120 anzroc members and their partners gathered on the 34th floor of 100 Queen Street to celebrate ANZ former Managing Director Charles Rennie's forthcoming 100th birthday. Charles will turn 100 on March 31 2013. Anzroc Victoria Secretary Peter Pritchard opened proceedings and welcomed everyone to the lunch. Special mention was made of Kevin Watson who had flown in from Perth for the function and Dick and Pat Milnthorpe who are on holiday visiting from London. Also in attendance were ANZ Chairman John Morschel, Deputy CEO Graham Hodges, ANZ Executives Susie Babani, Malcolm Perry and Paul Edwards and former CEO's Will Bailey and Don Mercer. Anzroc Victoria President John McPhee hosted the function and introduced a variety of speakers who paid tribute to Charles' career with ANZ. Kevin Mitchell opened proceedings with an amusing series of stories relating to Charles and Kevin's time as his chauffeur ( not driver) as well as some of his incomparable ageist jokes. John Vanselow who had worked closely with Charles at ANZ related a number of stories of his time at the Bank and painted a picture of a remarkable man. John Morschel, presented a comprehensive summary of Charles' career at ANZ ,from entering as a clerk in 1928 to his retirement as MD in 1976. Nearly 50 years service including his involvement in two major mergers and transfer of domicile from London to Melbourne which helped make the Bank what it is today. John then presented Charles with birthday gifts from the Bank. Paul Guest and Peter Fraser , Executives of the Banks Rowing Club also paid tribute to Charles' long involvement with the club including over 20 years as President. Paul also mentioned that Charles would be the guest of honour to the club's 150th anniversary in 3 years time. Charles promised he would stay around to honour that commitment.
Charles gave an insightful speech of his time at ANZ and was very appreciative of the number of people who turned up to celebrate his big occasion and the many good wishes he had received. Everybody stood to toast Charles and his wife Joy and sang happy birthday and he's a jolly good fellow with gusto.
Finally John McPhee paid recognition to former President Neville Pearson who had played a large role in planning the function over the past few months.
CHARLES RENNIE BIRTHDAY ODE Penned by Neville Pearson
T’WAS A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN YEAR NINETEEN THIRTEEN
THE VERY FIRST DAY CHARLES RENNIE WAS SEEN
CHARLES BIRTH FILLED HIS FAMILY WITH LOVE AND MUCH JOY
HERALDING THE ARRIVAL OF SUCH A BEAUTIFUL BOY
CHARLES WAS A BRIGHT CHILD WHO LEARNED VERY QUICK
REALISED WORK VERY HARD AND YOU WON’T GET THE STICK
UNIVERSITY HIGH SCHOOL WAS A GREAT PLACE TO LEARN
UNION BANK OF AUSTRALASIA WAS THE REWARD CHARLES DID EARN
CHARLES WORKED AS A 351 COLLINS STREET CLERK IN 1942
UNTIL WAR BECKONED AND THE RAAF SAID, CHARLES WE NEED YOU
ON RETURN FROM THE WAR CHARLES TACKLED SEVERAL POSITIONS
AND PERFORMED VERY WELL UNDER ALL SORTS OF CONDITIONS
OVERSEAS POSITIONS WERE TACKLED WITH ZEST
AND IN MANAGEMENT IT WAS CLEAR HE WAS ONE OF THE BEST
THE BANK GREW AND PROSPERED WHEN CHARLES TOOK THE HELM
LOVE OF PEOPLE WAS PARAMOUNT, DURING HIS REALM
ON 31 MARCH CHARLES COMPLETES HIS FIRST TON
WE WISH CHARLES GOOD HEALTH AND A DAY FULL OF FUN
WELL EARNED RETIREMENT AND MORE YEARS OF LEISURE
OUR LOVE AND BEST WISHES ARE WITH YOU FOREVER
A selection of photos from the event can be viewed below. An official ANZ photographer was also present and further pictures will be posted when received from her.