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 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.
July 22, 1918
After heavy snow - 175mm (7inches) - Christchurch experiences its coldest day on record. The temperature did not rise above 1 deg C.
July 22, 1947
Visit by Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery.
July 23, 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.
July 23, 1857
First dramatic presentation in Canterbury, which featured Mrs Foley in “The Loan of a Lover” and “Betsy Baker” at the Lyttelton Town Hall.
July 23, 1935
2nd concert by violinist Yehudi Menuhin (already famous at only 17).
July 23, 1987
Lotto sales start.
July 24, 1884
YMCA building opens on the site of the present Police Station.
July 24, 1983
New Zealand’s first "test-tube" twins born at Christchurch Hospital.
July 25, 1903
City Council generates Christchurch’s first public electricity from a generator driven by the municipal refuse destructor. This eventually led to the formation of the Municipal Electricity Department, which was derived from the City Engineer’s Department in 1925.