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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Canterbury College

Canterbury College, Christchurch, which is affiliated to the New Zealand University, was created by an Ordinance of the Provincial Council, passed in the year 1873. Prior to that time a body existed under the name of the Canterbury Collegiate Union, and instruction was given in classics, mathematies, and certain branches of science, and on the incorporation of the college these branches of learning were continued. By the University Act of 1870, the University of New Zealand was originated with power to grant degrees in law, medicine, and music, but was not a teaching body. The Otago University had been created by Provincial Ordinance in 1869, and professors had been appointed. As the result of negotiations between Otago University and Canterbury College in 1873, the New Zealand University Act 1874 was passed constituting that body an examining body, solely, with its affiliation to the above named institutions. The government of the Canterbury College became vested in a Board of Governors numbering twenty-three, whose names were recorded in Clause 4 of the Canterbury College Ordinance. These gentlemen were lifemembers, and any vacancies were at first filled up by the board itself. A provision was, however, made that when the number of graduates of the University of New Zealand, who were members of the College, should reach thirty, the graduates should fill up vacancies in the Board of Governors, and this course has been pursued since 1884. The first three professors of Canterbury College were appointed in England in 1874 their chairs being, classics and English, mathematics and natural philosophy, physics and chemistry, and they began their duties in 1875. In addition there are the lecturers on biology, modern languages, and Jurisprudence, who had been previously working under the Collegiate Union. At that time there were no college buildings, the lectures being held in two rooms belonging to the public library, and in a small hall to which was attached the chemical laboratory. Various sums of money were from time to time voted by the Provincial Council, for the purpose of a site and the erection of suitable buildings. That portion which now includes the board-room and offices and the mathematical and English lecture-room was opened in June, 1877. The chemical and physical laboratories and lecture-rooms in this building were completed about the same year. Not long afterwards a set of lecturerooms, to the left of the main entrance, was added; subsequently, the hall, and afterwards the classical lecture-room, and the wing which is devoted to the school of engineering, were built. Ultimately, the fine building, which includes the biological laboratory and lecture-rooms, with the observatory tower in which was placed the telescope presented to
Canterbury College, Christchurch.Dutch, photo.

Canterbury College, Christchurch.
Dutch, photo.

page 163 the college by Mr. James Townsend, was completed on the Hereford Street frontage in March, 1896. The Chairs, besides those already mentioned, include chemistry, physics. French, German, and lectures on political economy, etc. The splendid hall of Canterbury College occupies the west end of the building and has accommodation for about six hundred persons; there is a platform at one end with a gallery above. There are in all six lecture-rooms, three on the ground floor, and three on the first floor with two rooms for each professor, and waiting-rooms.