My name is Lacey Graham. I sold my house in Parker Rd just over a year ago. It was an incredibly difficult decision for me to make and I truely grieved for months at the prospect of leaving my beautiful home. 118 is quite a unique property. The house was built in 1949 by Wilfred and Marchella Hilford, with much thought going into the placement of the house on the section.
While Wilf was away fighting in WWII, Ella tracked the route the sun travelled and carefully marked out the shape of the house with soap boxes positioned where the house would get maximum sunshine hence the resulting ‘boomarang’ shape. They were said to be great socialites and spent many wonderful times with friends around the pool that Wilf built and playing golf on Wilfs golf course spanning the many acres of the original property.
I bought the house from the Fountains of Parker Road, who’d bought the house from the Estate after Ella died (Wilf had died several years earlier). I had been told of the house by a friend while living at Piha and wanting to move to Oratia. It was purely fate that I saw a private sale ad and not realising that this was in fact the house that I’d been looking for.
I loved it instantly, saw its huge potential so made an offer the day I saw it. It was a massive project as it was in pretty bad shape and took all of the 11 years we were there. However it was a total labour of love. I personally tiled the bathrooms and fireplace, refitted the house with art deco features including light shades and taps etc I’d sourced over many years from demo yards and trade me.
I had a new concrete pool built, planted an orchard and spent years beautifying the gardens. I built a flat above the garage for mum and then, with my daughter Merle, we had 3 generations living here. We loved every season with the wonderful majestic deciduous trees including the massive Liquid Amber in the corner of the section where Ella’s ashes were scattered.
The Dutch Elm that in summer offered such great shade around the pool. The giant magnolia where my daughter and I had our picnics.
We had regular gatherings with friends and family and games of cricket on the lawn. Such good times and so much fun and laughter.
I’m grieving again that there is the possibility this beautiful home on this incredible landscape with this amazing community is under threat. I feel for the family that bought my home and have told me how happy they are. There must be another option somewhere that will have less impact.