Christchurch - a chronology


January 18
Ramada Inn (now Vacation Hotel) opens.
Cathedral Square reconstruction as a pedestrian precinct completed. Curiously, this highly praised civic amenity has never been officially opened.
January 24
10th Commonwealth Games open at Queen Elizabeth II Park, one of the greatest sporting events in New Zealand’s history. Visitors include the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Princess Anne. Highlight of the opening ceremony was the New Zealand Army Band’s spectacular novelty marching routine. Seen on international live TV, the idea was soon copied by bandsmen throughout the Commonwealth.
January 25
Cantabrian Richard Tayler wins 10,000 metres in games record time. This was the first live colour TV coverage of a major race. Tayler was honoured as 1974 "Sportsman of the Year', but his sports career was cut tragically short by the onset of crippling arthritis.
January 26
Christchurch students Mark Treffers and Janie Parkhouse win gold medals in Commonwealth Games swimming events.
February 2
Commonwealth Games end with "the greatest middle distance race of all time". Tanzanian Filbert Bayi wins the 1500 metres in New world record time. Second was John Walker who also broke the existing record. The national records of five countries Tanzania, Kenya, Australia, Great Britian and New Zealand - were all broken in this race.
February 26
World’s biggest plane, a USN Lockheed Galaxy, lands at airport.
March 2
Re-built Centennial Pool opens.
April 16
Flooding throughout city after record rainfall - 124mm (4.89 inches) in 24 hours.
April 29
Cr. David Caygill, aged 25, becomes the city’s youngest ever acting Mayor (for 5 days).
August 13
Kurashiki (Japan), becomes a sister city.
August 18
Concert by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
August 31
Death of Prime Minister Norman Kirk, M.P. for Sydenham. He had earlier been M.P. for Lyttelton, and Mayor of Kaiapoi.
September 27
Visit by the Shah and Empress of Iran.
December 23
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.

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