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

September 1, 1888
Earthquake causes damage throughout City. Cathedral spire badly damaged.
September 1, 1906
First Timaru to Christchurch cycle race.
September 1, 1924
New City Council offices in Manchester Street open. The first of the Council’s 2 recycled office buildings, this had been the Canterbury Exhibition Hall, gutted by fire in 1917.
September 1, 1940
New Zealand Railways railcar sets a speed record of 125 kilometres per hour (78 miles per hour) near Rolleston. This is still the highest speed officially acknowledged on the New Zealand rail system.
September 2, 1885
Public meeting of 25,000 (possibly the country’s biggest to that time) in Hagley Park in support of the proposal to build a railway to the West Coast (the Midland Line).
September 3, 1879
Canterbury Industrial Association formed (now the Canterbury Manufacturers Association).
September 4, 1903
Canterbury Automobile Association formed.
September 5, 1985
French agent Dominique Prieur convicted over the bombing of the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior", transferred from Mt Eden Jail to Christchurch Womens Prison.
September 5, 1987
Canterbury Rowing Club 125th anniversary - believed to be the oldest sports club in New Zealand. See 1861.
September 5, 1988
Stanley Reid, New Zealand's longest serving prisoner (43 years) dies in Christchurch.
September 6, 1878
Railway to Dunedin officially opens.
September 6, 1980
$9.5 million Icon exhibition opens at Robert McDougall Art Gallery.
September 7, 1850
First Canterbury Association settlers sail from Plymouth, England on the “Charlotte Jane”, “Randolph” and “Cressy”.
September 7, 1863
City’s first murder trial. G. Lumley convicted.