This week in Christchurch history (27 July to 2 August)

28 July 1986
Grenadier Hotel demolished in Oxford Terrace. Formerly The Royal, it was the third hotel on this site since 1851.

Cars parked outside the Grenadier Hotel in Oxford Terrace [ca. 1960]
Cars parked outside the Grenadier Hotel in Oxford Terrace [ca. 1960], CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0049
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.

1 August 1929
“Lyttelton Times” re-named “Christchurch Times” after being taken over by Auckland interests. In fact, the paper had moved from Lyttelton to Christchurch in 1863.

1 August 1975
Severe nor-west gale causes serious damage throughout city and province. Winds gust to a record 172 kilometres per hour (107 miles per hour). Over 250 injuries in Canterbury, and many forests devastated.

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

This week in Christchurch history (20 to 26 July)

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

Old St. Michael's Church, corner of Oxford Terrace and Lichfield Street [ca. 1861]
Old St. Michael’s Church, corner of Oxford Terrace and Lichfield Street [ca. 1861], CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0003
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

24 July 1983
New Zealand’s first “test-tube” twins born at Christchurch Hospital.

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

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

This week in Christchurch history (13 to 19 July)

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.

King Edward Barracks, corner of Cashel and Montreal Streets, Christchurch [1905]
King Edward Barracks, corner of Cashel and Montreal Streets, Christchurch [1905], CCL PhotoCD 7, IMG0067
14 July 1945
Record snowfall 280mm (11 inches) over most of city. See our page on historic snowfalls in Christchurch.

15-21 July 1979
D’oyly Carte Opera Company gives performances.

17 July 1861
Work begins on the railway to Lyttelton. Preliminary work on the tunnel had begun in January 1860, but the original contractors had withdrawn in November.

17 July 1915
First Canterbury wounded from the war return to Lyttelton on the “Willochra”.

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:

The Post Office tower is dwarfed in this view, taken from the top of the Government Life Insurance building in the Square [Mar. 1963]
The Post Office tower is dwarfed in this view, taken from the top of the Government Life Insurance building in the Square [Mar. 1963], CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0059
19 July 1880
Lincoln College opens – the first agricultural college in the Southern Hemisphere.

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

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

This week in Christchurch history (6 to 12 July)

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

7 July 1908
Widespread flooding in city and province.

8 July 1880
Canterbury Society of Arts formed.

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

10 July 1922
Hagley Park and Botanic Gardens included in city boundary.

11 July 1879
Post Office building in Cathedral Square completed.

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

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

This week in Christchurch history (29 June to 5 July)

29 June 1951
First regular South Island trans-Tasman flights begin from Melbourne to Christchurch.

30 June 1849
Canterbury’s first “industrial action” – Maori road workers in Evans Pass (constructing a road across the Port Hills) go on strike as a reaction to verbal abuse and dismissals.

30 June 1975
TV2 transmission starts.

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 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.

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

This week in Christchurch history (22 to 28 June)

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.

Cover of Pioneers of the Plains
Pioneers of the Plains: The Deans of Canterbury

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 New Zealand.

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.

Margaret Mahy display. Central Library Tuam - 24 July 2012.
Margaret Mahy display. Central Library Tuam – 24 July 2012. Flickr: CCL-2012-07-24

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

This week in Christchurch history (15 to 21 June)

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.

The Robert McDougall Art Gallery : a profile [7.2MB]
View The Robert McDougall Art Gallery : a profile [7.2MB PDF]
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. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. 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.

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

This week in Christchurch history (8 to 14 June)

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

8 June 1966
New “Wahine”, described as “the largest vehicular ferry in the world”, begins on the Lyttelton-Wellington run.

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

9 June 1917
Sign of the Kiwi opens.

French officers visit to the Sign of the Kiwi [ca. 1920]
French officers visit to the Sign of the Kiwi [ca. 1920], CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0085
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.

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

14 June 1923
New Zealand permanent Air Force established at Sockburn as the Government takes over the Canterbury Aviation Company. Included in the take-over was Sockburn Aerodrome, which was re-named Wigram a few days later.

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

Celebrating Halswell Heritage – share your Halswell photos

Do you have photos that reflect life in Halswell? Would you be willing to lend them to the library for Kete Christchurch, our digital community archive?

We’d love to have them to share with the community. All contributions will be collected, digitised and returned.

Have a look at the Halswell images in Kete Christchurch.

Images from Kete Christchurch

Take your photos to Halswell Library 381 Halswell Road (corner Sparks, Halswell Roads)
or contact us:
Christchurch City Libraries
Phone 941-7923
Email library@ccc.govt.nz

Find out more about Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre. This new library and community facility incorporating customer service facilities and multipurpose spaces is being built on the existing Halswell Aquatic Centre site and adjacent land is scheduled to open in November 2015.

Feel free to promote this to your community:

  • Download an A3 poster [517KB PDF]
  • Download a leaflet [534KB PDF]
  • Download the rights form – please include this when submitting your photos. [136KB PDF]

How to submit your photographs

  1. You must complete a form with your full name, phone number, and postal address. If applicable please include your library card number and email address.
  2. Ensure that you read the ‘terms and conditions’ below and then sign and date your form. Each photo must be accompanied by a signed form.
  3. Place your form and photograph into an envelope available from your local library. Ensure that you write your name and contact details (phone or email) on the front of the envelope and hand your completed form to a librarian.

Your entry will be delivered to the Digital Content & Serials Team where your photograph will be scanned. You will be contacted when your photo is ready to collect from the library where you submitted this form. Please indicate which library this is in the ‘Library location’ space on the form.

Copies of all photograph entries may be displayed in libraries and uploaded to Kete Christchurch ketechristchurch.peoplesnetworknz.info

Terms and conditions

  • Each image must be accompanied by a signed form. Contact details are only required once.
  • Copies of the photograph entries may also be displayed in the library and on the Christchurch City Libraries’ websites.
  • Photos will be transferred to Kete Christchurch for display. By submitting a photo you give permission for photos to be published under the license Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 New Zealand’s org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/nz/.
  • Entries that do not have full contact details on the form will not be considered.
  • Your name and images may be used for reasonable publicity purposes by Christchurch City Libraries.
  • Christchurch City Libraries will not be responsible for any breaches of copyright or privacy that may occur.
  • Christchurch City Libraries reserve the right not to display all photographs.

When photographs have been scanned they will be returned to the library you submitted at, a librarian will contact you to arrange collection. Thank you for your assistance with building this community archive.

This week in Christchurch history (1 to 7 June)

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.

4 June 1864
Serious fire in Colombo Street destroys buildings between Hereford and Cashel Streets.

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

6 June 1905
First electric trams in operation. Unique in Australasia, they had front fenders as a safety feature because of the density of cycle traffic in Christchurch.

An electric tram crosses the Ferry Bridge over the Heathcote River on the road to Sumner, Christchurch [1909]
An electric tram crosses the Ferry Bridge over the Heathcote River on the road to Sumner, Christchurch [1909], CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0045
7 June 1877
New Canterbury College (University) building opens. Designed by B.W. Mountfort, the building is now part of the Arts Centre.

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