Monday 21st January is Wellington Anniversary Day, and there is more to it than just a day off for us Wellingtonians!
If you’re interested in reading or seeing more, come check out our Early Wellington display of books and images on the 2nd floor of the Central Library.
So, what is Wellington Anniversary Day?
- An anniversary day commemorates the founding of a province or an early settlement event.
- The first New Zealand Company immigrant ship, the Aurora, arrived 22nd January 1840.
- The first settlement celebration was held on 22nd January 1841.
- Wellington Anniversary Day is the Monday that falls closest to the 22nd of January.
Read about the very first Wellington Anniversary celebrations:
- Article from the New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, 30 January 1841: Celebration of the Arrival of the First Settlers (Papers Past)
- Early colonial society through a prism: reflections on Wellington’s first anniversary day by B. R. Patterson, published by Wellington Historical and Early Settlers’ Association (NZ).
Names for Wellington:
- Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui – The head of Māui’s fish.
- Te Whanganui a Tara – The great harbour of Tara.
- The first European settlement, Britannia, was where Petone is now situated.
- Popular choice for a new name was Durham. In England, Durham’s name comes from the Old English “dun”=hill and the Old Norse “holme”=island.
- Finally in 1840 the name Wellington was chosen to honour the Duke of Wellington, who was a strong supporter of the New Zealand Company.
Wellington Heritage Trails:
(PDFs of some of these are available on the Wellington City Council website)
- Heritage trail: Te ara o nga tupuna = The path of our ancestors
- Heritage trail: Petone, Hutt City
- Heritage trail: old shoreline, Wellington City
- Heritage trail: maritime Wellington City
- Heritage trail: Thorndon: power, passion, prose & piety.
- Heritage trail: Aro Valley: cottages, crannies & curiosities.
- Heritage trail: northern suburbs, Wellington City
- Heritage trail: Karori, Wellington City
- A guide to Wellington’s Maori history: nga korero mua o te upoko o te ika
- Te Whanganui-a-Tara: the story of Wellington Harbour
- Wellington Harbour; a heritage of Tara
- Britannia by the river
- Early Wellington
- Wellington: history, heritage & culture
- Old Wellington in colour: from hundred-year-old picture postcards
- Wellington: biography of a city
- Colonial capital: Wellington, 1865-1910
- Wellington at work in the 1890s
- Heritagelink: the official magazine of the Wellington Historical & Early Settlers Assn.