Krakatoa erupts, at least 36,000 deaths were attributed to the eruption and the tsunamis it created.
April 8 - First shipment of frozen "Canterbury lamb" leaves Lyttelton for the United Kingdom on the "British King".
The Sumner Town Board meets for the first time.
Credit: Ch-Ch City Libraries
NEW BRIGHTON HARNESS RACING CLUB: EARLY HISTORY
At a meeting held in the Sawyer's Arms Hotel in February 1883, the stewards "were empowered to select a course for races anywhere within the Avon Road District."
The stewards chose land that skirted the swamps adjacent to New Brighton beach. Racing in those rather primitive conditions, the "Beach Racing Club", virtually the New Brighton Trotting Club, began to lose its savour, and the beach club was wound up, the grounds were taken over by the "Canterbury Sports Club Ltd" with the object of "encouraging athletics."
With the demise of this company, Henry Mace, a soft drinks manufacturer, bought the land and built "Brooklyn Lodge" where he founded a stud and training and racing stables. Once he sank wells for irrigation, upgraded the track and built accommodation for the public, trotting became an established sport in the area. The New Brighton Trotting Club was then re-established; and, leasing the track from Henry Mace, held the first official race meeting on March 16th, 1895.
Henry Mace died in 1902 and the next year Robert Button bought the course from Catherine Mace for £2,000, leasing it to the trotting club until 1909 when the Button family sold it for the same amount to the club.
During the First World War, though sections of the army used the grounds for training exercises, racing continued and prospered with further amenities being added for the public's accommodation. Then came the Second World War, and once again the grounds were given over to the Defence Department - and the club raced at Addington.
During the post war decade trotting on the New Brighton grass track was a popular sport, but members quickly realised that where night trotting had been introduced, clubs showed an increase in profit - and times were getting hard for this one!
In 1962, members voted in favour of selling their freehold course to the Christchurch City Council. As a result, in May 1963 the club purchased shares in the Addington Trotting Course Ltd. and held their final race meeting on the New Brighton course on September 21st, 1963. Since that time, the New Brighton Harness Racing Club as it is now known, has made Addington Raceway its home.
These days, the imposing QEII sports complex stands on the former New Brighton course.
++ NOTE: Since the 2011 earthquakes the sports complex has been demolished and the current plan is relocate Avonside Girls High and Shirley Boys High to a new facility on the site.
Credit: NZTC: Centennial Publication