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News Letter: Spring 1957
 
HAROLD CARVER, Esq, O.B.E.
General Manager 1946 - 1957
 
Frank Jones provided this article for the staff magazine
on the retirement of the Bank's General Manager
 
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It is a privilege and honour to be asked to write an article concerning one's General Manager, and I am very conscious of the fact.

Mr. Carver comes from a well-known and respected old “Aston Manor” family and appropriately enough received his education at  Aston Commercial School. His further education was in the University of Life from which source he continued  to learn consistently with all his best ability and skill.

In February 1907, at the tender age of 16 years, he entered the service of the Corporation of Birmingham, and was engaged in the Accountant's office of the Gas Department until August 1914 when he enlisted in the Oxford & Bucks. Light Infantry. He became a Musketry Instructor, was soon promoted Sergeant, and then gazetted Second Lt. to the 13th Warwicks. being later transferred to the 3rd Batt. Royal Warwicks Regiment.

It may not be known generally, but I am informed that a part of Mr. Carver's career was spent at Parkhurst, Isle of Wight. I am assured, however, that he was not incarcerated there.

Despite a wound in June 1916 he later went through the Somme fighting.

At the conclusion of the War he resumed his duties with the Corporation.

He transferred to the Birmingham Municipal Bank at its inception in 1919.

He was appointed Manager of the Sparkbrook Branch, the first permanent Branch of the Bank, which was then housed in temporary shop premises. This Branch was later reconstructed and enlarged premises formally opened by Mr. Neville Chamberlain, MP who originally conceived the idea of a Municipal Bank, and who played such a prominent part in its establishment.

In 1922, Mr. Carver became Accountant at Head Office; in 1927 he was  appointed Controller of Branches. He succeeded Mr. J. P. Hilton, C.B.E. as General Manager in 1946.

In each office he applied a determined care and thoroughness to his duties, which, coupled with an abundant enthusiasm, proved not only beneficial to the organisation of the Bank, but an inspiration to other members of the Staff.

He was a warm advocate of co-operation with the Trustee Savings Banks, and took full advantage of the facilities afforded through the medium of the Joint Committee of the Trustee Savings Banks Association and the Municipal Bank, to discuss matters of mutual interest.

He keenly supported the Savings Banks Institute, and was a member of the Institute Sub-Committee in 1946.

On the formal establishment of the Institute in January 1948, he was a member of the Council until March 1952, when his period of Office terminated under the Constitution.

Mr. Carver is a Certificated Associate of the Institute of Bankers, which Institute later elected him one of their Fellows. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries, and a Fellow of the Association of Certified and Corporate Accountants.

From the heavy task of administering the affairs of the Bank, to which task Mr. Carver has given a great amount of his time, he found relaxation in golf and reading. He plays a very commendable round of the course. His preference in reading is for the classics, from which he seems always able to quote appropriately the “bon mot”.

In the 1957 Honours List it was announced that Her Majesty had graciously awarded the O.B.E. to Mr. Carver in recognition of his service to the cause of Thrift.

His keenness and zest have been with him through all the 50 years and were never more marked than in his untiring care and zeal during the recent negotiations with H.M. Treasury.

It is fitting that the motto from his School song should be “Only the Best is Good Enough”. How often has he applied, preached and set that example.

As one who has known and worked with and for him since 1922 - I salute him.

I am sure all readers will wish him and Mrs. Carver every happiness in his retirement.

 

SFJ