View in our collection

Survivors Of The First Six Ships Grouped Around The Godley Statue, Cathedral Square, Christchurch 1925
Passengers who arrived by the Charlotte Jane, Randolph, Sir George Seymour, Cressy, Castle Eden and Isabella Hercus took a prominent part in the celebrations of Christchurch’s 75th anniversary. They are shown at the foot of the statue of John Robert Godley, the founder of Canterbury.

Prominent in Cathedral Square and unveiled in 1867, the Godley statue is inscribed simply:

John Robert Godley, Founder of Canterbury

The statue, the first public commemorative statue in New Zealand unveiled to a single person, was sculpted by the English Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner. In 1907 the statue was hidden from public view by the tram shelter. Despite public deputations to the Council, the statue was not moved to a more prominent public position on the north side of the Cathedral until 1918. There it remained until 1933 when it was returned to its present and original site.

The statue fell from its plinth during the 22 February 2011 earthquake and has become one of the most photographed symbols of the damage to Christchurch. It is currently on display in the Quake City exhibition in the Re:START Mall.