When the ‘Charlotte Jane’, the first of the Canterbury Association ships arrived at Port Lyttelton mid December 1850, around seven hundred people were already living in and working around the harbour. On 3rd January 1851, a ‘Charlotte Jane’ passenger, Edward Ward, wrote the following into his journal…
“Rode with Mr. [John Robert] Godley [Founder of Canterbury] over the hills to the Plains. Went first to Christchurch, where there are about 4 huts, 3 tents and a hovel or 2 – with about 25 persons in all…the [Canterbury] Association store, a surveyor’s hut are the principal buildings upon what may be some time a great city”.
So it is no surprise that the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce – a non-profit organisation offering all sorts of support for local businesses – was first founded in Lyttelton on 19th August 1859. By the time of the move to Christchurch on 26th October 1862, the name had already been changed from being the Lyttelton Chamber of Commerce.
The first Chamber of Commerce was founded in Marseille, France in 1599. They are now almost worldwide. Offering a community of businesses and networking to members, the Chamber tailor fits its resources of training, advice, consultancy and mentoring to each client whether a one man business or a multi-sited industry.
Like every other Chamber of Commerce in cities around the world, ours aims to make Canterbury a better place to not only open and run a business in but make it a better place to live and play in too.
*Diary extract courtesy of The Journal of Edward Ward*
*Image courtesy of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce – http://www.cecc.org.nz*