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

December 20-21, 1915
Canterbury Battalion among the last to leave Gallipoli. The battalion suffered 385 dead during the campaign.
December 20, 1877
70 kilometres (44 miles) of railway line north to Amberley converted from broad to narrow gauge in a single day by 500 men - in time for the opening of the railway station the following day.
December 20, 1955
First Antarctic flights by USN Operation Deep Freeze from Christchurch.
December 21, 1877
New Christchurch railway station opens.
December 21, 1977
New Zealand’s first closed circuit central city television traffic control system in operation for City Council.
December 22, 1885
Statue of William Moorhouse unveiled in the Botanic Gardens.
December 23, 1876
Lyttelton time-ball station in operation. Its time signals to shipping were superseded by radio signals in 1934. See also 1978.
December 23, 1911
George Bolt flies a glider from the Port Hills.
December 23, 1974
State Insurance Company announces the purchase of Trinity Church, (designed by B.W.Mountfort, built 1874) and its conversion into the State Trinity Centre. The completed project was opened on November 22, 1975.
December 24, 1864
First gas street lights.
December 24, 1953
4 Christchurch victims among 151 dead in Tangiwai railway disaster.
December 25, 1864
Durham Street Methodist Church opens - the City’s first stone church.
December 25, 1891
Foundation stone laid for the "Temple of Truth" - but the sect was a fraud - see 1897.
December 26, 1863
Opening of the Royal Princess Theatre, the city’s first true theatre. It had been the Canterbury Music Hall, see 1861.
December 26, 1870
First rowing regatta on the Avon.
December 26, 1879
Serious Catholic/Protestant riot in Manchester Street.
December 26, 1905
Automobile Association holds a "Great Automobile Gymkhana" at Addington trotting grounds. 30 cars took part, and the programme included New Zealand’s first official car race.