Transformation of Tait's Corner

Damian, left, and Aaron Miller, of Vynara, with Esme Tait, turn the first sod of soil on site at Tait’s Corner, Tewantin.
Damian, left, and Aaron Miller, of Vynara, with Esme Tait, turn the first sod of soil on site at Tait’s Corner, Tewantin. Erle Levey

WORK has started on the retail and professional office development at Tewantin, where the historic Tait house stood since 1919.

And 89-year-old Esme Tait was there to help turn the first sod.

Ms Tait was helped by brothers Aaron and Damian Miller, from development company Vynara, and Ashley Sinclair, of builders Alan Sinclair and Associates.

Tait's Corner occupies Tewantin's highest-profile main-street position, situated on the busy corner of Poinciana Ave and Sidoni St.

Tait house was located in what used to be the garden of the Club Hotel, which was built in 1880. Builders have already found the remains of old bottles thought to have been from the hotel days.

Ms Tait's grandparents on her father's side, John and Catherine Tait, owned Tait's Royal Mail Hotel, where the Royal Mail Hotel still stands.

Charles Woodward Tait built the house for Emma Jane Duke, daughter of original Noosa shire chairman James Duke.

Esme Tait was born in 1922 and lived in the house until 2009.

She said it was exciting to see life coming back to the corner site again.

"The town has not changed that much. It was all dirt roads in those days," she said.

"I would have been still here today except for an intruder on the veranda.

"It was the only night I had locked the door. God was looking after me."

The house was called Auchenrah, a Scottish name linked to the ancestry of the Tait family.

In 2009 Ms Tait donated her famous Queenslander to Sunshine Coast Regional Council for community use.

John Tait (Esme's grandfather) and his son, Charles Tait (Esme's father), together drove coaches to and from the Cooran and Cooroy railway stations, carrying passengers and mail to Tait's Royal Mail Hotel, where guests would also spend the night.

People wanting to go to Noosaville or Noosa Heads had to catch a boat from Tewantin.

The new high-quality development on Tait's Corner will feature four retail shops and a restaurant on ground level, two upper-level medical or office tenancies and convenient basement car parking.

The Millers are sons of developer Mark Miller, who has produced several Noosaville developments. Ashley is the son of builder and sportsman Alan Sinclair.

The building is due for completion in December.

Aaron said development of the block came back to Tewantin's heritage and the history of the site.

"It is iconic and we always wanted to pay respect to that," he said.

"Hence the naming of the site and the quality of the building.

"It all comes down to giving something back to the community."

Topics:  building tewantin

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