Cover of French Akaroa.19 August 1840
French settlers land at Akaroa.

19 August 1859
Chamber of Commerce established in Lyttelton.

22 August 1910
Ilam homestead (on the site of the present university staff club) destroyed by fire.

22 August 1925
Radio Broadcasting Company of N.Z. incorporated in Christchurch – the country’s first public radio company. The company became the major force in early radio, eventually owning and operating a chain of YA stations throughout the country.

Photo of 3YA Christchurch Station

3YA Christchurch Station of the Radio Broadcasting Company of New Zealand [1927]
CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0057, Christchurch City Libraries
It had steel towers 154 feet high, aerial 170 feet long, a 500-watt ouput, and operated on a wave length of 405 metres.

24 August 1857
Evans Pass road over the Port Hills opens.

More August events in the Chronology.

11 August 1923
Christchurch Radio Society begins regular radio transmission with station 3AC.

13 August 1974
Kurashiki (Japan), becomes a sister city.

15 August 1872
Novelist Anthony Trollope visits. Search DigitalNZ for information on his trip.

15 August 1945
V.J. (Victory over Japan) day celebrations.

Photo of VJ Day celebrations

CCL Photo Collection 22, Img02312

Some of the crowd who celebrated VJ Day (14 August 1945) shown at the corner of Strowan and Normans Roads, Bryndwr
[Aug. 1945]
Some people dressed in fancy dress to help create a carnival atmosphere.Second from the left is Jean Parr (nee Lee), third from the left is Nancy O’Dowd (nee Baird)

Anti-tour poster

The first test between the Springboks and the All Blacks took place in Christchurch at Lancaster Park on Saturday, 15 August 1981.

More photos of VJ Day in Christchurch.

15 August 1981
Massive demonstrations in Christchurch against rugby test between All Blacks and Springboks. See our collection of posters.

16 August 1868
Tsunami (“tidal wave”) in Lyttelton Harbour. Part of the harbour bottom was laid bare, then a wave swept in, damaging the “Novelty”.
Read Bank Peninsula Impact 1868 Willem de Lange and Eileen McSaveney. ‘Tsunamis – New Zealand’s tsunami history’, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 9-Jul-13

16 August 1890
First inter-provincial soccer match held in Christchurch. Canterbury beat Wellington 2-0.

17 August 1903
City abattoir opens at Sockburn.

More August events in the Chronology.

4 August 1878
Severe snowstorm over the South Island.

4 August 1914

First World War declared. Check out The Star front page for August 5 1914 on Papers Past. During the evening, The Press reported “a large number of youths, many of them members of the Territorial forces, combined in a patriotic demonstration.”

4 August 1923
Railway to the West Coast opens. The much delayed opening of the Otira tunnel on June 18, 1918, had prevented earlier completion of the line.

The Godley Statue, Cathedral Square, Christchurch [192-?]

The Godley statue, Cathedral Square, Christchurch [192-?] CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0014

6 August 1867
Unveiling of the Godley statue in Cathedral Square New Zealand’s first public statue. However, the statue’s inscription acclaiming him ”founder of Canterbury“ is possibly over generous. Wakefield should at least share the title.

7 August 1982
Opening of City Mall, a major new pedestrian amenity created by the closure of parts of Cashel and High Streets. The project had first been mooted in 1967.

8 August 1945
More flooding in City, worst at Shirley, Radley and Sumner.

8 August 1989
Christchurch Central MP and Deputy Prime Minister, Geoffrey Palmer appointed as Prime Minister after resignation of David Lange. See some photos from his career on DigitalNZ.

9 August 1840
Captain Langlois in the “Compte de Paris” arrives in Pigeon Bay with 63 French settlers.

10 August 1840
Captain Owen Stanley in HMS Britomart dashes to Akaroa and raises the British flag to proclaim sovereignty over the South Island. Read our digitised copy of Mission of the Britomart at Akaroa.

10 August 1932
Statue of Captain James Cook unveiled in Victoria Square.

More August events in the Chronology.

29 July 1953
Aviation pioneer Richard W. Pearse dies in Christchurch. Pearse made one of the world’s first powered flights on or about 31 March 1902 in South Canterbury. He moved to Christchurch in 1921 and worked on his astonishing “convertiplane” over many years.
30 July 1976
7 Canterbury men in gold medal winning hockey team at the Montreal Olympics. See our page on Canterbury Olympians.

31 July 1856
By Royal Charter, Christchurch becomes New Zealand’s first city. Christchurch became New Zealand’s first city in 1856 under the terms of a royal charter. This was because it was the ‘seat’, or base, for a bishop. The Reverend Henry John Chitty Harper was consecrated, or made a bishop, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and arrived with his family in Lyttelton on 23 December 1856.

More July and August events in our Christchurch chronology.

23 July 1851
Pioneer William Deans among 28 lost in the wreck of the Maria in Cook Strait. Godley had tried to deprive the Deans and Hay families of their farms because he wanted only Anglicans to own land in the new settlement. The Deans brothers had sold sheep to pay the legal costs of fighting Godley’s high handed action, and William Deans was travelling to Sydney to buy replacement stock.

23 July 1857
First dramatic presentation in Canterbury, which featured Mrs Foley in “The Loan of a Lover” and “Betsy Baker” at the Lyttelton Town Hall. (see an advertisement in the 25 July 1857 Lyttelton Times).

Papers Past clipping from Page 5 Advertisements Column 2 Lyttelton Times, 25 July 1857

Papers Past clipping from Page 5 Advertisements Column 2 Lyttelton Times, 25 July 1857

26 July 1879
Canterbury Rugby Football Association (New Zealand’s first) formed. See our page on early rugby in Christchurch.

More July events in our Christchurch chronology.

17 July 1964
Opening of the Government Life Building in Cathedral Square. It was the city’s first “high rise glass box”. The building’s rooftop clock and temperature readings became a familiar part of the Square.

Plans:

19 July 1988
Jock Orr, nicknamed “The Birdman” after befriending birds in Cathedral Square, dies in Christchurch.

20 July 1851
First church in Christchurch opened – later dedicated as St Michael and All Angels in 1859.

More July events in our Christchurch chronology.

The Society of Artists Gallery, corner of Armagh & Durham Streets, Christchurch [ca. 1921]  CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0045

The Society of Artists Gallery, corner of Armagh & Durham Streets, Christchurch [ca. 1921] CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0045

8 July 1880
Canterbury Society of Arts formed.

9 July 1863
Civic tree planting begins. Part of the day’s planting was a commemorative tree, generally regarded as the beginning of the Botanic Gardens.

11 July 1879
Post Office building in Cathedral Square completed.

Post Office Corner 1963 from Cathedral spire Flickr HW-08-FE-09

Post Office Corner 1963 from Cathedral spire Flickr HW-08-FE-09

13 July 1905
Construction of King Edward barracks begins. The building was completed in an amazing 25 days. In the absence of a true Town Hall, it was often the venue for large concerts and civic occasions.

14 July 1945
Record snowfall 280mm (11 inches) over most of city. See our page on historic snowfalls in Christchurch.

More July events in our Christchurch chronology.

Your Family's HistoryChristchurch City Libraries has many overseas visitors coming to the library to research their family history. I enjoy these interactions as they are interesting and can uncover new information for families.

On this particular day an Australian visitor arrived keen to verify a family story about her relatives Nicholas and William Quinn. The brothers had apparently donated to the building of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, lived in Christchurch, and Quinns Road was named after them. So began the research to see if this story was correct.

Christchurch street names P-Q proved an invaluable resource with Quinns Road being named after a John Quinn, farmer of Shirley. The customer did not recognise this John and she did not know where the brothers lived in Christchurch.

AncestryWe checked the New Zealand Electoral Rolls on Ancestry and located a Nicholas Quinn in Waimate. She was unsure about this information as believed the brothers lived in Christchurch. However checking the original record proved both brothers were on the Electoral Roll and living in the Waimate area for the majority of their lives. Papers Past filled in gaps for the customer as there were many entries for the Quinn brothers in the Timaru Herald.

But what about donating to the building of the Cathedral? Google Images returned an image of a Quinn’s brick and we followed the trail. The link provided a detailed summary of the history of the two Irish brothers who originally fired bricks on their own property and went on to build many prominent buildings in Waimate and Makikihi, including the local Catholic Church. Nicholas did contribute to the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament by leaving money, after he died, to contribute to peals of bells for the new church.

Quinn's Arcade c1907 -1918 Waimate Historical Museum and Archives

Quinn’s Arcade
c1907 -1918
Waimate Historical Museum and Archives Object number 2002-1026-01951

William and Nicholas Quinn proved to be fascinating early settlers, and whilst the outcome was different from the original story the family now had one that was verified and enriched through research and perseverance. If you are interested in uncovering family stories Christchurch City Libraries is running a Getting Started: Beginners Guide to Family History for four weeks beginning the 29th July, 6pm to 7.30pm. Ring 941-7923 if you are interested.

1 July 1862
New Zealand’s first telegraph in operation between Christchurch and Lyttelton.

The Post and Telegraph Office in Norwich Quay, Lyttelton [ca. 1885] The Office was built in 1876. In the background are the offices of the New Zealand Shipping Company and the shop of R. Forbes, ship chandlers.  CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0009

The Post and Telegraph Office in Norwich Quay, Lyttelton [ca. 1885] The Office was built in 1876. In the background are the offices of the New Zealand Shipping Company and the shop of R. Forbes, ship chandlers. CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0009

1 July 1865
Lyttelton Harbour breakwaters begun.

1 July 1935
Evening papers “Star” and “Sun” merge to become the “Star Sun”, ending a 6 year newspaper war, the longest and most bitter in New Zealand’s history. The “peace” agreement between the 3 companies concerned also saw the demise of the “Christchurch Times” (once the “Lyttelton Times”), the oldest daily paper in the country.

4 July 1977
Hundreds evacuated as serious flooding affects City.

6 July 1887
Heavy floods. Three young men drown in the Avon River as a result of a boating mishap.

More June and July events in our Christchurch chronology.

23 June 1854
Pioneer John Deans dies at Riccarton. The preservation of Deans Bush was one of his dying wishes.

23 June 1863
First cab stand in City, on the corner of Colombo and High Streets.

24 June 1981
First Metro Refuse transfer station (Sockburn) in operation.

25 June 1934
Death of Harry Ell. The uncompleted Summit Road and Sign of the Takahe projects were taken over by his son.

27 June 1846
Canterbury’s first armed robbery – 3 men hold up and ransack the Greenwood brothers’ farm at Purau.

27 June 1904
Yaldhurst School elects New Zealand’s first all-woman school committee.

27 June 1964
Large crowds for visit of Beatles pop group. View a DigitalNZ set of images of the Beatles in NZ.

Margaret Mahy display. Flickr: CCL-2012-07-24

Margaret Mahy display. Flickr: CCL-2012-07-24

28 June  1869
Velocipede (“boneshaker”) bicycle (probably New Zealand’s first) tried out on City streets by its maker, coachbuilder Henry Wagstaff.

28 June 1983
Author Margaret Mahy awarded Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal for her children’s book, “The Haunting”.

29 June 1953
Aviation pioneer Richard W. Pearse dies in Christchurch. Pearse made one of the world’s first powered flights on or about March 31, 1902 in South Canterbury. He moved to Christchurch in 1921, and worked on his astonishing “convertiplane” over many years.

More June events in our Christchurch chronology.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 780 other followers