Christchurch: a chronology

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

Go to a year between 1700 & 1989

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This week in history

May 24, 1940
Centennial music festival presents 10 days of music to large audiences. This was the New Zealand Centennial. For Christchurch Centennial see 1950.
May 25, 1861
“Christchurch Press” appears. The first editor was ex-Superintendent James FitzGerald, a bitter opponent of the proposed Lyttelton-Christchurch railway tunnel. He and supporters began the paper to air their views.
May 25, 1903
Statue of Queen Victoria unveiled in Market Square, and the area is renamed Victoria Square.
May 25, 1966
Steering committe set up to plan Ferrymead Historic Park.
May 25, 1969
First pair of one-way streets (Lichfield and St Asaph Streets) in operation. With traffic signals eventually controlled by a computer, this was the beginning of New Zealand’s first area traffic control scheme.
May 26, 1859
Public Library begins as the Mechanics Institute in Town Hall.
May 26, 1906
Statue of William Rolleston (outside the Canterbury Museum) unveiled.
May 27, 1949
New Zealand’s first commercial aerial topdressing on Banks Peninsula.
May 27, 1986
Court Theatre’s 15th anniversary celebrated with two week season of Steven Sondheim’s play "Sweeney Todd" in James Hay Theatre.
May 28, 1840
Major Bunbury on HMS “Herald” visits Akaroa collecting signatures of Maori chiefs for the Treaty of Waitangi.
May 28, 1866
George Dobson (brother of Arthur Dudley Dobson) murdered by the Burgess and Kelly gang in the Southern Alps. The gang mistook him for a gold courier.
May 28, 1955
First parking meters installed.
May 28, 1983
Visit of Professor Zhu Xuanren, Vice Governor, Gansu Province China.
May 29, 1886
First trotting meeting held at Lancaster Park.
May 29, 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.
May 29, 1967
Opening of the new Bank of New Zealand building in Cathedral Square.
May 30, 1866
Moorhouse elected as Provincial Superintendent - his second term of office.
May 30, 1874
First rugby match played.
May 30, 1890
Richmond joins City.
May 30, 1912
First netball match in City.