House has family connection for Nairn family

For almost 100 years, the house at 251 Campbell Rd has had a history of kindness and giving.

The double-storey bungalow has been home to doctors, a vicar, and since 1999, to The Hearing House.

It is believed the Auckland Hospital Board built the home, on the corner of Campbell Rd and William Ave, Greenlane, in the 1920s.

In 1966 the Anglican Diocese of Auckland bought it and the house became the residence for the vicar of St Oswald’s Church 600 metres up the road.

The last family to live at the address was Vicar Ian Nairn, his wife and their two daughters.

“We lived comfortably in it,” Ian says. “It was a quirky house, lets be honest.”

Ian, now 86, and his family lived in the home from 1990 until June 1999 as he led a congregation of more than 70 people.

Not long after Ian and his family moved out, the building was sold to The Hearing House.

The charity was formed a year earlier to work with children who had a hearing loss and had received a cochlear implant. It was looking for a base to provide therapy services to half a dozen children.

Ian, who was ordained as a priest in 1967, says when he and his family lived in the house, life revolved around “the parish and the children”.

“We had our 25th wedding anniversary here. One of our daughters got married from here, and a granddaughter was baptized from here. Both were held at the church.”

In a case of ‘it’s such a small world’, Ian has a continued connection with the building at 251 Campbell Rd.

His 16-year-old granddaughter Courtney Nairn is deaf.

It was when she was being assessed for cochlear implants that Ian was re-introduced to the house his family used to live in.

Ian, who retired from St Oswald’s in 2000, brings Courtney to her audiology appointments.

“Courtney came to The Hearing House with hearing aids and then got a cochlear implant.”

The teenager has a moderate-severe loss in her right ear, and a severe-profound loss in her left ear and received a cochlear implant in January 2012.

Initially her appointments were held in the old vicarage, but in 2017 The Hearing House expanded across the neighbouring two properties and “the house” became The Stichbury Bidwill Centre. It is now home to almost 800 deaf paediatric and adult clients who have cochlear implants, and 29 staff.

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