”
The bank’s support of local organisations and people has been reciprocated by the community, something Mr Drummond said he was appreciative of.
“We’re very grateful to our customer base and the amount of business people are doing has been really strong,” he said.
“I’ve enjoyed that, people have benefited from that and the community at large which has been great.”
Mr Drummond came to Trafalgar in 1990, and said it was amazing to see how far things had come in that time.
“The town has grown an awful lot, subdivisions east and south. The most recent subdivision when I turned up was in Victory Court and Centenary Drive which is not the newest part of town by any means now,” he said.
“The book has grown here (at the bank) from just over $80 million to just on $180 (million) in the last 10 years so that is a substantial growth which is pleasing.”
The bank employs a number of local staff, and has orchestrated a number of initiatives to help locals including scholarships for young achievers.
Mr Drummond will be succeeded by Hill End resident Torina Johnston, who has been assistant branch manager at the Warragul Bendigo Bank for the last four years.
Moving into retirement, Mr Drummond is looking forward to travelling and spending more time with his wife.