Enjoying all the Kindness and Love Nanaimo has to Offer

Enjoying all the Kindness and Love Nanaimo has to Offer

Enjoying all the Kindness and Love Nanaimo has to Offer


You are a 13-year old boy living in Iran in the early 1970s. In a year, you will be facing compulsory military enlistment. You’ve recently lost your mother in a car accident that also put your sisters in hospital as well. Your father was still alive at that time although completely distressed by his wife’s death. For all intents and purposes, you are on your own. What do you do? Where do you turn?

The young Moin Edraki faced this very dilemma. “My father was actually the one who stressed that I should leave the country along with my sister Janet who was 3 years older than me,” he recalls.

“We applied for student visas from several different countries. We had decided to go to the first place that accepted us. India was the one, as we did not here back from the others. So, it was decided.”

His father said, “you go, and I will join you as soon as I can.” He did make it to India 4 years later, however, tragedy was to strike once again. On the way to Madras, where he was living, Moin’s father had a massive heart attack, and soon after he passed away.

While he had some friends in India, it was the people of the Bahai Faith (which advocates universal peace and unity among all races, nations, and religions) that more or less “fostered him”, during the 10 years that he spent there. This enabled Moin to go to school and get an education where he began studying engineering. It was also during this time that he met, and married his first wife and welcomed his first child, a son, Anis, into the world.

1980’s Immigrating to Canda

However, by the early 1980s, the political and economic climate in India was changing, and Moin felt it was time to move on. But, where to go?

“Iran had revoked my passport so I could not return there,” Moin explains. “So, the decision was made that we should immigrate to Canada. We applied for landed immigrant status, which we received and found ourselves in Montreal.”

He was granted a visa when he arrived in Montreal, and soon settled into his new life in Canada. He recalls that time with a smile: “I worked three jobs at a time for a while; odd jobs really, whatever I could find.”

A second son was born soon after arriving in Montreal—Erfan—so working and earning money became even more significant. All the while Moin was trying to study and learn whatever he could about Canada and the opportunities there. He also took an interest in carpentry and “handyman” work.

Three years after arrival, Moin’s life took another turn. He was struggling somewhat with the French culture and the language, and he and his wife had divorced. Another move was in the offing: he decided to venture out to Toronto. “When I went to Toronto, my ex-wife still had the children, but I managed to relocate the boys and their mother to Kitchener, Ontario and they were there for three years before I got them full-time.”

By this time, he had developed a strong interest in woodworking and cabinet making and was hired by a company as a general labourer/ helper. “With on-the-job training, I learned a great deal about the business of cabinetry,” he says. He became so proficient, that within two years he opened his own cabinet making business.

“I am a very ambitious person who believes that with hard work you can achieve almost anything.”

Meeting Penny

Another life-altering event happened in 1986 when he met a young lady by the name of Penny, who was introduced to him by a mutual friend. This meeting turned into a long-term relationship, culminating with a wedding in July 1990.

Love Nanaimo has to Offer, Hammond Bay Neighbourhood

Life was good for Moin: a new wife and his business was a success. However, by 1991 he decided to move west to Calgary. “Things were rather tough in Ontario at that time, and we had some friends in Calgary who suggested we move there,” recalls Moin.

If history means anything, then the move was arguably one of Moin’s best decisions. He worked for a couple of companies in the cabinet/ woodworking industry, which led him to once again start his own business. This would grow into a significant enterprise.

“It became a good business,” he adds. “I had a few employees and used a lot of sub-contractors. As time wore on, the business transformed into more of a renovation company.”

Falling in Love with Nanaimo

He also began buying houses in Calgary, mostly those that needed work. “We would renovate them and either rent them out as investment properties or turn them around as quickly as we could and put them back on the market.”

This continued until 2015, when Moin decided to “slow down”, as he put it, and semi-retire. The following year, he and Penny made a trip to Nanaimo. “We had never been there before, but it looked interesting. We had heard it was a wonderful place so we thought it would be a good idea to visit.”

It didn’t take long for them to fall in love with the city and all that Nanaimo has to offer. “Once I got here and had a chance to look around, I knew this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life,” he says. “Within 10 days we bought a house.”

And so, in 2016, Moin and Penny headed for Vancouver Island and their new home in Nanaimo. Older son Anis remained in Calgary; he and his wife Paria are expecting their first child later this summer. Younger brother Erfan and his wife Christina have settled in Toronto.

Coming out of Retirement

After adjusting to his new life on the west coast, Moin decided that he wanted to get back to work. ”I had been buying and selling real estate over 18 years for myself as an investor, so I thought why not do it professionally and help others?”

So, he applied for, studied, and received his real estate license and he is currently a Sales Associate at RE/MAX of Nanaimo. “I love helping people with their needs. Whether they are moving to a larger house as their family gets bigger or downsizing as they plan for retirement. To me it’s an amazing satisfaction to hand them the key to their new home and see their happy faces.”

“After many years of buying and selling houses I can understand exactly how my clients feel when they want to sell or buy a house and I will be there to help them in every way possible to make this an easy transaction and to their benefit.”

While Moin says his work has always been his biggest hobby—“trying to get better at whatever I do”—he also loves photography. He adds that he and Penny enjoy hiking and walking on the beach and traveling to sunny destinations and all that Nanaimo has to offer. “We also enjoy fishing, paddle boarding and this year’s plan is to do some kayaking,” he adds.

Penny has been volunteering at the palliative care unit at the hospital in Nanaimo—“which she enjoys very much,” she says—and during this pandemic they have been volunteering to pickup groceries and medicine for those who are not able to do so themselves.

Moin Edraki has been a success for over 30 years as a general contractor, renovator, and custom cabinet maker in the construction industry, and now in the real estate industry. He is quick to credit his wife and acknowledge her valuable contributions toward everything he has accomplished these past three decades.

“I would not be where and what I am today without her unwavering support in everything I have done,” he says with great pride. “She has been a wonderful Mother to my sons and has shown a great affinity for helping the elderly. She is the most loving and giving person I have ever met.”

Enjoying all the Kindness and Love Nanaimo has to Offer

Now that Moin and Penny are entrenched in their home in Nanaimo, Moin takes a moment to reflect: “I love this city and my neighborhood. Once we moved here, almost right away we got to know so many of our neighbours. We get along very well, and everyone is so caring, trying to be so helpful to one another, especially during the difficult time we all are enduring. Up till the pandemic started, there were a few of us who get together once a month for dinner.

“In this beautiful city I see a mixture of different backgrounds and cultures, but one thing I see more and more is that whether you were born here or you came from another place, I see such kindness and love for nature and each other. So, all I would like to say is, thank you and let’s keep this going forward.”

Enjoying all the Kindness and Love Nanaimo has to Offer

Enjoying all the Kindness and Love Nanaimo has to Offer. Read full article here: Neighbours of Hammond Bay JUNE2020 Moin & Penny Edraki

If you would like to know more about homes in the Hammond Bay area, call Moin!

Call or text (250) 668-4464.



This story was first shared on the exclusive magazine for the residents of Hammond Bay, Nanaimo, Neighbours of Hammond Bay June 2020 Issue. If you would like to know more about the neighbours that live in Hammond Bay, pick up your copy.

Original Source: Neighbours of Hammond Bay

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