Today there is a party on in Christchurch's Cathedral Square. 150 years ago Queen Victoria granted letters patent which allowed Christchuch to have a bishop and become a city. It must have been a very small city, as it was only six years since the "First Four Ships" had brought the settlers of the Canterbury Company. However I gather that having a bishop was more important to granting city status, than was size.
Technically I think our "birthday" should date from the first settlement. Celebrating the city status seems to be to be counting a child's day of birth as the day they start school. Still, any excuse for a party on ratepayers' money.
Here are some photos I took - very casually in the crowd. Any attempts at framing a professional-looking shot were likely to be foiled by someone coming between me and the camera.
Part of the 150 metre long birthday cake (and a very nice cake it was, too).
FreedomAir were giving away 75 prizes of a flight for two to Australia, for the best costumes.
Performers waiting behind the stage for their turn
Stilt walkers seen above the crowd
A tourist poses with Christchurch's Wizard for a photo. (The Wizard used to be seen regularly on his soapbox in the Square. He's more or less retired these days, but comes out occasionally for special occasions).
A young partygoer flies above the crowd. The Cathedral is in the background.
John Robert Godley decked out in red and black (Canterbury colours) with a seagull hat, for the occasion.