Bondi pub drinkers rally for war bonds


margo lee royal surrey hotel bondi junction 1943

STAGE AND RADIO ACTRESS Margo Lee collecting applications and money for war bonds in the public bar of the Royal Surrey Hotel, Bondi Junction, Sydney. She is assisted by the licensee, Bill Wright (left). Bonds totalling £1500 were sold.

Royal Surrey Hotel Bondi 1949 ANU

The Royal Surrey during the war years. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

colin patterson astra hotel bondi junction 1943

IN THE BAR of the Astra Hotel, Colin Patterson (right) invests £50 in the loan. Top left at microphone is the president of the Eastern Suburbs branch of the RSL, Les Oliver, and bottom left the manager of the Bank of New South Wales, Bondi, Paul Timmins.

The sale of war bonds was a significant aspect of the Australian home front during the Second World War.

Administered by the Commonwealth War Loan Office, the war loans scheme encouraged Australians to buy war bonds which would mature with interest after the war.

A total of 12 major Government war loans, variously called Liberty, Austerity, Special or Victory loans were offered to the Australian public during the Second World War.

The Fourth Liberty Loan with the slogan ‘”Back the Attack!” was launched by Prime Minister John Curtin on the night of October 4 1943 in the Sydney Town Hall.

The target of the loan was one hundred and twenty five million pounds and 750,000 subscribers. 

On Saturday November 6 1943, three days before the closure of the Fourth Liberty Loan, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported:

RALLIES in the bars of two Bondi hotels yesterday raised £8750 for the Fourth Liberty Loan.

The money was subscribed in 15 minutes.

At the Astra Hotel, Bondi Beach, the licensee (Mr. A. W. Oldfield) started the rally by investing £1000.

Crowds waving banknotes gathered round a table placed in the bar for Loan officials.

Manager of the Bank of NSW, Bondi (Mr. Paul Timmins), had difficulty handling the rush.

Many filled in applications and paid deposits.

Others said cash for bonds ranging in value from £10 to £150.

At the Royal Surrey Hotel, Bondi Junction, stage and radio stars Margo Lee and Arundel Nixon urged patrons to invest in the Loan.

In the first five minutes £1600 was subscribed.

Manager of Waverley branch of the Bank of N.S.W. (Mr. C. Lawrence) said he was amazed at the number of applications for £10 bonds.


Astra Hotel Bondi NSW 1949 ANU

The Astra Hotel, Bondi, 1949. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University. 

Categories: NSW hotels, Sydney hotels

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