William Guise Brittan (1807 – 1876)

William Guise Brittan arrived in Christchurch on the Sir George Seymour, one of the first four ships.  William’s main occupation before his journey was as a surgeon, serving as the doctor on board the Sir George Seymour! But once in Christchurch, he never practised medicine again. He became the Commissioner of Crown Land and was …

Memories of Elizabeth Hawdon nee Barker

Elizabeth Barker was the eldest daughter of Dr. A.C. Baker and his wife Emma. The Barkers arrived in Canterbury aboard the ‘Charlotte Jane’ on the 16th December 1850. Emma was pregnant with Elizabeth during the voyage. The couple already had three boys. Elizabeth was born on the morning of the 15th March 1851 under a …

PAPANUI

The Maori word ‘Papanui’ has two different meanings, no one knows for certain which one is correct as both seem to relate to the history of this area of Christchurch. Along with Riccarton Bush, there was also the Papanui Bush, both areas could be viewed easily from the Bridle Path in the sea of tussock …

Godley’s Farewell Spot

On the right hand-side as you drive into the Riccarton Ave carpark of Hagley Park (by the tennis courts) sits this historical gem. The memorial tablet acknowledges the departure of John Robert Godley from New Zealand, the founder of Canterbury in 1852. This breakfast event was set up in a spacious marquee, catered by the …