The Racing Pigeons Write An Anthem

The Racing Pigeons Write An Anthem

John Joseph Woods lived from 1849-1934. Born in Tasmania, he moved to New Zealand to end up as head teacher of the St Patrick’s school in Lawrence.

Fascinating. If you have no idea who this man is then just smile and nod and keep reading.

When the Tuapeka County council was formed (1877), John was appointed county clerk. He worked very long hours and kept accounts of such a high standard that he was accepted as a Fellow of Registered Accountants of New Zealand.

What a man. Smile, nod and keep reading.

In 1932, after 55 years of service as County clerk, his health made him retire at the age of 83.

Astounding. But, who was he?

Well, when the New Zealand national anthem was written, a reward of 10 Guinea was offered to the person who would write the musical score for it. This man, John Woods, was the man who one winter evening in 1876 sat down behind his piano, wrote the music, and went to bed.

For that, he is still fondly remembered by probably some New Zealanders, and till this day he is commemorated in Lawrence with a mighty statue.

statue of John Woods

Statue of John Woods (no pun intended, hopefully)


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