Christchurch: a chronology

A timeline of some Christchurch events in chronological order from 1700s to 1989.

Go to a year between 1700 & 1989

Begin at the beginning Start here

This week in history

July 23, 1851
Pioneer William Deans among 28 lost in the wreck of the “Maria” in Cook Strait. Godley had tried to deprive the Deans and Hay families of their farms because he wanted only Anglicans to own land in the new settlement. The Deans brothers had sold sheep to pay the legal costs of fighting Godley’s high handed action, and William Deans was travelling to Sydney to buy replacement stock.
July 23, 1857
First dramatic presentation in Canterbury, which featured Mrs Foley in “The Loan of a Lover” and “Betsy Baker” at the Lyttelton Town Hall.
July 23, 1935
2nd concert by violinist Yehudi Menuhin (already famous at only 17).
July 23, 1987
Lotto sales start.
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.