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NOVEMBER 2015 | Wendy Laing
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ON 9TH JUNE, 2013 Geoff Woods received an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in the Australia Day Honours List for service to the community through cultural, heritage, service and sporting organisations, and to local government.
He was the founding editor of the Western Tiers newspaper in 1980 and, after selling it to The Advocate, remained as editor and manager for six years before it ceased production.
In 1995, Geoff retired after 40 years in the Education Department, 26 of those as a Principal and during that time he had many interests in the Deloraine community.
Pat and Geoff Woods bought the late Victorian-Federation house ‘Arcoona’ in 1973 and spent their time renovating and researching the house. In November 1991 he compiled and published a book called Arcoona Deloraine, A Country Doctor’s Residence which told the story of the house from when it was built in 1892.
An interesting little historical fact is that Geoff was born at Arcoona when it was a hospital. Along with Geoff, third owner and restorer of Arcoona died on 3rd September and Dr Frank Cole, who was the original owner who had it built, also died on the same day in a different year.
Geoff’s research into the life of the racehorse Malua led to writing a book called The Mighty Malua; story of Australia’s most versatile champion racehorse and the three families who had owned him.
It was launched on the 24th October 2009, the same time the statue of Malua was unveiled at the Deloraine Information Centre. Geoff was also a Jazz Coordinator and Executive Officer for the Jazz Foundation of Tasmania.
Mrs Woods said that his great love of jazz led him to apply for a grant to revive a band in Deloraine.
When it was granted, he and friends, Gordon Scott and Carlisle Sherriff, bought instruments, uniforms and hired professional musicians to teach band members to play them. The Deloraine Community Band, as it is now known, is still playing under the leadership of Gordon Scott’s son, Cameron Scott.
Mrs Woods explained how proud Geoff was when his son, Michael, decided to make music his profession and became the best trumpeter in Tasmania.
Geoff spent most of his life in Deloraine. He attended Our Lady of Mercy School where he matriculated.
At a fete to raise money for the school, Geoff put a mesh screen on a cardboard box and beamed a short film onto a mirror, which threw the image onto the box. He charged people to come and see the ‘television’ he had made. This, of course, was before television came to Tasmania.
Geoffrey Benjamin Woods OAM passed away on 3rd September 2015. He is sadly missed by his wife Patricia, his son Michael and the people of Deloraine who knew and respected him.
[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Jan Collett