Posted by Henry on January 17, 2004
In Reply to: Re: Origin of God's Own Country posted by Ronaldo on January 16, 2004
: : : Anyone have a url with info on the origin of God's Own Country? Cheers
: : It's a well known fact that God's own country is England and, contrary to the opinion of a few Yorkshire men who should know better, God's own county is Surrey, which probably accounts for the fact that God actually lives in Godalming Surrey. See local electoral register for proof of this.
: Having worked in Surrey (Sutton) this Kiwi would argue that his country is much more God's own than England/Surrey. Still doesn't explain the origin of the phrase tho', and I'd like to know.
Here's one claimant - Richard John Seddon (1845-1906), the Kumara publican who survived bankruptcy to become New Zealand's most dominating political figure. From http://www.pacificislandtravel.com/new_zealand/about_destin/westcoast/kumara.asp
He died suddenly, of a coronary attack, as he ended a hectic tour of Australia and shortly after telegraphing the Victorian State Premier: "Just returning to God's own country" - a telegram that gives rise to the legend that it was he who first coined the phrase now sometimes abbreviated to Godzone.
I doubt that we shall agree on a single source for this phrase!