Christchurch: A Chronology to 1989

Events in November

November 1, 1876
Provincial Government abolished. The 9 provinces were replaced by 64 counties under the first Counties Act.
November 1, 1881
Christchurch Cathedral (still uncompleted) dedicated.
November 1, 1900
Canterbury Jubilee Exhibition opens in the new Canterbury Exhibition Hall, Manchester Street. See 1924.
November 1, 1903
Christchurch to Invercargill rail express service begins.
November 1, 1906
New Zealand International Exhibition (the biggest in the country to that time) opens in Hagley Park. Over 1 million people visited the exhibition during the next few months. A branch railway line was built across North Hagley Park to service the exhibition. The attractions included New Zealand’s first professional symphony orchestra [conducted by Alfred Hill], and the first Dominion pipe band contest which was won by the Dunedin Highland Pipe Band.
November 1, 1921
Woolston Borough joins City.
November 1, 1960
New railway station opens. The building had been designed before W.W.II.
November 1, 1963
Airport runway extensions begin.
November 1, 1969
Ministry of Transport takes over traffic enforcement from City Council.
November 1, 1989
New Christchurch City Council established by amalgamation of the old City, Waimairi District, Riccarton Borough, Heathcote County and parts of Paparua and Eyre Counties.
November 2, 1899
Balloonist "Captain" Lorraine lost at sea after an ascent from Lancaster Park.
November 2, 1906
Foundation stone laid for the Technical College (now Christchurch Polytechnic).
November 2, 1914
Riccarton (Deans) Bush presented to the city by the Deans family.
November 4, 1876
Second Theatre Royal opens. Built in only 17 weeks on the same site as the first, the new theatre was claimed to have the largest stage in New Zealand.
November 4, 1897
Night cycle races held at Lancaster Park. The experiment was not a success - the gas illumination was completely inadequate.
November 4, 1986
23 week old Mary Ellen Foulds becomes the youngest baby to be born at Christchurch Womens Hospital (normal gestation is 40 weeks).
November 4, 1989
Record crowd of 60,000 at Lancaster Park to see Irish Rock Band U2.
November 5, 1886
New Zealand Kennel Club inaugurated in Christchurch.
November 5, 1913
"Battle of Featherston Street" in Wellington as strikers try to stop racehorses being shipped to Christchurch.
November 5, 1979
Regent Theatre gutted by fire.
November 5, 1984
The Christchurch Civic Trust Board buys the Mt Vernon property for a public park.
November 6, 1830
Te Rauparaha’s war party massacres the inhabitants of Akaroa and returns to Kapiti Island with captives and a cargo of human flesh.
November 6, 1852
First Canterbury sitting of the Supreme Court at Lyttelton.
November 6, 1866
Serious fire on the north-east corner of Armagh and Colombo Streets.
November 6, 1899
Addington Raceway holds inaugural meeting.
November 6, 1918
Beginning of the influenza epidemic which was eventually to kill 466 people in Christchurch.
November 6, 1930
Weekly air service (New Zealands first regular service) begins to Dunedin.
November 7, 1896
First commercial screening of "Edison’s Cinematograph".
November 8, 1918
Huge crowds gather in streets after false reports of World War I armistice. The Canterbury Battalion’s losses in the war had been 2353 dead.
November 8, 1956
Last trolley bus runs.
November 8, 1983
Opening of Canterbury Centre. The building (55m) becomes the city’s tallest, above the Police Station (53m) and the University Hight Library (51m). But the Cathedral spire at 62m remains the highest structure.
November 9, 1965
Opening of the city’s first parking building on the corner of Manchester and Gloucester Streets.
November 10, 1839
Captain William B. Rhodes lands 50 cattle at Akaroa.
November 10, 1863
First Cobb & Co. coach to Timaru.
November 10, 1958
Museum centennial extensions open.
November 11-13, 1980
Visit by Duke and Duchess of Kent.
November 11, 1880
Christchurch Amateur Swimming Club formed (the first in New Zealand).
November 11, 1904
Christchurch Cathedral completed. Architect George Gilbert Scott.
November 11, 1924
Bridge of Remembrance opens.
November 11, 1929
Edmonds band rotunda opens.
November 11, 1978
Radio Rhema, New Zealand’s first religious radio station, begins regular transmission.
November 11, 1980
$25 million Thyssen Bornemisza exhibition of modern painting opens at Robert McDougall Art Gallery.
November 12, 1918
Armistice officially announced. But this time, there was little public celebration in a city now stricken by the full effects of the ‘flu epidemic.
November 12, 1980
New Civic Offices (formerly Millers Department Store) officially open.
November 12, 1988
Richard Hadlee takes his 374th test wicket at Bangalore, India setting a new world record.
November 13, 1849
Royal Charter granted for the incorporation of the Canterbury Association.
November 15, 1851
White Hart Hotel (possibly the city’s first) in operation.
November 15, 1928
First performance by Canterbury Repertory Theatre Society, a production of "Milestones".
November 15, 1959
City Council grants charter to the Canterbury Regiment.
November 16, 1901
Earthquake (most severe at Cheviot) damages Cathedral spire again! After this third incident, the top of the spire was re-built in timber and metal instead of stone.
November 16, 1902
Antarctic relief ship "Morning' arrives at Lyttelton.
November 17, 1895
Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) visits. He described Christchurch as a town where half the people rode bicycles and the other half were kept busy dodging them.
November 18, 1874
Addington saleyards open.
November 18, 1947
Disastrous fire in Ballantynes Department store. 41 lives lost in New Zealand’s worst fire tragedy. The fire led to drastic revisions of fire safety codes throughout the country.
November 21, 1865
Provincial Council buildings in Durham Street completed. The complex of buildings was architect B.W. Mountfort’s masterpiece. He had survived a professional disaster soon after arrival in New Zealand when his first building, a church in Lyttelton, had proved structurally unsound and had to be demolished.
November 21, 1957
4 killed in SAFE Air Bristol freighter crash at Russley golf course.
November 21, 1988
Visit by Chinese Premier Li Peng.
November 22, 1986
Visit by Pope John Paul II (the first head of the Catholic Church to visit New Zealand).
November 22, 1987
"Trans Alpine" express train designed specifically for the tourist trade, begins its daily run from Christchurch to Greymouth.
November 23, 1984
The first woman to head the Methodist Church is Rev Dr Phyllis Guthardt a Christchurch Minister from Riccarton Parish. See 1959
November 23, 1988
Human remains dating back to pre-European Maori settlement found while excavating for YMCA building on the corner of Hereford Street and Rolleston Avenue. Area declared tapu for 24 hours until remains removed.
November 24, 1881
St Albans Borough formed.
November 25, 1913
700 "specials" (special constables enlisted mainly from farming districts) occupy Lyttelton to allow "free“ labour to work the wharves. In spite of this provocative action, there was no serious violence in Christchurch or Lyttelton throughout the strike.
November 25, 1940
Holmwood, en route from the Chathams to Lyttelton, sunk by German raiders. Passengers and crew were taken aboard the German ships, and eventually made their way home 2 months later.
November 25, 1956
Richard Pearse’s convertiplane taken to Auckland. It is now on display in Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology.
November 25, 1980
Totem Pole placed in new location at Christchurch Airport.
November 26, 1857
Opening of the first building (long since demolished) on the present Christ’s College site. The school’s original planned site was in Cathedral Square, but the land had been exchanged for the present Hagley Park site to allow room for expansion.
November 26, 1910
The ill-fated second Scott expedition leaves Lyttelton on the "Terra Nova", bound for Antarctica. See 1988.
November 26, 1959
Memorial Avenue (a memorial to airmen killed in W.W.II) officially opens.
November 27, 1985
Remains of swimming pool uncovered when excavating behind No 1 stand at Lancaster Park. Pool used as venue for 1907 Australian and New Zealand Swimming Championships. See 1894.
November 27, 1989
TV3 transmission starts.
November 28, 1893
Women vote for the first time in parliamentary elections.
November 28, 1908
Work begins on the Summit Road, the first part of Harry Ell’s obsessional dream.
November 28, 1964
Opening of Cashin Quay, Lyttelton Harbour. The engineering techniques used in reclaiming this area were unique in the world.
November 29, 1901
Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s first Antarctic expedition arrives at Lyttelton in ”Discovery“.
November 29, 1978
Concert at Q.E.II Park by rock singer David Bowie.
November 29, 1988
Visit by Chinese delegates from Sister City of Gansu Province.
November 30, 1865
Canterbury Medical Association formed (the first in New Zealand).
November, 1847
Meeting between Edward Gibbon Wakefield and John Robert Godley in England. This meeting led to the first plan for the Canterbury settlement.
November, 1860
Volunteer Fire Brigade formed.
November, 1863
Provincial Government commission tables critical and far-reaching education report. This report led directly to the opening of the first public schools in the following year.
November, 1922
Great Exhibition opens.
November, 1936
Tramway Board introduces diesel buses.
November, 1950
Sir Ernest Andrews retires from Mayoralty after 9 years, ending continuous service on the Council since 1919.
November, 1971
Waimairi County Council adopts New Zealand’s first building insulation by-law.
November, 1986
Visit of President of Israel, Mr Chaim Herzog.