‘The Press’ Was Founded – 25th May 1861

On 17th March 1863, the weekly ‘Press’ became a daily newspaper.

James Edward Fitzgerald – Canterbury’s first Superintendent – was in serious opposition of William Sefton Moorhouse and his railway tunnel through the Port Hills. Believing this ambitious project would bankrupt Canterbury, he tried to fight Superintendent Moorhouse through letters to the ‘Lyttelton Times’. Firm supporters of Moorhouse, the paper (that Fitzgerald helped to establish in 1851) refused to print the letters.

The answer was simple. Another newspaper was needed. The first edition of ‘The Press’ came out on 25th May 1861. The first line of the front page reads:

“We shall make no apology for the publication of a new newspaper.”

After many years as the neighbours of ‘Whitcombe and Tombs’ (Whitcoulls) in Cashel Street, the paper moved to Cathedral Square and the first paper was issued from there on 22 February 1909. It’s spooky to think that the paper’s last edition from that now demolished building was exactly 102 years later to the day – our darkest day, 22nd February 2011.

* Image courtesy of Annette Bulovic*

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