Gunnings Go For It!

The old W.H.Gunning supply store was named after William Henry Gunning who built and owned it. The supply store was built in 1885. It was a hit in Shannon. This was the main supply shop. It sold groceries, hardware, drapery and grain. It even sold dynamite.Yes dynamite! The people that bought the dynamite sometimes used it to blow up tree stumps.

Mr Gunning also had a business selling fruit and vegetables. He sold fruit and vegetables next to his supply store. He sold kiwi fruit, apples, pears and other kinds of fruit and vegetables.

The way Mr Gunning would get the supplies for his store was by boat. The boat would come to the Foxton docks and someone that worked at Gunnings would go and get the goods by horse and cart and bring them back to Shannon.

Aunty Hui Sprott said that kids loved going to The W.H.Gunning Supply Store because they were able to buy a bag of broken biscuits for just one penny. She often spent a penny in that store to buy a bag of broken biscuits on the way to school.

Mrs Pam Locke and Aunty Hui Sprott also spoke about working for Gunnings in their early adult lives. The store provided work for many of our Shannon whanau.

By the 1970’s the Gunning's store in Shannon began to lose its customers and business to the larger supermarkets that opened in Levin and Palmerston North.

At the age of 40 Mr William Gunning suffered a severe stroke. Many years later William Henry Gunning died at the age of 83. His oldest son aged 25, stepped up and took over the business.
The town of Shannon owes much to William Henry Gunning. Some called him an entrepeneur and the power beyond the throne. We agree, Mr Gunning was a great businessman and entrepeneur.

Kete Horowhenua W H Gunning and Co Ltd
From Bush and Swamp By Mrs Marjorie Law

Keynote speakers: Aunty Hui Sprott, Kathleen Woodmass, Mr and Mrs Marjorie Law, Mrs Pam Locke and Mrs Grace Nickolaison.

Team effort by Baylee (Year 7) and Shekinah (Year7).