Friday, November 02, 2007

Dunedin advocate Sidey dies, aged 99

Friday November 2, 07:56 PM

Dunedin advocate Sidey dies, aged 99

One of Otago's great advocates, former Dunedin mayor and founder of Wickliffe Press, Thomas Kay Stuart Sidey, has died in Wanaka, aged 99.

Mr Sidey died at his home on Sunday after a brief illness, but he had remained active until the past few weeks. He sold his open red BMW coupe earlier this year for another car because he thought it looked too old, his daughter Joy Leslie said.

He was the son of Sir Thomas Kay Sidey, a former parliamentarian who was responsible for the introduction of daylight saving in New Zealand, putting forward the first bill in 1909. Known originally as Sidey Time, it was adopted in 1927.

Mr Sidey, known as Stuart, had a law doctorate and served in the 2nd division's signals unit during World War 2 in the Middle East and Italy, returning as a major.

He was a keen photographer and during his war service he used his movie camera, saying recently that he "dragged that thing all around the war."

The army gave him back his footage and just over a year ago his filming of General Freyberg drinking with the troops, and the bombing of Monte Cassino screened at a Wanaka cinema.

He worked as a barrister and solicitor and bought a factory in 1948 to set up Wickliffe Press, known nationally for its expertise in supplying business forms.

Mr Sidey was elected to Dunedin City Council in 1947 and served for three years, returning again three years later for 12 years, including six as mayor.

He was defeated as mayor in 1965, but returned to the council three years later and served as deputy mayor.

Another former mayor Richard Walls said while Mr Sidey seemed a shy man, he had strong beliefs and expressed himself well.

" He had a lot more vision than people gave him credit for. He kept looking at the future through a much younger person's eyes," Mr Walls told NZPA.

"He didn't like a fuss. but he could be quite a determined person. He was certainly one of our great visionaries and was tremendously loyal to Otago.

"Mrs Leslie said her father, a previous chancellor of Otago University, enjoyed skiing into his 90s and was a keen walker and traveller.

"He was a quiet man, not outgoing, but very astute and he was a great advocate for Dunedin."

Mr Sidey was made a Companion of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1968 for his services to Dunedin and education.

He was pre-deceased by his wife Beryl and is survived by son, prominent obstetrician and gynaecologist Tom, and daughter Joy and their families.


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