John Joseph Woods was the winner of the competition this notice advertises to compose the best music for Thomas Bracken's 'God defend New Zealand'. His pen name for the competition was Orpheus. Woods later described how he came up with the tune: 'On reading the beautiful and appealing words, I immediately felt like one inspired ... I set to work instanter and never left my seat 'til the music was finished late on in the night.' Born in Tasmania in 1849, Woods had come to New Zealand as a young man. In 1876 he was head teacher of St Patrick's Catholic school in Lawrence, Otago.
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