With Geelong and regional Victoria forced into a stage 3 state-wide lockdown in recent weeks, while our friends in Melbourne reverting back to Stage 4 restrictions in a bid to slow the second wave currently sweeping Victoria, we’ve become extra appreciative of everything about us, including our home.
As the largest regional city in Victoria, Greater Geelong has so much to offer… but it’s the quirks and little Geelongisms that we’re all about.
Here’s a few that spring to mind:
1. As mentioned in the heading, Geelong is affectionately known as G-town or G-Banger – take your pick.
2. We are a town, not a city. When venturing into the CDB you are going to ‘town’. If you say I am going to the ‘city’ people will mistakenly think you are going to Melbourne.
3. Get to know your pub nicknames ; ‘The Grovey’ is the The Grovedale hotel, ‘The BC’ is the Barwon Club, ‘Lordy’s’ is Lord of the Isles, ‘The Dog’ is the Barking Dog , ‘The Commo’ is the Commun na Feinne , ‘The Yardz’ is the Saleyards Hotel – basically just shorten the main word in any pub name and/or slap a Z or an O on the end, and you’ll be around the mark.
4. The Argyle – now Murphys – will always be the Arglye.
5. Everyone knows what ‘Spewy’s’ is.
6. We invented the Furphy. Well a massive multinational company called ‘Lion Nathan’ did, but they did it in Geelong at Little Creatures.. We think, maybe.. we are not sure. But the old water tank on the back of a truck was called a Furphy and the beer was named after that truck and it was from Geelong. Actually, maybe the truck was from Ballarat… either way it’s ours.
7. Geelong was nicknamed The Pivot City so a Geelong person is a Pivotonian. We’re fancy.
8. When there is a Cats game on, you will notice their supporters walking on the way to games don’t obey pedestrian road rules. So basically, look out! They tend to just sprawl dangerously out across the main roads and thoroughfares, and will expect you – the car – to stop for them even if in direct defiance of usual road rules.
9. There are two malls and they are Westfield (aka Bay City for the true Geelongians) and Market Square. Half the time you will see shops and you will be spending money, but you will never really know which one you are in!
10. Don’t ask why it’s called a mall. A road runs through it, it’s called Lt Malop St Central; the fountain and playground have gone, but still it’s a mall.
11. When the Cats are playing – at home or away – the shopping centres are a ghost town, making it the perfect time to get some retail therapy in!
12. Edge don’t do gravy… ever. Don’t even ask.
13. We don’t lineup anywhere unless it’s at Lambys. You did it, your mum did, your nan probably did it and it was probably a Sunday night. Oh, how we miss that low-ceiling-ed, sticky-carpeted nightclub.
14. When you’re drunk at 4am, Kardinia Cafe better known as (K- Caf) is your best friend for delivery of something greasy to eat. The chips and gravy goes down a treat.
15. Pakington Street is super trendy, so if you want to be seen sipping a juice, eating a pear infused, chia seed and guava, almond, berry, kale, yoghurt rice ball.. Pako is where you head.
16. Darryn Lyons’ is a divided figure. As is his floating Christmas tree.
17. You can get free demos of someone’s sub woofers from the Macca’s car park, even if you’re half a block away. Super generous, we know.
18. We’re known to others as the ‘Gateway City’ because of our central location to surrounding Victorian regional centres like Ballarat, Torquay, Warrnambool, Hamilton, Colac, Winchelsea, and Melbourne.
19. One does not go to Beavs Bar on a Wednesday night without partaking in karaoke.
20. We will never know whether or not the Speaky’s Homeless Guy was a secret millionaire.
21. During the Gold Rush era, Geelong was a thriving port and wool hub, and looking at becoming the premier city. It’s alleged that Melbourne pulled a pretty shifty and underhanded scam, published a false map of their proximity to the gold fields and scaled everything in their favour, making Geelong look much further than them to the gold fields… Melbourne started to thrive faster than Geelong which lost a lot of the Gold Rush spoils and trade. The cheeky people of Melbourne then added another insult to the mix, labelling Geelong “Sleepy Hollow” which went onto haunt the city for decades to come.
22. Speaking of, it’s only okay when we call G-town Sleepy Hollow. Outsiders simply cannot.
23. It’s ‘Parmi’ not ‘Parma’
24. If the Cats are ever in an AFL Grand Final, leave town.
25. The first commercial refrigerator was designed in Geelong by newspaper editor James Harrison in 1851.
26. The best place to get food is the hot bread shop on Moorabool St. You’ll find no better place for lunch or a snack with your spare few dollars.
27. You can spend a whole day arguing if it’s Gar-la Day or Gay-la Day and you regardless of the outcome, you’ll do it again next year.
28. In 1999, Cat’s star onballer Garry Hocking changed his name by deed poll to “Whiskas” to help the club out of strife. We don’t talk about this, but you need to know not to talk about this.
29. Owning (or having previously owned) a pair of Ghanda trackies is a rite of passage for any local.
30. If you’re one of those people who can’t say no to others – even when you should – avoid the the Moorabool St bus stop.
31. The greatest spot for a hangover cure is now gone and nothing can ever replace it. Raj’s was the go-to for massive, greasy breakfasts that you could pay for with what you dug out of the couch cushions. There was even free juice.