Christchurch: a chronology

A timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

Go to a year between 1700 & 1989

Begin at the beginning Start here

This week in history

July 15-21, 1979
D’oyly Carte Opera Company gives performances.
July 16, 1852
Choral classes begin in Lyttelton.
July 16, 1989
Death of John Densem, Christchurch designer and musician, who initiated this publication.
July 17, 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 Preliminary work on the tunnel had begun in January 1860, but the original contractors had withdrawn in November.
July 17, 1915
First Canterbury wounded from the war return to Lyttelton on the "Willochra".
July 17, 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 have become a familiar part of the Square.
July 17, 1979
Visit by Princess Anne.
July 18, 1853
First meeting of the Christchurch Horticultural, Agricultural and Botanical Society.
July 18, 1903
Heavy snow in Canterbury.
July 18, 1945
Christchurch’s lowest recorded temperature -7.1 deg C. Note that this is air temperature which is recorded above ground level. Frost readings are taken on the ground and can be several degrees colder than the air temperature. Record frost was in 1872.
July 19, 1880
Lincoln College opens - the first agricultural college in the Southern Hemisphere.
July 19, 1924
New Zealand Miniature Rifle Association (now Smallbore Rifle Association) formed in Christchurch.
July 19, 1965
City Council grants charter to HMNZS "Pegasus".
July 19, 1982
City Council approves further extension of airport runway by 845 metres.
July 19, 1988
Jock Orr, nicknamed "The Birdman" after befriending birds in Cathedral Square, dies in Christchurch.
July 20, 1851
First church in Christchurch opened - later dedicated as St Michael and All Angels in 1859.
July 20, 1853
J.E. FitzGerald elected first Superintendent of the Province of Canterbury.
July 20, 1935
1st concert by violinist Yehudi Menuhin (already famous at only 17).
July 20, 1983
Record Ranfurly Shield rugby score - Canterbury defeats North Otago 88-0 at Lancaster Park.
July 21, 1987
St Michaels Church Day School - 136th anniversary.