Helping History at Canterbury

04 May 2021

Over the past two decades, the Canterbury History Foundation Inc. has served as an important support group for the History Department and the University of Canterbury.

  • Canterbury History Foundation plaque

    In 2020 members funded a memorial plaque to Christchurch victims of the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Canterbury History Foundation books

A selection of publications assisted by the Canterbury History Foundation.

Established in 1999, the Canterbury History Foundation Inc. is primarily a fund-raising body devoted to assisting postgraduate students and promoting historical research and publication for the wider public. There is no other body quite like it elsewhere in New Zealand. We have 130 members and 26 life members.

Our Friends and Graduates Fund provides much-needed support for postgraduate work in History in the form of grants for overseas travel to conferences and archives. Over the last ten years $16,390 has been distributed to assist postgraduate students.

In December each year a bequest to the Foundation from co-founder the late Gerald Hunt MBE funds a well-attended History Awards ceremony to recognize high-achieving students. The same bequest and donations from Frieda Looser and John Cookson provide three money prizes for top History students. The Vice-Chancellor usually speaks at the History Awards ceremony. Another bequest, the Shona Mann Fund, assists secondary school teachers of History to attend conferences and refresher courses.

The CHF has regularly supported historical work in the wider community through its Community Historian scheme, the Jim Gardner Memorial Lecture and the award of the A.C. Rhodes Memorial History Medal to volunteers in the community who have given long-term service to the preservation of archives or the promotion of History. Support for local history research has been a major part of the Foundation’s work, supported by the John Strassmeyer bequest. Since 2010 grants totalling $35,225 have been made to 22 authors to assist publication of their work and $10,500 has been granted for heritage building restoration and sponsorship of conferences. In 2020 members funded a memorial plaque to Christchurch victims

If you have a love for History, whatever your degree subject, we invite alumni to become members or make donations and bequests. The annual subscription is $50, life membership $500. See the website - - or contact the secretary: 

Registered Charity CC45220