“Mr [Arthur Dudley] Dobson (pictured) was a familiar figure in the streets of Christchurch till well on into my years and days. I often met him coming along Chancery Lane or Gloucester Street. He wore a roomy grey top-hat, and usually held a key at the end of a piece of red tape in his right hand, and this key he twirled as he walked like a revolving planet at right angles to his line of march. I often used to think, “Now supposing that key comes off one day…”.
He smiled affably to acquaintances as they passed, between whiles blowing out his cheeks as he emitted his breath. Sometimes, perhaps on colder days, the key was safety stowed, and as he walked leisurely along (I never saw him hurried) he kept his hands one above the other, Maori carving fashion, flat on his waistcoat in the region of his greatest periphery”. ~ 1949
Written by Canterbury historian Johannes C. Andersen about Sir Arthur Dudley Dobson who in 1864, found the best passage through the Alps to the West Coast. He is remembered for this today in the naming of Arthur’s Pass. He was only a young boy when he arrived in Lyttelton, aboard the ‘Cressey’ – our fourth ship from our First Four Ships. He grew up loving engineering and surveying. After Arthur’s Pass, Arthur worked for a while in Nelson before returning to Christchurch where he worked as a city engineer. He died in 1934.
*text taken from ‘Old Christchurch’ written by Johannes C. Andersen*