On 8th October 1923, in close relationship with the Canterbury Historical Association, the ‘Canterbury Pilgrims Association’ was formed. This was founded ‘…to perpetuate a feeling of veneration for the early pioneers and promote social, literary and historical interest…’
Unlike the early Canterbury Historical Associations ‘in your face’ approach to keeping Canterbury’s history alive-and-well with the current generation, the Canterbury Pilgrims Association was more focused on the remaining settlers from the First Four Ships and their descendents. Many reunions around historical dates, families and properties took place along with important markers being situated around Christchurch to help our history not be forgotten.
Happily, these two associations still work hard to ‘…promote and preserve…’ Canterbury’s history today. With the Canterbury Historical Association still deep-rooted in the University of Canterbury – where it began in 1922 – the public are always welcome to attend their meetings and discussions about our past.
The latter, now known as the Canterbury Pilgrims and Early Settlers Association, has since been opened to all members of the public who share this same interest. Their impressive collection of diaries, clothing and artifacts are now housed in the Canterbury Museum.
Pictured here is a small group of our first settlers at the Godley Statue during the Canterbury Anniversary celebration in December 1871.
*Image courtesy of the University of Wellington – http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz*