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.

16 June 1932
Robert McDougall Art Gallery opens. The gallery was a gift of R.E. McDougall, Managing Director of Aulsebrooks and Company.

17 June 1843
John Deans lands sheep, cattle and horses at Lyttelton.

19 June 1857
Complaints reported that the Avon and Heathcote Rivers are becoming clogged with watercress. Provincial Council approves £1500 for clearance. Watercress appears to have been introduced by the ship “Compte de Paris” to Akaroa in 1841, and from there to the Avon by William Deans in 1850.

20 June 1928
Canterbury Aero Club formed. The first pilot trained by the club was a woman, Aroha Clifford. She may have been New Zealand’s first woman pilot.

Aroha Clifford

Aroha Clifford. Ref: EP-0628-1/2-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22823723

21 June 1851
Christchurch Cricket Club formed.

21 June 1851
Road from Christchurch to Riccarton completed.

21 June 1897
Huge celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee include the official opening of Victoria Park on the Port Hills and the transformation of Market (Victoria) Square by the City Council and the newly formed Christchurch Beautifying Association. The square, once the commercial centre of Christchurch, had contained many early public buildings and services including a prison, immigration barracks, an animal pound and the first post office.

22 June 1954
Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme murder Parker’s mother in Victoria Park. Their subsequent trial was one of the most sensational in the city’s history. Explore our digitised resources on the murder.

More June events in our Christchurch chronology.

Citizens' War Memorial

The Citizen’s War Memorial. Flickr: CCL-2011-11-08-Cenotaph2

9 June 1851
“Steadfast” arrives with settlers.

9 June 1869
Earthquake damages many buildings including the stone (second) Town Hall.

9 June 1917
Sign of the Kiwi opens.

9 June 1937
Citizens War Memorial unveiled in Cathedral Square.

10 June 1935
John Drew and poet/typographer Dennis Glover founded Caxton Press to publish New Zealand literature. Most of the decade’s best writers were first published by the company.

11 June 1982
Sir Hamish Hay, Mayor of Christchurch since 1974, knighted in Queen’s Birthday honours.

12 June 1848
“Kemp’s Deed” signed by Ngai Tahu giving the New Zealand Company control of land from Kaiapoi to Otago.

15 June 1874
Canterbury College (University) opens. A subsequent public protest prevented its proposed buildings from being sited in what are now the Botanic Gardens.

 

 

 

More June events in our Christchurch chronology.

Exterior view of the Theatre Royal, Christchurch, prior to opening, CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0061

Exterior view of the Theatre Royal, Christchurch, prior to opening, CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0061

2 June 1874
“The Press” publishes an evening paper, “The Globe” to compete with “The Star”. It became “The Telegraph”, then “The Truth”, then “Evening News”. Publication ceased in May 1917.

4 June 1866
Refurbished Royal Princess Theatre re-opens as the first Theatre Royal.

7 June 1877
New Canterbury College (University) building opens. Designed by B.W. Mountfort, the building is now part of the Arts Centre.

8 June 1838
First French warship, the corvette “Heroine” (Captain J.B. Cecille) arrives in Akaroa.

Canterbury College, Christchurch, showing clock tower and Great Hall [ca. 1882]  CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0012

Canterbury College, Christchurch, showing clock tower and Great Hall [ca. 1882] CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0012

More June events in our Christchurch chronology.

26 May 1859
Public Library begins as the Mechanics Institute in Town Hall.

Photo of balloon ascent, Lancaster Park [between Dec. 1910 and Jan. 1911].

Balloon ascent, Lancaster Park [between Dec. 1910 and Jan. 1911]. Christchurch City Libraries, File Reference CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0004

28 May 1840
Major Bunbury on HMS “Herald” visits Akaroa collecting signatures of Maori chiefs for the Treaty of Waitangi.

28 May 1955
First parking meters installed.

29 May 1886
First trotting meeting held at Lancaster Park.

29 May 1926
New Zealand’s first sports broadcast – a rugby match from Lancaster Park. Commentator Allan Allardyce was soon to pioneer broadcasts of racing, cricket and hockey for station 3YA. He also gave live coverage of Kingsford-Smith’s landing at Wigram in 1928.

29 May 1967
Opening of the new Bank of New Zealand building in Cathedral Square.

30 May 1874
First rugby match played.

Photo of Christchurch Hospital, Riccarton Avenue, Christchurch [1872].

Christchurch Hospital, Riccarton Avenue, Christchurch [1872]. Christchurch City Libraries, File Reference CCL PhotoCD 13, IMG0034

30 May 1890
Richmond joins City.

30 May 1912
First netball match in City.

1 June 1862
Hospital opens on site in Hagley Park. But only after the first vigorous “Hands off Hagley” protests by irate citizens.

1 June 1961
Television transmission begins from CHTV 3, Christchurch.

2 June 1874
“The Press” publishes an evening paper, “The Globe” to compete with “The Star”. It became “The Telegraph”, then “The Truth”, then “Evening News”. Publication ceased in May 1917.

2 June 1902
Municipal refuse destructor in operation. The destructor chimney, by the present site of the MED, was a dominant city landmark for many years.

More May and June events in our Christchurch chronology.

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