Alfred Herbert Rennie – before moving to Hong Kong
Written by Hugh Farmer
For more information about the Hongkong Milling Company and AH Rennie please refer to the articles a) Alfred Herbert Rennie, published Feb 7 2013, b) Alfred Herbert Rennie – additional information, published Nov 13 2013 and c) The Hongkong Milling Company – the flour mill site after closing, published 2 Dec 2013
AH Rennie was born at Hamilton, Ontario on 17 November 1857, he was educated at the Hamilton Collegiate Institute and Upper Canada College at Toronto. He then worked as a junior clerk in the wholesale dry goods firm of Thomas C. Kerr and Company at Hamilton, later going to Texas with a brother to operate a cattle ranch. He returned to Hamilton in 1879 then came to Winnipeg later that year, first working as a clerk in the grocery store of Robson, Kennedy and Company then, in 1880, he worked with Stobart, Eden and Company.
He subsequently moved to Portage la Prairie as Manager for the contractors of the Manitoba and Northwestern Railway. He returned to Winnipeg in 1885 and, in December 1886, entered the civil service as Private Secretary to Premier John Norquay. He resigned less than a year later and in 1890, he and his wife moved to Hong Kong where he represented the Portland Flouring Mills, and became one of the largest importers of American flour to China.