Bank of New South Wales Building, Melbourne VIC

Tom Duckworth was the General Foreman on the Bank of New South Wales building at 360 Collins Street, Melbourne, which commenced in May 1933. The 11-storey steel-framed building boasted an impressive entrance with two bronze doors that were 8.3 metres high and weighed nearly seven tons, framed by highly polished granite. Inside, it featured a 12-metre square column-free banking chamber which was unprecedented in Melbourne at the time.

The chamber was supported by four steel-plate girders that were over 19 metres long and weighed up to 60 tons each. Manufactured by Johns and Waygood in South Melbourne, they were the longest girders constructed in Victoria at the time and required a specially designed 14-wheeled, 28 horsepower truck for transport to the site.

In those days, steam boilers were used to power the derrick cranes that lifted the girders into place, which occurred in a smooth operation early one morning. A crowd of onlookers gathered to observe the marvellous feat, despite the 2am start.