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 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.
July 26, 1879
Canterbury Rugby Football Association (New Zealand’s first) formed.
July 26, 1924
Open air classrooms in use at Fendalton Primary School.
July 27, 1851
Storm wrecks 6 ships in Lyttelton Harbour.
July 27, 1893
Woolston becomes a Borough.
July 28, 1964
Rolleston Avenue trees cut down by City Council, at the request of Christ’s College Board. Intense public protest follows.
July 28, 1986
Grenadier Hotel demolished in Oxford Terrace. Formerly The Royal, it was the third hotel on this site since 1851.
July 29, 1953
Aviation pioneer Richard W. Pearse dies in Christchurch. Pearse made one of the world’s first powered flights on or about March 31, 1902 in South Canterbury. He moved to Christchurch in 1921, and worked on his astonishing "convertiplane" over many years.
July 30, 1867
”Great Canterbury snowstorm“ begins. Although no accurate records are available, this may have been heavier than the record 1945 fall. Over 500,000 sheep and cattle died in Canterbury and Otago.
July 30, 1911
Over 40,000 people brave wet, cold weather to attend the funeral of Mayor T. E. Taylor (whose 6 weeks in office is the shortest on record).
July 30, 1921
Canterbury becomes the first New Zealand provincial rugby team to defeat the Springboks.
July 30, 1976
7 Canterbury men in gold medal winning hockey team at the Montreal Olympics.