December 16, 1864 was a very special day for Canterbury, for two very good reasons.
Firstly, it was the 14th anniversary of the arrival of the Canterbury Association’s First Four Ships – the Charlotte Jane, the Randolph, the Sir George Seymour (arrived 17 Dec) and the Cressy (arrived 27 Dec).
Secondly, the cornerstone of what would become the heart of Christchurch – the Anglican Cathedral – was put in its place with the blessing of Bishop Henry John Chitty Harper – the first Bishop of Canterbury.
The placement of a Cathedral in the middle of Christchurch city had been one of the main dreams of the Canterbury Association since 1848. It was not to be a fast-realised dream due to lack of funds, work force, materials, the Boer War, and economical depressions; the Cathedral was not officially finished until 1904.
For a more in depth look at the Christchurch Cathedral, check out the following link: http://www.peelingbackhistory.co.nz/
*image courtesy of Cathedral Square, Christchurch. Ref: 1/2-004550-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23124984