Coincidence can be a funny thing. Sometimes it is simply that, a coincidence, but other times you can’t help but think that there is something more at play.
When owners of Let’s Grow Early Learning Centre, husband and wife, Aaron Zaini and Kylie Milek-Zaini began their search for a family home, they struggled to find one that felt right. Little did they know the property they’d eventually choose would have an incredible connection back to Kylie’s side of the family.
Kylie, was born in Raglan in the early ‘80s and grew up here at their family’s Whale Bay property and made the move to Australia with her family when she was 18. It was in Australia where she met husband Aaron and they moved to Byron Bay where they lived for 10 years and had two children, Nirmala and Cooper.
After years of visiting her hometown Raglan, they made the decision to move back and not long after, opened Let’s Grow Early Learning Centre. About a year ago, they decided to purchase a family home and began the search for an existing property that they could renovate.
Looking at a lot of properties, nothing seemed to feel right for the couple until one day Aaron said he may have found ‘the one’.
“It was a house on the high side of Cambrae Road which was overlooking Lorenzen Bay. Looking through the house and walking through the back garden the property just felt like home.
“From there it all happened pretty fast, that afternoon we put in an offer, negotiations took place and after settling on a price the deal was done and two weeks later we were in.” Says Kylie.
Once the sale went through and the couple started to share the news with family, they soon discovered that the house they had purchased was once owned by Kylie’s grandparents back in the ‘70s.
“They actually went through quite an ordeal and had to move the house to Cambrae Road from their Tasman Heights property (just above Manu Bay) in the early ‘80s,” says Kylie.
In 1969 Kylie’s grandparents, Murray and Val Hunter, brought their Tasman Heights property with the vision of becoming self-sustainable, opening a market garden and installing a caravan park. They had moved to Raglan mid 1967 and owned the Raglan West Store until they moved to Tasman Heights with their three daughters Michelle, Tina and Stephanie.
In the late ‘70s it came to light that the property had been sold to Murray and Val under false pretences. The deed to the property had been sold three times, to three different parties.
Kylie’s grandparents lost the lot as did the other parties and the government took over the land.
Kylie’s aunty, Stephanie Carey, recalls the day that Jack’s House Removers turned up on a very wet and cold morning to remove the house from the Tasman Heights property.
“It was a huge struggle with the house slipping off the trailer and the truck getting stuck in the mud.
“I remember a panicked rush to stop the house and truck sliding down the bank, there was all sorts of problems. The truck got stuck around corners and the house got damaged by the bridge but eventually they got the house to where it is now,” she says.
Stephanie also adds that once moved, the property gave her father Murray a lot of grief.
“With the house at Cambrae Road Murray had plans to make it into a double story home and raised it up on blocks to put a basement underneath.
“But the land fought him and kept slipping, every week the bank would cave in under the house, meaning that Murray would have to start again and try to secure the foundations.
“Tired and exhausted, eventually it got the better of him and he walked away.” Says Stephanie.
Since then, the property has had four other owners before coming back into the family fold.
“Aaron and I can’t believe how everything has fallen into place, like it was almost meant to be, and the fact that the property is back in the family where it will be enjoyed after causing so much heartache is a nice feeling,” says Kylie.