16 September 1864
Opening of second Town Hall, built of stone next to the first hall in High Street.

The old town halls, High Street, Christchurch  [between 1864 and 1882] Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0020

The old town halls, High Street, Christchurch
[between 1864 and 1882]
File Reference CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0020

18 September 1980
Theatre Royal bought by Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation to be renovated and preserved as a theatre.

19 September 1865
South Island Separation Bill defeated in Parliament by 31 votes to 17. Find out more in Papers Past, including report on the Separation Debate, Daily Southern Cross, 21 September 1865.

19 September 1904
Naxos searchConcert by pianist Jan Paderewski. He later became Prime Minister of Poland. Read Bernice’s blog post on President Paderewski.

20 September 1916
Canterbury Aviation Company founded by Henry (later Sir Henry) Wigram. Read The First hundred pilots – a brief history by Henry Wigram recounting its beginnings.

21 September 1867
Trout introduced from Tasmania. The ova were reared in special covered ponds built in Hagley Park next to the hospital. Salmon were introduced a year later.

More September events in the Chronology.

8 September 1850
Sir George Seymour” leaves Plymouth with settlers.

11 September 1928
Kingsford-Smith and his crew (Ulm, Litchfield and McWilliams) land at Wigram in “Southern Cross” after the first trans-Tasman flight. A crowd of 30,000, alerted by all-night radio broadcasts, had gathered at the airfield.

The Southern Cross. [Sept. 1928] Charles Kingsford-Smith (1897-1935) made the first Tasman flight from Sydney to Christchurch, arriving at Wigram Aerodrom on 10 Sept. 1928. His aircraft is pictured on arrival. Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0015

The Southern Cross.
[Sept. 1926] Charles Kingsford-Smith (1897-1935) made the first Tasman flight from Sydney to Christchurch, arriving at Wigram Aerodrom on 10 Sept. 1928. His aircraft is pictured on arrival. Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0015

11 September 1928
G.W. Skellerup founds Para Rubber Company, New Zealand’s first retail rubber goods business at 175 Manchester Street. Christchurch soon became the centre of the rubber industry in New Zealand.

Street view of Para Rubber Company Ltd shop, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1959/3235-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/30645364

Street view of Para Rubber Company Ltd shop, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1959/3235-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

13 September 1877
Christchurch Girls High School (designed by Thomas Cane) opens on the corner of Hereford Street and Rolleston Avenue. The school moved to its present Cranmer Square site in 1881. The original school is now part of the Arts Centre. The Cranmer Square building was demolished in 2011.

Christchurch Girls' High School, Armagh Street, Christchurch [192-?] Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0017

Christchurch Girls’ High School, Armagh Street, Christchurch [192-?]
Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0017

13 September 13, 1882
Woolston Town Board formed.

14 September 1976
Inter-island ferry service from Lyttelton ends with the last sailing of the Rangatira.

14 September 1985
Canterbury loses Ranfurly Shield to Auckland after a 3 year reign. Final score 28-23.

More September events in the Chronology.

25 August 1920
First flight over Cook Strait (Christchurch to Trentham) by Captain Euan Dickson in a Canterbury Aviation Company plane.

26 August 1939
Official opening of City Council’s pensioner housing project in Barnett Avenue, Sydenham; the first local body pensioner housing in New Zealand.

28 August 1890
“Great maritime strike” (the first of New Zealand’s 3 major waterfront strikes) spreads to Lyttelton.

31 August 1959
Princess Margaret Hospital opens.

Cashmere (later Princess Margaret) Hospital, shown under construction
[1956] CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0099, Christchurch City Libraries
The land for the hospital had been bought from the Cracroft Wilson estate by the North Canterbury Hospital Board in the 1930s. Construction began in May 1952 and the hospital was opened 31 Aug. 1959 by the Governor-General, the Viscount Cobham (1909-1977) and officially named The Princess Margaret Hospital. At one stage it was assumed that it would become Christchurch’s main hospital but it was too far from the town centre.

31 August 1974
Death of Prime Minister Norman Kirk, M.P. for Sydenham. He had earlier been M.P. for Lyttelton, and Mayor of Kaiapoi.
Search our catalogue for Norman Kirk.
View the DigitalNZ set The life and death of Norman Kirk.

View image of Norman Kirk's coffin

Alongside the coffin of the late Prime Minister Norman Kirk at Parliament House, Wellington. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: 1/4-021782-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22870322

More August events in the Chronology.

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.

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