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HomeLifestyleWho First Called it 'The Office'?

Who First Called it ‘The Office’?

There’s many an urban legend about the origins of the name ‘The Office’ – the selfie worthy locale of East Esplanade’s grassy harbourside patch – but the endearing beginnings of how these now iconic two words were born is a story deserving proper clarification.

It will shock some Tawny readers to learn ‘The Office’ was once a rather empty stretch of grass and sand. A sad fact perhaps best attributed to Sydney Water’s sewerage management being rather ghastly through the 80’s and 90’s when our urban coastlines and harbourside coves were known for their effluence, not their affluence. However, in 2001, with Sydney Water learning the joys of sifting our sewerage miles out to sea, a pair of Manly lads with a penchant for outdoor swilling, Ross and Will, did exactly that…outdoor swilled.

Will, Ross and the next generation of Office lovers.

Ross would get off the mighty Manly JetCat after a long hard day at his city desk jockey job and Will would finish his shift as a visual merchandiser at Levi’s. They’d meet at the sweetest patch of emerald buffalo on the Northern Beaches and enjoy the divinely bromantic sunset grog o’clocks now routinely celebrated by thousands of enthusiastic booze hound revellers. After many months of week-nightly frothies, and the usual pulse of commuters getting off the ferries starting to think perhaps these two brew devourers could do well with a night off the lash, Ross and Will encountered a John Doe type passer-by. This nameless local, who noticed the consistent commitment of these lads to the task, asked rhetorically without breaking stride, “Is this your office guys?” and continued on his way, chuckling at his own wit, blissfully unaware of the ripple effect this off-the-cuff comment would have. ‘The Office’ was born.

Armed now with a delightfully pompous appellation for their patch of beer-soaked grass, Ross and Will were joined by a growing throng of local mates realising ‘The Office’ was heaven on Earth. One of these was an aspiring rapper (but mostly a sunbaking, tanned, sea dog), The P.O.G., a man who knew the power of words. Another was Cy, a keen fish-keeper who used a tank as bait to lure unsuspecting lasses and a key member of the Victor Locos (a rat pack bunch of partygoers who lived at ‘The Office’ end of Victoria Pde).

With this unique combination of people, time and place, the ripples grew, so much so that by 2008 ‘The Office’ had its own geotag and had spread throughout social media. People flocked like bin chickens at Taronga. It became a Millennial’s playground, a slackliner’s dream and the perfect place for a 2nd birthday party – a multimillion-dollar brewing company has taken its name from the beauty of her pines for God’s sake!

So, what do the founding Godfathers make of all this? Resoundingly they absolutely love it! They have since drifted to all ends of the world, from Sweden to King Island, WA to Lombok and yet they still dream of fresh frothies, watching the peachy sunsets over the most beautiful harbour in the world, and seeing John Doe stroll past once more to repeat the greatest question of all time, “Is this your office guys”?

This article by Zena Condell has been reproduced in full with permission from the publisher from our dear friends at hyperlocal  monthly print magazine Tawny Frogmouth. Why not pop over to their website and check out their other great content and follow them on social media?  We aren’t affiliated, we just really rate their stuff!


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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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