Thomas Sidey
Sir Thomas Kay Sidey was a New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 politician from the Otago Region, remembered for his successful advocacy of daylight saving time
Daylight saving time
Daylight saving time —also summer time in several countries including in British English and European official terminology —is the practice of temporarily advancing clocks during the summertime so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less...


Early life

Sidey was born on 27 May 1863, to John and Johan Murray Sidey, in the Dunedin suburb of Corstorphine
Corstorphine, 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...

. His father had come to wealth during the Otago Gold Rush as a storekeeper. Tom Sidey attended Otago Boys' High School
Otago Boys' High School
Otago Boys' High School is one of New Zealand's oldest boys' secondary schools, located in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. 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...

 and graduated from the University of Otago
University of Otago
The University of Otago in Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest university with over 22,000 students enrolled during 2010.The university has New Zealand's highest average research quality and in New Zealand is second only to the University of Auckland in the number of A rated academic researchers it...

 with a law degree (LLB
Bachelor of Laws
The Bachelor of Laws is an undergraduate, or bachelor, degree in law originating in England and offered in most common law countries as the primary law degree...

) in 1889. In the following decade, he worked as a solicitor.

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

Political career

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

He was elected to the House of Representatives in the Caversham by-election as an independent
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 in 1901. The by-election was caused by the death of Arthur Morrison
Arthur Morrison (New Zealand)
Arthur Morrison was a Member of Parliament in Dunedin, New Zealand.-Private and professional life:Morrison was born in Scotland and was a coal merchant in Dunedin. He exemplified the self-made man who identified with Labour....

. Sidey joined the Liberal Party
New Zealand Liberal Party
The New Zealand Liberal Party is generally regarded as having been the first real political party in New Zealand. It governed from 1891 until 1912. Out of office, the Liberals gradually found themselves pressed between the conservative Reform Party and the growing Labour Party...

 as part of its left (radical) wing, and stayed with the party until the end.

He represented the Caversham
Caversham (New Zealand electorate)
Caversham was a parliamentary electorate in the city of Dunedin in the Otago Region of New Zealand, from 1866 to 1908.-History:Caversham was first established in 1866 and abolished in 1890. It was recreated in 1893 and abolished again in 1908....

 electorate from 1901 to 1908, and then the Dunedin South
Dunedin South
Dunedin South is a New Zealand Parliamentary electorate. It first existed from 1881–1890, then from 1905–1946 and was re-established for the introduction of MMP in 1996. A Labour Party stronghold, it has been represented by Clare Curran since the .-Area:...

 electorate from 1908
New Zealand general election, 1908
The New Zealand general election of 1908 was held on Tuesday, 17 November, 24 November and 1 December in the general electorates, and on Wednesday, 2 December in the Māori electorates to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 17th session of the New Zealand Parliament...

 to 1928, when he retired. He was then appointed to the Legislative Council
New Zealand Legislative Council
The Legislative Council of New Zealand was the upper house of the New Zealand Parliament from 1853 until 1951. Unlike the lower house, the New Zealand House of Representatives, the Legislative Council was appointed.-Role:...

 from 1928 until 1933.

He was Attorney-General
Attorney-General (New Zealand)
The Attorney-General is a political office in New Zealand. It is simultaneously a ministerial position and an administrative office, and has responsibility for supervising New Zealand law and advising the government on legal matters...

 (1928–31) and Minister of Justice
Minister of Justice (New Zealand)
The Minister of Justice is a minister in the government of New Zealand. The minister has responsibility for the formulation of justice policy and for the administration of law courts....

 (1930–31) in the United government
United Government of New Zealand
The United Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1928 to 1931, defeating the long-lived Reform Government. The United Party had been formed in 1927 from the remnants of the Liberal Party under Sir Joseph Ward, who had made a political comeback. But Ward was in poor health...


He 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
New Zealand House of Representatives
The New Zealand House of Representatives is the sole chamber of the legislature of New Zealand. The House and the Queen of New Zealand form the New Zealand Parliament....

 but rejected by the Legislative Council
New Zealand Legislative Council
The Legislative Council of New Zealand was the upper house of the New Zealand Parliament from 1853 until 1951. Unlike the lower house, the New Zealand House of Representatives, the Legislative Council was appointed.-Role:...

 in 1926. It was finally approved in 1927.


Sidey died at home on 20 May 1933. He was survived by his wife and son, Thomas Kay Stuart Sidey
Thomas Kay Stuart Sidey
Sir Thomas Kay Stuart Sidey was the Mayor of Dunedin, New Zealand from 1959 to 1965 for the Citizens party, and was on the Dunedin City Council from 1947 to 1983. He stood for Parliament three times....

. His son became Mayor of Dunedin
Mayor of Dunedin
The Mayor of Dunedin is the head of the municipal government of Dunedin, New Zealand, and presides over the Dunedin City Council. The Mayor is directly elected, using the Single Transferable Vote system in 2007....

from 1959–65.
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