It was on June 10, 1868, 150 years ago that the first mayor of Christchurch was elected.
Christchurch city had been formed into a borough council under the Municipal Corporations Act. Up until that time, the town council had had a chairman (since 1862).
The Lyttelton Times, which reported the election of Mr William Wilson as mayor, quoted him as saying that the feeling of pride and gratitude he had felt as chairman was greatly enhanced by their electing him as the first mayor of the city of Christchurch.
He said he was gratified that he was surrounded by a ‘very excellent, intelligent, hardworking and industrious council’ and that he would have been unable to effect much good without their counsel and assistance.
The first meeting of the Christchurch Borough Council followed his election, and I note that at the time the council’s bank balance was £211, 9s and 5p.
One hundred and fifty years is a significant anniversary and I thank the Canterbury History Foundation for marking this event by presenting a series of four Friday lunchtime lectures to be held at noon in the Function Room, level 1, Te Hononga Civic Offices, Hereford St, as follows:
June 15: John Cookson – Independent Christchurch: The Era of Local Self-Government- 1868-1940.
June 22: Geoff Rice – Healthy Christchurch: The Quiet Revolution in Public Health, 1870-1910
June 29: Lyndon Fraser – Destination Christchurch: 150 Years of Migration.
July 6: Te Maire Tau – Ngai Tahu in the City.
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