Christchurch: A Chronology to 1989

Events in August

August 1, 1929
"Lyttelton Times" re-named "Christchurch Times" after being taken over by Auckland interests. In fact, the paper had moved from Lyttelton to Christchurch in 1863.
August 1, 1975
Severe nor-west gale causes serious damage throughout city and province. Winds gust to a record 172 kilometres per hour (107 miles per hour). Over 250 injuries in Canterbury, and many forests devastated.
August 3, 1910
Canterbury Croquet Association (New Zealand’s first) formed in City.
August 4, 1878
Severe snowstorm over the South Island.
August 4, 1923
Railway to the West Coast opens. The much delayed opening of the Otira tunnel on June 18, 1918, had prevented earlier completion of the line.
August 6, 1867
Unveiling of the Godley statue in Cathedral Square New Zealand’s first public statue. However, the statue’s inscription acclaiming him ”founder of Canterbury“ is possibly over generous. Wakefield should at least share the title.
August 7, 1982
Opening of City Mall, a major new pedestrian amenity created by the closure of parts of Cashel and High Streets. The project had first been mooted in 1967.
August 8, 1945
More flooding in City, worst at Shirley, Radley and Sumner.
August 8, 1989
Christchurch Central MP and Deputy Prime Minister, Geoffrey Palmer appointed as Prime Minister after resignation of David Lange.
August 9, 1840
Captain Langlois in the “Compte de Paris” arrives in Pigeon Bay with 63 French settlers.
August 9, 1966
First City Council urban renewal housing (Airedale Courts) opens.
August 10, 1840
Captain Owen Stanley in HMS Britomart dashes to Akaroa and raises the British flag to proclaim sovereignty over the South Island.
August 10, 1932
Statue of Captain James Cook unveiled in Victoria Square.
August 11, 1877
Canterbury Cricket Council formed.
August 11, 1923
Christchurch Radio Society begins regular radio transmission with station 3AC.
August 12, 1849
Surveyor Edward Jollie arrives to join Thomas.
August 13, 1974
Kurashiki (Japan), becomes a sister city.
August 15, 1872
Novelist Anthony Trollope visits.
August 15, 1945
V.J. (Victory over Japan) day celebrations.
August 15, 1981
Massive demonstrations in Christchurch against rugby test between All Blacks and Springboks.
August 16, 1866
Cook Strait cable service links North and South Islands.
August 16, 1868
Tsunami ("tidal wave") in Lyttelton Harbour. Part of the harbour bottom was laid bare, then a wave swept in, damaging the "Novelty".
August 16, 1890
First inter-provincial soccer match held in Christchurch. Canterbury beat Wellington 2-0.
August 17, 1903
City abattoir opens at Sockburn.
August 18, 1974
Concert by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
August 19, 1840
French settlers land at Akaroa.
August 19, 1859
Chamber of Commerce established in Lyttelton.
August 20, 1860
Canterbury Vocal Society formed. After several changes of name, it became the Royal Christchurch Musical Society in 1920. It is the oldest continually operating choral group in New Zealand.
August 20, 1984
A longterm aim of banning open fires is approved by the Christchurch City Council.
August 21, 1989
Sir Hamish Hay announces he will not stand for position of Mayor after 15 years in Local Body politics.
August 22, 1910
Ilam homestead (on the site of the present university staff club) destroyed by fire.
August 22, 1925
Radio Broadcasting Company of N.Z. incorporated in Christchurch - the country’s first public radio company. The company became the major force in early radio, eventually owning and operating a chain of YA stations throughout the country. See 1932
August 24, 1857
Evans Pass road over the Port Hills opens.
August 24, 1914
Large patriotic procession boosts war fever.
August 25, 1920
First flight over Cook Strait (Christchurch to Trentham) by Captain Euan Dickson in a Canterbury Aviation Company plane.
August 26, 1939
Official opening of City Council’s pensioner housing project in Barnett Avenue, Sydenham; the first local body pensioner housing in New Zealand.
August 26, 1986
The worst lamb loss for a decade in Canterbury due to a wet cold August, costs farmers $2.8 million.
August 27, 1986
Visit by Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, Dr Juzet Marjai.
August 28, 1890
"Great maritime strike" (the first of New Zealand’s 3 major waterfront strikes) spreads to Lyttelton.
August 31, 1959
Princess Margaret Hospital opens.
August 31, 1974
Death of Prime Minister Norman Kirk, M.P. for Sydenham. He had earlier been M.P. for Lyttelton, and Mayor of Kaiapoi.
August, 1841
Survey ship under Captain E. Daniell sails into the Estuary and up a river (probably the Heathcote).
August, 1852
Rabbits introduced on the “Samarang” to Lyttelton.
August, 1857
First daily post, Christchurch to Lyttelton, begins.
August, 1864
City Council’s “Committee on Swans” decides to import black swans to try and control the watercress in the Avon. The swans, duly introduced, departed almost at once for distant lagoons and marshes.
August, 1946
Hagley Park and Botanic Gardens handed over to City Council by act of Parliament. Christchurch Domains Board abolished.
August, 1959
Totem pole carved in the state of Oregon, USA. The pole was presented to Christchurch and erected in North Hagley Park. See also 1980.
August, 1965
Colombo Street/Moorhouse Avenue overbridge opens.
August, 1979
RNZAF national aviation museum officially established at Wigram.