Charles Duggan was born in 1842 at Dudley, Worcester, England.
On 25th October 1862 the ship the “Chariot of Fame” left England for Lyttelton.
The “Chariot of Fame” had splendidly furnished cabins and staterooms (even a reading room, a great luxury in those days) and all known conveniences for the comfort of passengers.
There were a record number of passengers on this trip, 460, of whom 430 were assisted immigrants. Charles Duggan was a cabin passenger (paying Passenger).
The “Chariot of Fame” arrived in Lyttelton on 28th January 1863.
Charles Duggan gained employment at the business of Jones and Smith (home decorators). He had learnt the trade of painting and decorating from his father, Joseph.
The business was at 231 Cashel Street, Christchurch (near the Bridge of Remembrance) and its back entrance extended through to Lichfield Street. He became a partner in the firm in 1879, and later becoming owner of the business known as “Duggan and Sons”.
Charles became involved in public affairs, especially those in St Albans, Christchurch, where they lived. At this time the Duggan family lived in Mays Road.
The Mutual Improvement Society was founded in Christchurch in 1867 and Charles was elected librarian.
The constitution drawn up was: “All loud talking, swearing or profane language, practical joking, smoking or drunkenness were strictly forbidden as well as political or religious controversy. Membership was to be two shillings and sixpence an adult male and one shilling for a youth. No women were to be admitted.”
Eventually the hall they built became the St Albans Public Library.
Charles Duggan was my great great great grandfather.
I’m a 5th generation descendant on my father’s side.
My mother, Marie Duggan researched & compiled a family history book on Charles Duggan in 1992, which I helped with the typesetting/graphic design.
She regularly came to the Shirley Community Centre to do family history research at the NZ Society of Genealogists – Canterbury Branch.
My mum passed away at the end of 2020 & at the beginning of 2021 my dad gave me her family history folders & the original Charles Duggan book.
I had forgotten his story, so I started rereading it & realised our Charles Duggan was the C. Duggan, Librarian, named in the time capsule.
I had already planned to go along to the opening of the St Albans Community Centre, now I had an extra reason to be there.
Listening to the Mayor Lianne Dalziel speak about legacy, made me wonder what would Charles Duggan think, to know his legacy was still a part of St Albans.
A full circle moment for me as his descendant, advocating for a new centre/learning library at 10 Shirley Road, https://www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/shirley-centre-concept-image/.
Similar to his “St Albans Mutual Improvement Association” that focused on “The mutual mental improvement of its members. Classes for special studies of various subjects being formed, lectures on current topics, readings and discussions were also a part of the means devised for the advancement of culture and general knowledge.”
The striking new Kohinga St Albans Community Centre was officially opened at the weekend [10th April 2021]…The original foundation stone that was salvaged when the original building on the site was demolished is featured in the community centre. The contents of a time capsule unearthed during the demolition of the former building have also been placed on the site of the new facility.
10. Time Capsule or Deposit for the rebuild of the St Albans Community Centre
– 4. Staff Recommendations, 2. Rebury the previous deposit (discovered in 2011 and opened in 2018) under the original foundation stone dated 1920 to be incorporated into the new building.
– 5.4 The former St Albans Library building (1921) is of heritage significance on account of its association with the history of the early St Albans Mutual Improvement Association. The building illustrates the role such societies played in the community and the way Christchurch developed with largely independent communities. The building is connected with the history of the social life of an early Christchurch suburb, and a continued history of volunteer work.
– 5.6 St Albans library service is one of the earliest suburban library services in Christchurch having started in 1867 on a different site (the central library was founded in 1959) and operating for 76 years.
– 5.7 The previous deposit was placed into the wall of the St Albans Community Centre when the foundation stone was laid by Mayor H.T.J. Thacker on 31 July 1920.
– 5.9 The deposit was salvaged from the St Albans Community Centre in 2011 and was opened on 14 September 2018 by members of the St Albans community. The capsule was opened by the Waipapa/Papanui-Innes Community Board, pupils from the St Albans Primary and St Albans Catholic Schools and community representatives from the St Albans History group, St Albans Residents’ Association and St Albans Business Association.
– 5.10 Upon opening the deposit a letter in a sealed bottle and two newspapers were discovered inside. The letter detailed the history of the library and noted the presidents of the St Albans Mutual Improvement Association which managed the library, dating from 1867 to 1920.
– 5.11 Copies of The Lyttelton Times and The Press from the 1920s were among the artefacts found in the capsule along with the letter.
https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2018/12/PICB_20181207_AGN_2446_AT.PDF, Page 45
Full text for letter in a bottle
“When the time capsule planted in 1920 behind the foundation stone in the old community centre was opened in September it contained a small brown bottle and a letter inside. The bottle was reluctant to give up its dry contents but eventually did. The opening was recorded in the October/November StAN and made reference to the letter and some of the names contained within.
The Christchurch City Council has transcribed the letter in full. Some of those names were men who played a prominent role in 19th century Christchurch and in the public library which replaced the Mutual Improvement Society’s building in Dover St, later to become the St Albans Community Centre.”
Letter Inside Bottle
This Library was founded on May 24th 1867 as a result of a public meeting held in the house of Mr David Lewis and was then described and known as The St Albans Mutual Improvement Association, the object of such Society being as recorded in the minutes. “The mutual mental improvement of its members”.
Classes for special studies of various subjects being formed, lectures on current topics, readings and discussions were also a part of the means devised for the advancement of culture and general knowledge.
The names of the first committee and officers of the Society were as follows:-
President: Doctor Angustus Florence
Vice Presidents: Mr William Moor and Mr St Quinton
Secretary: Mr J Dixey
Librarian: Mr C Duggan [Charles Duggan]
Committee: Messrs J Berberry, Watson, D Pine, H Price, Cumberworth, Smith W Butler, Rowbotham, D Lewis, R Butterfield, R Cutler, Thos Lewis.
A plot of land part of rural Section No. 311 situate in what is now known as Dover Street, St Albans Christchurch was given by Mr William Moor for a building, being conveyed by him to two Trustees namely The Reverend John Aldred and Mr Geo Gould.
The necessary buildings were forthwith erected and were duly opened to the public residing in St Albans on October 28 th 1867.
Now after a period of fifty three years the old premises being too small has rendered necessary the erection of a new and more suitable building on this site.
Decorators, Oil And Colour Dealers
Duggan, Charles, Painter and Decorator, 231 Cashel Street and Lichfield Street, Christchurch. The business was established in the fifties by Mr. Wincop, and was purchased from him in 1863 by Messrs. Jones and Smith. Mr. Smith retiring in 1869, Mr. Jones carried on the business for ten years, when he was joined in partnership by Mr. Duggan, who two years later became sole proprietor. Mr. Duggan is a native of Birmingham, where he learned the trade with his father, and arrived in the Colonies in 1863 by the ship “Chariot of Fame”. He was with the firm as an employee until becoming partner in 1879. Mr. Duggan is an importer of glass, oil, paints, paper-hangings, and other stocks required in the trade. The premises cover some 5000 square feet of space.
CCC District Plan, Listed Heritage Place – 2/408 Montreal Street, Christchurch
Has historical and social significance as it is representative of small dwellings erected within the four avenues during the 1870s.
In 1881 the land was conveyed to Charles Duggan, painter of Christchurch. Duggan sold the property in 1900, by which time all four cottages (404, 406, 408 and 410) were built.
The cottage has historical and social significance as an early 1870s cottage built by Rev Aldred, after whom Beveridge Street was once named.
Owner/occupiers of 408 Montreal Street have included a salesman, a county clerk, a retired milkhand, a master painter and notable Christchurch architect, Don Donnithorne.
During the mid-1980s 404, 406, 408 and 410 Montreal Street were all owned by architect Don Donnithorne.
It is also significant because of its association one of New Zealand’s best known poets James K Baxter, who lived there during his time in Christchurch in the late 1940s.
The dwelling has cultural significance as a demonstration of the way of life of its past and present residents and architectural significance as a colonial vernacular building. The dwelling has technological and craftsmanship significance for its remaining evidence of early construction methods, materials and detailing.