William Henry GUNNING
William was born at Corsley, Wiltshire, England.
He came to NZ around 1886 at age 24, settling in Wellington.
He married Clara Boys (born at Christchurch in 1864) at Wellington in 1891.
In 1898 he took his wife, a son & two daughters to Vancouver, then he left for the Klondyke gold field with merchandise to sell. However his health broke down so he returned to NZ to Shannon. A daughter was born in Vancouver.
Three more sons were born in Shannon & Wellington.
One son, Eric, & two son-in-laws, Norman Oldershaw & Kenneth Stewart, served in WW1. Kenneth lost an arm and Norman also served in WW2.
William started out life in NZ as a grocer's assistant in Wellington. After returning from Canada he set up a grocery store in Shannon. He was also active in his community service. He was one of the main people pushing the Government of the day in getting the Mangahao hydro scheme built. He was the 1st local representative on the Horowhenua Electric Power Bd and was a member of the 1st Shannon Borough Council.