Rev. Charles Fraser (1823 – 1886)

Date and Place of Birth: 29th July 1823 at Aberden, Scotland

Date and Place of Death: 25th August 1886 (place unknown)

Roles in Early Canterbury:

*Canterbury’s First Presbyterian Minister
*Founder of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (situated at Rangi Ruru Girls High School since 1986), St Andrew’s College and Hagley Community College
*Founding Member of the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury (responsible for the establishment of the Canterbury Museum)
*Founding Member of the Board of Governors at the Canterbury College (University of Canterbury)
*Committee Member of the Canterbury Society of Arts (its collection first housed at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery)
*Helped establish the Christchurch Mechanic Institute (Christchurch Public Libraries)
*Helped establish the Canterbury Branch of the Y.M.C.A
*Helped secure land for Christchurch’s first public cemetery.  First known as the Scottish Cemetery, today it is called Addington Cemetery.
*Wrote for the Lyttelton Times – Canterbury’s first newspaper.

Fraser’s Influence Today:

* See above

Interesting Fact:

In January 1883, Fraser fell from grace when he was accused of sexual misconduct and as a result, was deposed by the Presbytery.  Refusing to hand over the keys of St Andrew’s, he took his case before the General Assembly and lost.  He attacked the Presbytery in written word and totally broken hearted, withdrew to his farm.  In a small church built just for him by his faithful followers, he continued to preach until his death three years later – his name still very much under a dark cloud.

Buried:  Addington Cemetery, Christchurch

*photo taken by Annette Bulovic*

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