Owners make home of care facility

The new owners of Moreh Home in Fairlie — John and Yvonne Shaw — are already hard at work on...
The new owners of Moreh Home in Fairlie — John and Yvonne Shaw — are already hard at work on renovations. PHOTO: SHELLEY INON
After two years on the market — its aged care facility almost a memory — Moreh Home has new owners.

Bought by John and Yvonne Shaw in December, the building has been changed from a commercial residence to a private residence.

Mr Shaw said the home had 14 official bedrooms when they moved in.

After removing some partitions and other renovations, there were now eight bedrooms.

The couple’s seven grandchildren were excited to have a bedroom each when they gathered over the summer holidays.

Mr Shaw had done maintenance on the property at the beginning of last year, but the house’s charm had not captured him.

"I had no intention of buying it then."

His wife agreed.

"It was not on our radar at all."

Mr Shaw went to the auction in May — along with 50 other neighbours — out of "typical neighbourly nosiness".

Mrs Shaw — who was in Christchurch that weekend — suspected he was there for the sandwiches.

Except for the seller’s bid, there had been no other bids.

The couple knew of the community’s fears that the place would be bought to be used for nefarious means.

"So many people were worried about what it might become," she said.

For Mr Shaw, the answer was simple.

"Just let it go."

He felt the trust and the community were holding on to the house way too tight.

"It was just a burden around the trust board’s neck."

Despite the resistance, the couple and their daughter and granddaughter now inhabit the large home, which they both credited to God’s plan.

After putting an offer in — and waiting to hear if it would go unconditional — Mr Shaw asked the trust if he could get a key and paint the lounge.

That way if they secured the house they would have one nicely renovated room to relax in, but if they were not successful the trust would have a nice room to use.

Mrs Shaw said her husband was "a great handy person".

Without him it would cost "more of a fortune".

A few groups from the community had already had the luxury of using the freshly renovated lounge.

A group that gathered for a cup of tea and a chat in the nearby hall were able to enjoy the comfortable armchairs and heat pump.

With the rest of the house easy to shut off, the household could potter on as usual while a gathering took place in their living room.

The local physio had also suggested a group that might want to use it to do respite care.

They also held weekly Youtube nights.

"In today’s society everyone is missing out on socialising," Mrs Shaw said.

She felt while people caught up for a coffee at the cafe (so as not to worry if their house was not spick and span), there was only so long you could sit in a cafe chair before feeling like you were over-staying.

While Moreh was their home, they would still consider proposals for using it.

"People are free to ask."

SHELLEY.INON@timarucourier.co.nz