Years involved in industry: 40
Greyhound Racing Control Board Member 24 years
Awarded Order of Australia (OAM) Medal in 1986
National Coursing Association Secretary 17 years
National Coursing Association Executive 14 years
Original Director of the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association
Born in Dalmore near Tooradin in May 1921, Noel Banks OAM spent his early childhood in Oakleigh where he went to the local primary school and then to Caulfield Technical School. His first job was with the Singer sewing machine company in Melbourne where he earned 17 pounds and six shillings a week.
Banks later worked at the West Oakleigh abattoirs and ‘graduated’ to the Oakleigh brickyards where his father and three brothers worked. He returned to the brickyards after WWII and eventually bought a truck to cart bricks until the late 1960s. When he was 11 he was given his first greyhound – Winellie – by an uncle who had rescued the dog from injury after it was bewildered by the traffic in Flinders Street.
He began following coursing in 1934 after the opening of the Sandown Speed Coursing track where he won his first plumpton competition. Winnellie, was bought for 10 pounds (around $685 these days). He also raced one of Silver Chief’s pups, a greyhound named Cansia, which had his first win on the tin hare at Harold Park.