22 January 1929
Death of Professor Bickerton in England. Since his sacking by the university – see 1902 – he had operated the extraordinary Pleasure Gardens at Wainoni, made fireworks, promoted patent medicines and then travelled to England to promote his “partial impact” astronomical theory.
24 January 1974
10th Commonwealth Games open at Queen Elizabeth II Park, one of the greatest sporting events in New Zealand’s history. Visitors include the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Princess Anne. Highlight of the opening ceremony was the New Zealand Army Band’s spectacular novelty marching routine. Seen on international live TV, the idea was soon copied by bandsmen throughout the Commonwealth.
25 January 1974
Cantabrian Richard Tayler wins 10,000 metres in games record time. This was the first live colour TV coverage of a major race. Tayler was honoured as 1974 “Sportsman of the Year’, but his sports career was cut tragically short by the onset of crippling arthritis.
27 January 1860
Writer Samuel Butler arrives at Lyttelton on “Roman Emperor”. He is best remembered for the novel Erewhon, published after his return to England several years later.
More January events in our Christchurch chronology.