On 24 February 1917, Governor Lord Liverpool officially opened Riccarton Bush to the public. It had been gifted to the people of Christchurch from the Deans family three years earlier in 1914. One of the conditions of this gift was that the bush was to be preserved for all time.
This fulfilled one of the dying wishes of John Deans I, who had passed away 60 years earlier. When the Deans brothers (William and John) first arrived on the Port Cooper (Canterbury) Plains in 1843, the bush was 55 acres. Today, Riccarton Bush is roughly 15 acres.
*Image courtesy of Annette Bulovic*