A timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.
Go to a year between 1700 & 1989
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 Zealands 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 Its time signals to shipping were superseded by radio signals in 1934.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 Citys 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 citys 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 Zealands first official car race.
- Information for this resource was based on the second edition of John Densem’s Christchurch chronology: a history of settlement. Environmental Policy and Planning Policy Unit, Christchurch City Council, 1990.
More about the Christchurch Chronology.
- This resource includes links to various other local history resources on our websites and images from our photographs collection - clicking on the image will take you to a larger version of that image.