The first picture shows the house in the 1960s, surrounded by casuarina trees at Seatides, Westbrook, next to where the popular Beach Bums restaurant is today.
The house was built in 1926 by Gurusamy Veerasamy Naidu, who came from India to seek new business opportunities.
The picture on the far right shows the graffiti-covered ruins of the house, which was rumoured to have children’s laughter echoing within its walls and lights burning in the windows. It was posted this week on the Facebook site, Durban Down Memory Lane.
The North Coast Courier quoted Naidu’s grandson, hotel and property investor Saantha Naidu, as saying the house was the first built in the Casuarina Beach area.
‘Initially, it was built as a single-storey house with a huge roof garden. In the 1960s, the top floor was added. It had lead-stained glass windows and doors with pictures of ships, a Victorian-style bathroom and the house was built from teak,’ said Naidu. ‘It was the first house in the area to have a phone and lights.’
Naidu’s parents lived in the house in the 1980s, but when his father died in 1994, their mother went to live on the Berea.
‘We left the house fully furnished and when we came back about a month later, the furniture was gone and the stained-glass windows had been taken,’ said Naidu. ‘The house was continuously vandalised until it was an empty shell.’
The house was pulled down recently. When our photographer, Motshwari Mofokeng, went out there this week, all that was left were open fields.
On Google Earth, photos still show the shell of the house standing.