I had never heard of the Starr-Bowkett Society before coming across this article but, as it turns out, it was a financial institution with an office in the hometown of my grandparents Edward Bailey & Ines Maud Smith. In August of 1908 the Starr-Bowkett office had been operating in Tamworth for about 18 months having opened it’s doors for business around March of 1907, and this newspaper report shows that the financial institution was doing very nicely.
Starr-Bowkett held a public meeting in May 11, 1907 so as to provide people with information about the workings of the company. By October there were offices in Manilla and Inverell and by December of 1907 it is reported in local papers that the Society drew a ballot to complete it’s 1st share.
I have absolutely no way of knowing what bank my grandparents chose to handle their finances but as Tamworth was a small country town of roughly 6000 people their choices may have been limited. I have found reference in TROVE digitised papers to The Savings Bank of NSW (now trading as Westpac), and the Commercial Bank of Australia (known as CBA – merged with Bank of NSW, now known as Westpac), having offices in Tamworth at that time, so the addition of the Starr-Bowkett Society may have been of interest to them. With their impending marriage the couple could well have been looking for a bank/society to handle their joint account, or their first mortgage.
It would appear that Starr-Bowkett operated in Tamworth and area until at least 1954, possibly longer.