Posted by Ronaldo on January 17, 2004
In Reply to: Godzone posted by Henry on January 17, 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!
I think Semple was predated by the poem entitled "God's Own Country" witten by Thomas Bracken circa 1890. Bracken was born in Ireland but settled in New Zealand, and is better known for writing God Defend New Zealand, the national anthem. I presume God's Own Country is something about NZ. I'm seeking the words, and will post something further if relevant.