Sydney George Smith

Date of birth / Date established
19 Jan 1879
Date of death / Date closed
21 May 1943
Place of birth / Place established
Place of death / Place closed
Sydney George Smith (19 January 1879 – 21 May 1943), known to his friends as Sid, was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party and then the National Party, and a cabinet minister. Smith was born in New Plymouth in 1879. His parents were Edward Metcalf Smith and Mary Ann Golding.

On 19 November 1901, he married Elsie Rose Herbert (known as Rose) at St Mary's Church in New Plymouth. They had three children: Rosa Maud (b. 1902), Ethel Mary (b. 1905), and Edward George (b. 1906). His wife died on 3 April 1913, aged 35. Smith remarried on 25 February 1915, to Catherine (Kate) Bint, again at St Mary's Church. He had a further three children from his second marriage: Raymond Sydney (1916–1944), Harry Allman (1918–1998), and Lorna Hazel (b. 1922).[1]

He worked in the New Zealand Railways for 20 years, and for 13 years held office in the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants. He was on the New Plymouth Borough Council. Smith successfully contested the Taranaki electorate in a by-election in 1918 (following the death of Henry Okey) as an Independent Labour candidate. He was confirmed at the 1919 election, and in 1922 election successfully stood as a Liberal Labour candidate. In 1925 he stood unsuccessfully for New Plymouth for the Liberal Party. He was successful in 1928 and returned to Parliament for the United Party until he was defeated at the 1938 election by Labour candidate Frederick Frost.

Smith was Minister of Labour and Minister of Mines in the United Government from 28 May 1930 to 22 September 1931. He was Minister of Education in the United/Reform Coalition from 22 November 1934 to 6 December 1935. He was also Chairman of Committees from 11 December 1928 to 28 May 1930, and again from 27 October 1931 to 12 February 1935.

In 1935, Smith was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.


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