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

October 19, 1978
Visit by President Walter Scheel of West Germany.
October 20, 1948
"Pleasure Garden" art controversy begins when a Frances Hodgkins painting (done in about 1933) is exhibited at "the Group" show. This fierce debate on art style was joined by people throughout New Zealand. It raged for 3 years until the City Council accepted the painting as a gift on September 3, 1951.
October 20, 1987
World-wide share market crash affects Christchurch Stock Exchange .
October 22, 1863
First Agricultural and Pastoral Association show in showgrounds (which is now Sydenham Park). An “unofficial” show had been held in October, 1862.
October 22, 1985
"Elizabeth" the one tonne sea elephant dies of a viral infection on Sumner Beach. She had lived for 5 years on the City's beaches, estuary and rivers and was often found crawling up suburban streets.
October 22, 1988
Announcement of the appointment of Patricia Costigan as Christchurch's first female District Court Judge.
October 23, 1874
Canterbury Club building (designed by Frederick Strouts) inaugurated.
October 24, 1870
Disastrous fire (New Zealand’s most extensive to that date) destroys the centre of Lyttelton.