Canterbury’s First European Wedding – 15th June 1850

On the 15 June 1850, Canterbury had its first European wedding!

Samuel Farr (pictured) became engaged to fellow ship passenger, Miss Pavitt before leaving England. They planned to marry upon landing.

They arrived at Akaroa on the 2nd April 1850. Having no official to marry them and no wedding ring, the wedding was put on hold.

Samuel fashioned his new bride a wedding ring from a half-sovereign and finally a magistrate arrived who could marry them.

Samuel was approached by six other grooms to be, asking if he could make their wedding bands too!

Samuel made his living as an architect – designing the flour and saw mills in Grenhen, Barry, Robinson and Duvachelle Bays as well as the Head of Bays – now known as Teddington.

He also designed many of the early Presbyterian Churches all around Christchurch. Samuel and his wife had two sons and lived their entire lives in Canterbury.

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