Thomas Sidey

Last updated

Sir Thomas Sidey
Thomas Kay Sidey.jpg
15th Attorney-General of New Zealand
In office
10 December 1928 22 September 1931
Preceded by Frank Rolleston
Succeeded by William Downie Stewart, Jr.
28th Minister of Justice of New Zealand
In office
18 December 1929 28 May 1930
Preceded by Thomas Wilford
Succeeded by John Cobbe
Personal details
Thomas Kay Sidey

27 May 1863
Dunedin, New Zealand
Died20 May 1933 (1933-05-21) (aged 69)
Dunedin, New Zealand
Political party Liberal Party (1901-28)
United Party (1928-33)
Spouse(s)Helena Baxter

Sir Thomas Kay Sidey (27 May 1863 – 20 May 1933) was a New Zealand politician from the Otago region, remembered for his successful advocacy of daylight saving time.

Otago Region of New Zealand in South Island

Otago is a region of New Zealand in the south of the South Island administered by the Otago Regional Council. It has an area of approximately 32,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi), making it the country's third largest local government region. Its population was 229,200 in June 2018.

Daylight saving time Practice of advancing clocks so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less

Daylight saving time (DST), also daylight savings time or daylight time, also summer time, is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that evening daylight lasts longer, while sacrificing normal sunrise times. Typically, regions that use daylight saving time adjust clocks forward one hour close to the start of spring and adjust them backward in the autumn to standard time. In effect, DST causes a lost hour of sleep in the spring and an extra hour of sleep in the fall.


Early life

Sidey was born on 27 May 1863, to John and Johan Murray Sidey, in the Dunedin suburb of Corstorphine. His father had come to wealth during the Otago Gold Rush as a storekeeper. Tom Sidey attended Otago Boys' High School and graduated from the University of Otago with a law degree (LLB) in 1889. In the following decade, he worked as a solicitor. [1]

Corstorphine, New Zealand suburb of Dunedin, New Zealand

Corstorphine is a suburb of southwest Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand. It is located on the slopes of Calton Hill - a spur of Forbury Hill - between Caversham Valley and the Pacific Ocean. The suburbs of Saint Clair and Forbury lie to the east and south, and Caversham and Lookout Point lie to the north.

Otago Gold Rush

The Otago Gold Rush was a gold rush that occurred during the 1860s in Central Otago, New Zealand. This was the country's biggest gold strike, and led to a rapid influx of foreign miners to the area - many of them veterans of other hunts for the precious metal in California and Victoria, Australia.

Otago Boys High School

Otago Boys' High School (OBHS) is one of New Zealand's oldest boys' secondary schools, located in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. Originally known as Dunedin High School, it was founded on 3 August 1863 and moved to its present site in 1885. The main building was designed by Robert Lawson and is regarded as one of the finest Gothic revival structures in the country. Situated on high ground above central Dunedin it commands excellent views of the city and is a prominent landmark.

He married Helena (née Baxter) on 17 June 1903. They had one son. [1]

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
1901 02 14th Caversham Liberal
1902 05 15th Caversham Liberal
1905 08 16th Caversham Liberal
1908 11 17th Dunedin South Liberal
1911 14 18th Dunedin South Liberal
1914 19 19th Dunedin South Liberal
1919 22 20th Dunedin South Liberal
1922 25 21st Dunedin South Liberal
1925 28 22nd Dunedin South Liberal
1928Changed allegiance to: United

Sidey was a member of the Caversham Borough Council. He was elected Mayor of Caversham on three occasions: in 1894, 1899 and 1901. [1]

Caversham, New Zealand suburb of the city of Dunedin, in New Zealands South Island

Caversham is one of the older suburbs of the city of Dunedin, in New Zealand's South Island. It is sited at the western edge of the city's central plain at the mouth of the steep Caversham Valley, which rises to the saddle of Lookout Point. Major road and rail routes south lie nearby; the South Island Main Trunk railway runs through the suburb, and a bypass skirts its main retail area, connecting Dunedin's one-way street system with the Dunedin Southern Motorway. The suburb is linked by several bus routes to its neighbouring suburbs and central Dunedin.

Sidey was elected to the House of Representatives in the Caversham by-election as an independent liberal in 1901. [2] The by-election was caused by the death of Arthur Morrison. [3] Sidey joined the Liberal Party as part of its left (radical) wing, and stayed with the party until the end.

New Zealand Parliament legislative body of New Zealand

The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by a governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world.

An independent or nonpartisan politician is an individual politician not affiliated with any political party. There are numerous reasons why someone may stand for office as an independent.

Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support civil rights, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and free markets.

Sidey represented the Caversham electorate from 1901 to 1908, and then the Dunedin South electorate from 1908 to 1928, when he retired. He was then appointed to the Legislative Council from 1928 until 1933. [2]

Caversham was a parliamentary electorate in the city of Dunedin in the Otago region of New Zealand, from 1866 to 1908.

Dunedin South

Dunedin South is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate. It first existed from 1881 to 1890, then from 1905 to 1946 and was re-established for the introduction of MMP in 1996. A Labour Party stronghold, it has been represented by Clare Curran since the 2008 election.

New Zealand Legislative Council Upper House of the Parliament of New Zealand (1841 - 1951)

The Legislative Council of New Zealand existed from 1841 until 1951. When New Zealand became a colony in 1841 the Legislative Council was established as the country's first legislature; it was reconstituted as the upper house of a bicameral legislature when New Zealand became self-governing in 1852.

Sidey was Attorney-General (1928–31) and Minister of Justice (1930–31) in the United government. [2]

Sidey put forward a private member's bill for putting clocks forward an hour in summer every year from 1909. It was nearly passed in 1915. It was passed in the House of Representatives but rejected by the Legislative Council in 1926. It was finally approved in 1927. [1]


Sidey died at home on 20 May 1933. He was survived by his wife and son, Stuart Sidey. [1] His son became Mayor of Dunedin from 1959–65. His widow, Helen, Lady Sidey, was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for social welfare services, especially in connection with women's organisations, in the 1953 Coronation Honours. [4] The Royal Society of New Zealand awards the T. K. Sidey Medal at irregular intervals for "outstanding scientific research". [5]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Olssen, Erik (22 June 2007). "Sidey, Thomas Kay 1863 - 1933". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC   154283103.
  3. "Deaths". Otago Witness (2489). 27 November 1901. p. 43. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  4. "No. 39866". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 May 1953. pp. 3003–3006.
  5. "T. K. Sidey Medal". Royal Society of New Zealand . Retrieved 7 August 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Frank Rolleston
Succeeded by
William Downie Stewart
Preceded by
Thomas Wilford
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
John Cobbe
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Arthur Morrison
Member of Parliament for Caversham
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
James Frederick Arnold
Member of Parliament for Dunedin South
Succeeded by
William Burgoyne Taverner