The Canterbury Club Gas Light – up to a few moments ago I thought it had been the first one ever but no ;-/
The first kerosene public light was erected in Market Square (Victoria Square) in 1862. The following year the Christchurch Gas Company opened and by 1876, 152 gas street lights flickered around the city. By 1913, the number had jumped to 1335.
The Canterbury Club Gas Light was connected up in 1900. With the club close by as well as the Public Library and Municipal Chambers, I’m sure the lamp served the local businessmen well. By 1915, the Lake Coleridge Hydroelectric Works began to supply electric to Christchurch. In 1918 the gas supply was turned off completely – with only 59 gas lights still struggling on against the progress.
By an odd twist of fate, the Canterbury Club Gas Light remained. It was moved to its current site in 1970. In 1995 it was converted to electric but in 1999, the lamp was back chuffing away on gas.
Close by is a ‘hitching post’ where one could tie their horse too while off on chores. I guess you could say it was the first form of a ‘car’ park.
*photo taken by Chris Bulovic*