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

March 20, 1866
First Cobb & Co. coaches to the West Coast.
March 20, 1873
Death of pioneer doctor and photographer Dr.A.C. Barker.
March 20, 1883
Sumner Town Board’s first meeting.
March 20, 1898
"Horse fiend" strikes at Halswell. The "fiend" killed several horses over a period of time, including 2 valuable stallions in 1899.
March 20, 1917
Avonside and St Martins join City.
March 21, 1848
Canterbury Association formed in London.
March 21, 1864
New Zealand’s first hansom cab arrives in City.
March 21, 1918
First meeting of the Canterbury Progress League (now the Canterbury Promotion Council).
March 22, 1894
First "local option" poll fails to achieve liquor prohibition in Christchurch.
March 22, 1975
3000 joggers take part in the first City-to-Surf fun run.
March 23, 1827
Edward Gibbon Wakefield, later to be the architect of the Canterbury settlement, tried and imprisoned in England for abduction.
March 23, 1866
Road to the West Coast officially opens.
March 23, 1977
Durham Street overbridge opens.
March 24, 1887
First City Council offices open. This building at the corner of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Street was designed by S. Hurst Seager. It was the first public building in Christchurch to break with the prevailing tradition of Gothic, Classic or Venetian style. It is presently tenanted by the Canterbury Promotion Council.
March 24, 1902
Professor Bickerton sacked from university. The charismatic and controversial professor of chemistry had been the college’s first appointment in 1874. He was ostensibly fired for mismanagement of his department, but was in fact a brilliant teacher whose star pupil was Ernest Rutherford. The real reason for his sacking seems to have been his socialist politics and his outspoken criticism of that venerable institution - marriage. See also 1929.
March 25, 1879
New Zealand’s first telephones in operation in City.
March 25, 1930
New Zealand’s first country library service begins as Canterbury adult rural education scheme under the auspices of the W.E.A.
March 26, 1891
New Zealand’s first agricultural conference held in City.