Christchurch - a chronology


February 12
Catholic Cathedral (the Basilica) opens. Designed by F.W. Petre, it is widely regarded as the finest Renaissance building in New Zealand.
Royal Exchange building (now the Regent Theatre) opens. The building boasted the city’s first passenger lift.
June 6
First electric trams in operation. Unique in Australasia, they had front fenders as a safety feature because of the density of cycle traffic in Christchurch.
June 24
Railway derailment at Chaneys, near Kaiapoi, kills 2.
July 13
Construction of King Edward barracks begins. The building was completed in an amazing 25 days. In the absence of a true Town Hall, it was often the venue for large concerts and civic occasions.
December 16
Christchurch’s Bob Deans scores "the try that wasn’t" in Wales on the first All Black tour of the United Kingdom. The All Blacks "lost" only this game 3-0. Deans died of pneumonia in 1908, aged 24.
December 26
Automobile Association holds a "Great Automobile Gymkhana" at Addington trotting grounds. 30 cars took part, and the programme included New Zealand’s first official car race.

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