Exceptional builder, young John Oxley of Sydney Beach Homes


Ever wondered what makes an exceptional builder?

Some of us have the rare good fortune to do something we love for a living, and for our own John Oxley, the passion to build, fix, and make things started early in life.

43 years ago, a kindly local builder, called Bob Ryan took young John under his wing and helped nurture the passion that ultimately led to the creation of Sydney Beach Homes – for which we will be ever grateful.

John has recounted aspects of this story to us from time to time, so we were delighted when he was able to find a magazine article that Bob Ryan wrote at the time, in his capacity as resident ‘handyman’ for Home Journal magazine.

Bob was building his own home at the time (in John’s street) and was surprised one morning to find 7-year-old John Oxley presenting himself for work with his own set of toy tools.

Where most builders might have laughed and sent John politely on his way, to his very great credit, Bob embraced John’s enthusiasm and invited him to stay and help – and allowed him to attend site every day of free time he had for the three years it took to complete Bob’s house. For his 8th birthday, Bob even bought John his first set of proper tools.

John learned some very early lessons in the discipline of site and personal safety, which has stayed with him for life.

Bob made such a strong impression on the young John, inspiring him to follow his dreams and do what he was born to do.

John feels very lucky to have met someone like Bob, who cared enough to take the time from his busy days to indulge his unlikely young apprentice, and wittingly or otherwise, not only fuelled John’s passion to create something special, but instilled an enduring sense of courtesy, patience, and work ethics that continue to guide our culture here at Sydney Beach Homes to this day.

We love this story of how one exceptional builder, many years ago inspired another to become equally exceptional.

Here is a copy of the original article – doesn’t John look cute in that hard hat 😀

To view full size, and read the article, just right click on the image below and select ‘open in new tab’.

Young John Oxley starts his building career age 8

April 1977 issue of Home Journal featuring 8 year old John Oxley of Sydney Beach Homes