Christchurch: A Chronology to 1989

Events in June

June 1, 1862
Hospital opens on site in Hagley Park. But only after the first vigorous “Hands off Hagley” protests by irate citizens.
June 1, 1961
Television transmission begins from CHTV 3, Christchurch.
June 2, 1874
"The Press" publishes an evening paper, "The Globe" to compete with "The Star". It became "The Telegraph", then "The Truth", then "Evening News". Publication ceased in May 1917.
June 2, 1902
Municipal refuse destructor in operation. The destructor chimney, by the present site of the MED, was a dominant city landmark for many years.
June 4, 1864
Serious fire in Colombo Street destroys buildings between Hereford and Cashel Streets.
June 4, 1866
Refurbished Royal Princess Theatre re-opens as the first Theatre Royal.
June 4, 1976
Opera singer Dame Joan Sutherland gives concert.
June 6, 1905
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 6, 1987
$84 million redevelopment of Christchurch Hospital approved.
June 7, 1877
New Canterbury College (University) building opens. Designed by B.W. Mountfort, the building is now part of the Arts Centre.
June 8, 1838
First French warship, the corvette “Heroine” (Captain J.B. Cecille) arrives in Akaroa.
June 8, 1882
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals formed in City.
June 8, 1966
New "Wahine", described as "the largest vehicular ferry in the world", begins on the Lyttelton-Wellington run.
June 8, 1978
Visit by Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.
June 9, 1851
“Steadfast” arrives with settlers.
June 9, 1862
Municipal Council approves first street lighting (62 kerosene lamps).
June 9, 1869
Earthquake damages many buildings including the stone (second) Town Hall.
June 9, 1917
Sign of the Kiwi opens.
June 9, 1937
Citizens War Memorial unveiled in Cathedral Square.
June 10, 1868
William Wilson elected first Mayor of Christchurch.
June 10, 1935
John Drew and poet/typographer Dennis Glover founded Caxton Press to publish New Zealand literature. Most of the decade’s best writers were first published by the company.
June 11, 1982
Hamish Hay, Mayor of Christchurch since 1974, knighted in Queen’s Birthday honours.
June 12, 1848
“Kemp’s Deed” signed by Ngai Tahu giving the New Zealand Company control of land from Kaiapoi to Otago.
June 13, 1909
Cafe Continental Hotel at Sumner destroyed by fire.
June 14, 1923
New Zealand permanent Air Force established at Sockburn as the Government takes over the Canterbury Aviation Company. Included in the take-over was Sockburn Aerodrome, which was re-named Wigram a few days later.
June 14, 1977
Worst ever daytime smog levels - 750 micrograms per cubic metre. But this is only a quarter of the worst night levels. See 1975.
June 15, 1842
William Deans leaves Wellington to look for suitable farmland in the South Island.
June 15, 1850
Canterbury’s first European wedding - marriage of architect Samuel Farr.
June 15, 1874
Canterbury College (University) opens. A subsequent public protest prevented its proposed buildings from being sited in what are now the Botanic Gardens.
June 16, 1932
Robert McDougall Art Gallery opens. The gallery was a gift of R.E. McDougall, Managing Director of Aulsebrooks and Company.
June 17, 1843
John Deans lands sheep, cattle and horses at Lyttelton.
June 18, 1949
Announcement of decision to move Canterbury University campus to Ilam.
June 18, 1975
Record smog level - 3076 micrograms per cubic metre over 2 hour period during night. The introduction of domestic clean air zones has slightly alleviated this long standing city problem, but Christchurch’s air pollution remains New Zealand’s worst. See also 1977.
June 19, 1857
Complaints reported that the Avon and Heathcote Rivers are becoming clogged with watercress. Provincial Council approves £1500 for clearance. Watercress appears to have been introduced by the ship “Compte de Paris” to Akaroa in 1841, and from there to the Avon by William Deans in 1850.
June 19, 1882
First trials of electric lighting at Lyttelton wharves.
June 20, 1928
Canterbury Aero Club formed. The first pilot trained by the club was a woman, Aroha Clifford. She may have been New Zealand’s first woman pilot.
June 21, 1851
Christchurch Cricket Club formed.
June 21, 1851
Road from Christchurch to Riccarton completed.
June 21, 1890
Artist Petrus Van der Velden arrives and settles.
June 21, 1897
Huge celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee include the official opening of Victoria Park on the Port Hills and the transformation of Market (Victoria) Square by the City Council and the newly formed Christchurch Beautifying Association. The square, once the commercial centre of Christchurch, had contained many early public buildings and services including a prison, immigration barracks, an animal pound and the first post office. See 1903 for change of name.
June 21, 1909
City’s high pressure water supply in operation.
June 21, 1989
Redcliffs man Roger Manson receives new heart and lungs at London's Harefield Hospital.
June 22-24, 1901
Visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. (Later King George V and Queen Mary).
June 22, 1851
Pioneers Edward and Henry Ward drowned in Lyttelton Harbour. A brother, Crosbie Ward, later became the city’s best known satirical poet.
June 22, 1954
Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme murder Parker’s mother in Victoria Park. Their subsequent trial was one of the most sensational in the city’s history.
June 22, 1988
Visit by Queen Sofia and King Juan Carlos of Spain.
June 23, 1854
Pioneer John Deans dies at Riccarton. The preservation of Deans Bush was one of his dying wishes.
June 23, 1863
First cab stand in City, on the corner of Colombo and High Streets.
June 24, 1905
Railway derailment at Chaneys, near Kaiapoi, kills 2.
June 24, 1981
First Metro Refuse transfer station (Sockburn) in operation.
June 25, 1934
Death of Harry Ell. The uncompleted Summit Road and Sign of the Takahe projects were taken over by his son. See 1938 and 1949.
June 25, 1941
German minelayer "Adjutant" lays mines in the approaches to Lyttelton Harbour. But this German claim is unsupported - no trace of the mines was ever found.
June 26, 1871
Christchurch Volunteer Police enrolled.
June 26, 1884
New Zealand’s first First Aid examinations held in City.
June 27, 1846
Canterbury’s first armed robbery - 3 men hold up and ransack the Greenwood brothers’ farm at Purau.
June 27, 1904
Yaldhurst School elects New Zealand’s first all-woman school committee.
June 27, 1964
Large crowds for visit of Beatles pop group.
June 28, 1869
Velocipede ("boneshaker") bicycle (probably New Zealand’s first) tried out on City streets by its maker, coachbuilder Henry Wagstaff.
June 28, 1983
Author Margaret Mahy awarded Britains prestigious Carnegie Medal for her children’s book, "The Haunting".
June 29, 1951
First regular South Island trans-Tasman flights begin from Melbourne to Christchurch.
June 29, 1989
Minister of Conservation, Phillip Woollaston overturns Department of Conservation veto on the lease of Mt Cavendish Reserve for the Port Hills Gondola project.
June 30, 1849
Canterbury’s first “industrial action” - Maori road workers in Evans Pass (constructing a road across the Port Hills) go on strike as a reaction to verbal abuse and dismissals.
June 30, 1849
New Zealand Company buys the remaining French interests at Akaroa from the Nanto-Bordelaise Company.
June 30, 1975
TV2 transmission starts.
June/July, 1831
Barque “Vittoria” visits Lyttelton Harbour and Akaroa, trading muskets and gunpowder for flax.
June, 1851
“Duke of Bronte” arrives with settlers.
June, 1852
New Zealand Constitution Act provides for provincial self government. As a result, the Canterbury Association resolved to cease as from September 30.
June, 1872
City’s heaviest frost -14.9 deg C (still a record).
June, 1967
First paraplegic sports in New Zealand at Christchurch Hospital.
June, 1969
Mona Vale estate bought by City and Riccarton Borough.
June, 1977
Lyttelton container crane in operation.
June, 1978
Christchurch City Council purchases Millers Department Store for Civic Offices.
June, 1978
Tongan freighter "Kemphaan" towed into Lyttelton Harbour on fire. The ship was later taken out to sea and sunk by the RNZAF.