Masterton’s fourth mayor was the colourful A.W. Renall -miller and politician.
Renall was born in Heybridge, Essex and came to Wellington in 1840. A trained carpenter, He served as coffin maker to the fledgling town, making coffins for Te Wharepouri and other chiefs of Wellington.
He owned and operated a flourmill at Taita until coming to Masterton in the late 1850s. Renall was a born politician. He loved the thrust of debate, and was vigorous in defence of the Liberal views he so passionately held. He served as a Member of Parliament, as a two-time mayor of Masterton (1880-1,1887-9) and on a wide variety of other public bodies in Masterton.
His son, Joseph, was also to serve a term as mayor, from 1904-07. A farmer from Te Whiti, he shared his father’s love of straight talking, and during his mayoralty there were some heated exchanges in the debating chamber. He left Masterton in 1907, and died in 1921. No street is named in commemoration of Joseph Renall.
Pic: Alfred Renall, politician and businessman.