Clouston_Place.jpg Clouston Place sign (2018). Mike Gooch. Word on the street image collection.

From 1911 until his retirement in 1938, George Clark Clouston was Opunake's highly-regarded police constable. For much of that time, he was the only officer in town. People respected him so much he was later elected mayor and had a street named after him.

Clouston was born on the Orkney Islands and trained as a policeman in Scotland. He came to New Zealand in 1896, where he briefly tried his hand at several jobs, before joining the New Zealand police force. After filling posts in Whanganui and Normanby, he arrived in Opunake in 1911, aged 37.

Upon his retirement from the police, town mayor Robert Hughson said Clouston's "eminent fairness" was a feature of his policing in the district. Another person noted his, "virtue of appearing sightless at times". There were three separate public functions to acknowledge him - all well attended. He was given an illuminated scroll, signed by prominent people in the community and leaders of many of the town's cultural and sporting groups.

In 1940, he was elected Opunake's second mayor - a role he held until retiring in 1947. He was also the district coroner. He and wife Maude spent their retirement years in Opunake. Clouston died in 1965, aged 91.

Clouston Place was first surveyed in 1954. The street's sections were slowly sold and the houses built as we see today.

This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.

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