This week in Christchurch history (18 to 24 May)

18 May 1881
Christchurch Boys’ High School (designed by W.B. Armson) opens in Worcester Street. The school moved to the present Straven Road site in 1926, and the old building is now part of the Arts Centre.

Boys' High School, Worcester Street, Christchurch [ca. 1882], CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0018
Boys’ High School, Worcester Street, Christchurch [ca. 1882], CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0018
19 May 1910
Halley’s Comet visible by telescope in night sky. Prophesies of doom and superstition abounded while the comet was visible.

20 May 1861
Gold discovered in Gabriels Gully, Otago. As with other discoveries, the ensuing gold rush depleted the city of its more adventurous young men.

21 May 1866
City Council abandons the vital city drainage scheme because of its financial state. A huge shipment of pipes which had just arrived from England had to be sold off. This guaranteed Christchurch’s reputation as New Zealand’s most polluted and unhealthy city for another 20 years. It is interesting to compare the transport cost of these pipes from Glasgow to Lyttelton – £882 – with the cost from Lyttelton by lighter and cart to Christchurch – £400!

22-25 May 1988
Snow falls in Central City for first time in 10 years .

22 May 1868
William Rolleston becomes the fourth (and last) Superintendent of Canterbury. The 4 superintendents have been remembered in the names of the city’s “four avenues”, previously called the Town Belts.

Looking south down Rolleston Avenue to the Port Hills [ca. 1890], CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0053
Looking south down Rolleston Avenue to the Port Hills [ca. 1890], CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0053
23 May 1960
Tsunami (tidal wave) causes water level range of nearly 6 metres in 2 hours at Lyttelton.

More May events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

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