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William Woon was born in 1803 in Cornwall, England, and was a printer by trade before becoming a Wesleyan reverend. He and his family came to New Zealand in 1834 after having served for two years in Tonga, then known as the Friendly Islands. Woon served in Mangungu, Waima and Manukau before being appointed to Heretoa, just north of Patea. In 1853 he became Supernumerary in Whanganui, where he also served as postmaster, until his death on 22 September 1858. His daughter Catherine married another prominent Wesleyan missionary, Johann Friedrich Riemenschneider, and his son Garland William Woon was the first editor of the Taranaki Herald. Woon also had another daughter, Emily.