21 Thomas St, Kew, has belonged to the Zachariah family for 71 years.
A KEW residence that was home to a prominent sports shoemaking family for 71 years is taking its next step.
Louis Zachariah — whose clients included Ron Barassi, Lionel Rose and Max Walker when he ran Arena Sporting Footwear from the 1950s to ’80s — and his wife, Billie, bought 21 Thomas St back in 1947.
They raised nine children in the four-bedroom house in the suburb’s elite Sackville Ward.
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The tennis court was a popular feature with the family.
Inside 21 Thomas St.
One of their daughters, Margaret, went on to become a top squash player who notably won the 1977 Australian and 1979 Victorian Opens, was a finalist in the 1981 British Open, and was inducted into the Squash and Racquetball Victoria Hall of Fame this year.
Another daughter, Ann, told Property Confidential her family had decided to sell 1928 French colonial-style house Avignon after her mother died.
The 1313sq m property with a tennis court is set to be auctioned by Marshall White on December 1 with a $5-$5.5 million price guide.
The property has a $5-$5.5 million price guide.
Eleven members of the Zachariah family squeezed into the house.
Ann said her father’s business, which peaked in the ’50s and ’60s, made a range of sports footwear including footy and boxing boots, cricket shoes, running spikes and ice skates.
Among his A-list clientele were boxers Lionel Rose and Johnny Famechon, cricketer Max Walker and a host of VFL footballers, including “most of the Collingwood Football Club” and Melbourne legend Ron Barassi.
Her father occasionally veered outside the sports realm, notably making long boots for late singer and actor Jon English.
Ron Barassi was one of Mr Zachariah’s clients. Picture: Alex Coppel
He also made shoes for boxers Lionel Rose and Johnny Famechon.
He typically kept his business to his shop, as there was plenty going on in the Zachariah household with 11 people living under the one roof.
“We managed to squeeze in,” Ann said. “We’ve absolutely loved the house — we’re a sporting family so having the tennis court was great. Although, it led to a few broken windows.”
The family had also loved the property’s city views and closeness to top schools, including Carey Baptist Gramma and Methodist Ladies’ College plus tram lines.
Marshall White selling agent Anthony Reis said the home’s “prestigious location” and large corner block were its major selling points.