Kate McIntyre, Property Journalist
First published 13 Feb 2023, 11:11am
The home of author John O’Grady is for sale.
The birthplace of two of Australia’s most iconic satirical novels has entered the market with expectations it will set a new suburb record.
The 5-bedroom waterfront house at 68 Algernon St, Oatley was previously owned by author John O’Grady, who is best known for his 1957 novel “They’re a weird mob,” penned under the pseudonym “Nino Culotta.”
Author John O’Grady wrote “They’re a weird mob” and “Gone Fishin.”
O’Grady reportedly wrote this and another of his works, “Gone Fishin” in the 1880s boathouse at the rear of the property.
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He lived in the house until his death in 1981 before the current owner purchased it for $348,750 in 1990 and added significant improvements.
This 1880s boathouse is where the author wrote the iconic books.
The boathouse has access to a private beach.
Selling agent John Pucak, Principal of Raine & Horne Oatley said he expects the property will fetch far more than the current suburb record of $4.8m.
“I believe the buyer could be seeking a waterfront property in Blakehurst, Sans Souci, Cronulla, Kangaroo Point or even Mosman on the North Shore. This property will put Oatley waterfronts on their radar,” he said.
“The buyers might also be a little older and remember the movie or read the book ‘They’re a Weird Mob’ and had a chuckle that the property where the idea for Nino Culotta crystallised is now up for grabs.”
The house has an indoor swimming pool.
It also has sweeping water views.
On one of Oatley’s most sought-after streets, the house is reminiscent of an inner city multi-level Federation terrace house, Mr Pucak said.
“But this property offers so much more than a standard terrace for a potential buyer with its knockout views of the Georges River from Blakehurst to Como that is enjoyed from two large entertaining balconies. These views are the best in the St George area,” he said.
“The main house offers four generous-sized bedrooms, two bathrooms, a magnificent modern kitchen with modern appliances and fittings and multiple living areas.”
Nino Culotta is a famed character in Australian satire.
One of the standout features of the home is its swimming pool and internal spa, which are encased in a glass rotunda.
The house also has period features including timber wainscoting, stained glass windows and ornate ceilings.
The sandstone boathouse overlooks a private beach.
“The boathouse offers a magnificent fireplace, as well as a self-contained bedroom, bathroom and a separate living room and kitchen and would work perfectly as a home office for an entrepreneur or senior executive,” Mr Pucak said.
“They’re a weird mob” was adapted into a film in 1966.
Actor Walter Chiari played Nino Culotta in the film.
“They’re a weird mob” went on to sell over a million copies by the time of O’Grady’s death in 1981 and was immortalised in the 1966 film of the same name, which featured a who’s who of Australian movie royalty, including Chips Rafferty, Ed Devereaux, John Meillon, Graham Kennedy, and Walter Chiari.
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