Christchurch: A Chronology to 1989

Events in September

September 1, 1888
Earthquake causes damage throughout City. Cathedral spire badly damaged.
September 1, 1906
First Timaru to Christchurch cycle race.
September 1, 1924
New City Council offices in Manchester Street open. The first of the Council’s 2 recycled office buildings, this had been the Canterbury Exhibition Hall, gutted by fire in 1917.
September 1, 1940
New Zealand Railways railcar sets a speed record of 125 kilometres per hour (78 miles per hour) near Rolleston. This is still the highest speed officially acknowledged on the New Zealand rail system.
September 2, 1885
Public meeting of 25,000 (possibly the country’s biggest to that time) in Hagley Park in support of the proposal to build a railway to the West Coast (the Midland Line).
September 3, 1879
Canterbury Industrial Association formed (now the Canterbury Manufacturers Association).
September 4, 1903
Canterbury Automobile Association formed.
September 5, 1985
French agent Dominique Prieur convicted over the bombing of the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior", transferred from Mt Eden Jail to Christchurch Womens Prison.
September 5, 1987
Canterbury Rowing Club 125th anniversary - believed to be the oldest sports club in New Zealand. See 1861.
September 5, 1988
Stanley Reid, New Zealand's longest serving prisoner (43 years) dies in Christchurch.
September 6, 1878
Railway to Dunedin officially opens.
September 6, 1980
$9.5 million Icon exhibition opens at Robert McDougall Art Gallery.
September 7, 1850
First Canterbury Association settlers sail from Plymouth, England on the “Charlotte Jane”, “Randolph” and “Cressy”.
September 7, 1863
City’s first murder trial. G. Lumley convicted.
September 8, 1850
“Sir George Seymour” leaves Plymouth with settlers.
September 8, 1890
Striking watersiders attack and injure scab labour.
September 9, 1988
8.5o frost coldest in September since records began at Airport 25 years ago.
September 10, 1962
Controversial master transportation plan made public by Regional Planning Authority.
September 11, 1889
Cave and Maori artifacts discovered at Moncks Spur.
September 11, 1928
Kingsford-Smith and his crew (Ulm, Litchfield and McWilliams) land at Wigram in "Southern Cross" after the first trans-Tasman flight. A crowd of 30,000, alerted by all-night radio broadcasts, had gathered at the airfield.
September 11, 1954
Last tram journey in Christchurch.
September 12, 1910
G.W. Skellerup founds Para Rubber Company, New Zealand’s first retail rubber goods business at 175 Manchester Street. Christchurch soon became the centre of the rubber industry in New Zealand.
September 13, 1851
Meeting held to discuss the establishment of a Jockey Club.
September 13, 1877
Christchurch Girls High School (designed by Thomas Cane) opens on the corner of Hereford Street and Rolleston Avenue. The school moved to its present Cranmer Square site in 1881. The original school is now part of the Arts Centre.
September 13, 1882
Woolston Town Board formed.
September 13, 1975
Fire (probably arson) destroys Addington showgrounds grandstand.
Mrs E.R. McCombs (Lyttelton) becomes the first woman MP in New Zealand.
September 14, 1853
“Ann” arrives in Lyttelton, the first steamship to visit the port.
September 14, 1976
Inter-island ferry service from Lyttelton ends with the last sailing of the "Rangatira".
September 14, 1985
Canterbury loses Ranfurly Shield to Auckland after a 3 year reign. Final score 28-23.
September 15, 1957
City Council grants charter (Freedom of the City) to RNZAF, Wigram.
September 15, 1975
Christchurch (Dorset, England), becomes a sister city.
September 16, 1864
Opening of second Town Hall, built of stone next to the first hall in High Street.
September 18, 1980
Theatre Royal bought by Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation to be renovated and preserved as a theatre.
September 18, 1989
Final meeting, (its 4,032nd), of the old Christchurch City Council before amalgamation.
September 19, 1865
South Island Separation Bill defeated in Parliament by 31 votes to 17.
September 19, 1904
Concert by pianist Jan Paderewski. He later became Prime Minister of Poland.
September 19, 1977
Visit by Prince and Princess Prem Purachatra of Thailand.
September 20, 1916
Canterbury Aviation Company founded by Henry (later Sir Henry) Wigram.
September 21, 1867
Trout introduced from Tasmania. The ova were reared in special covered ponds built in Hagley Park next to the hospital. Salmon were introduced a year later.
September 23, 1914
First Canterbury contingent sails on "Tahiti" and "Athenic" from Lyttelton for the war in Europe.
September 23, 1977
First Vietnamese refugees arrive in City.
September 24, 1881
Telephone exchange (the first in New Zealand) begins operation.
September 24, 1960
Jellie Park Pool opens.
September 25, 1965
Riot at Paparua Prison. 40 warders and police injured.
September 25, 1983
Coldest recorded day in September with a maximum of 5.9o.
September 26, 1897
Reading of the Riot Act to an angry crowd of about 6000 in Lichfield Street as a result of religious imposter A.B. Worthington’s "Temple of Truth" fraud. Beginning in 1890, Worthington’s sect had built a ”grecian temple“ in Latimer Square.
September 26, 1945
Charles Hazlett Upham (born Christchurch 1908) awarded second V.C. for gallantry in the Western Desert, 1942. He won his previous award in Crete during May 1941.
September 26, 1968
City Council given partial control of the Estuary.
September 26, 1975
Noahs Hotel opens.
September 26, 1976
Orana Park Wildlife Reserve opens.
September 27, 1851
First Avon drowning reported. The victim was drunk. The river claimed 105 lives in the first 50 years of settlement. A high proportion of the victims were drunk.
September 27, 1853
First meeting of the Provincial Council.
September 27, 1974
Visit by the Shah and Empress of Iran.
September 27, 1975
Extensions to airport domestic terminal open.
September 27, 1983
Visit by Duke and Duchess of Wellington.
September 28, 1864
Re-built Victoria Bridge opens. It is probably the country’s first iron and stone bridge.
September 29, 1888
South Island rugby team plays Lillywhite and Shrewsbury’s English team at Lancaster Park.
September 29, 1978
Friendship Corner opens by the Bridge of Remembrance. After a heated public debate over whether the area should be used for parking, the Council decided to plant the area with trees representing Christchurch’s sister cities.
September 30, 1972
New Town Hall complex and James Hay Theatre (designed by Warren and Mahoney) opens. Ferrier Fountain commissioned.
September 30, 1982
Closure of gas works.
September 30, 1983
Christchurch City Council adopts recommendation to close Victoria Street to traffic through Victoria Square.
September, 1827
Captain William Wiseman, on a flax trading voyage in the “Elizabeth”, names Port Cooper (now Lyttelton Harbour).
September, 1879
Permanent sewer construction under way.
September, 1881
Christchurch Lawn Tennis Club formed. Its first courts were in Cranmer Square. Star, Issue 4179, 12 September 1881, Page 4
September, 1900
53 room McLean’s mansion completed in Manchester Street - the largest private house ever built in New Zealand. It was originally called "Holly Lea".
September, 1908
Christchurch Canal League formed to agitate for the building of a canal and port in the Avon-Heathcote Estuary.
September, 1918
Count Felix von Luckner imprisoned on Ripapa Island.
September, 1933
"Venetian" carnival on the Avon River by the Edmonds Band Rotunda. The river was dammed to provide deeper water for the displays.
September, 1936
Urlwins Industries (now part of the P.D.L. Group) manufacture New Zealand’s first plastic products.
September, 1941
First play centre established at Fendalton.
September, 1965
Canterbury Childrens Theatre buys the old malthouse in south Colombo Street.
September, 1965
Water supply fluoridated in Waimairi County. A long running debate ensued over the proposed fluoridation of Christchurch City’s water supply. The plans were abandoned, leaving Christchurch as New Zealand’s only major city without fluoridation.
September, 1988
Record 400 births for month at Christchurch Womens Hospital.