Samuel Edward Shrimski (Szramski)

Samuel Edward Shrimski (1828 – 25 June 1902) was a 19th-century Member of Parliament and then a Member of the Legislative Council from Otago, New Zealand.

He was born in Poznań, Prussia, where he received his initial education. He went to London in 1847, where he stayed for 12 years. Shrimski emigrated to Melbourne in 1859 and came to New Zealand in 1861. He married Deborah Neumegen at the Dunedin Synagogue on 28 June 1865. She was the niece of Leopold Neumegen, a Jewish schoolmaster.

Political Career

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1876–1879 6th Waitaki Independent
1879–1881 7th Waitaki Independent
1881–1884 8th Oamaru Independent
1884–1885 9th Oamaru Independent

Shrimski was the government land auctioneer in Oamaru. He was elected Mayor of Oamaru several times in succession.
Shrimski contested the 1876 election in the Waitaki electorate. Waitaki was first established in the 1870 Electoral Redistribution. For the 1876 election, it became a two-member electorate. Four candidates put their names forward. Steward and Joseph O’Meagher contested the election as abolitionists (i.e. they were in favour of abolishing the provincial government), while Thomas William Hislop and Shrimski were provincialists (i.e. they favoured the retention of provincial government). The provincialists won the election by quite some margin, and both became members of parliament for the first time.

Hislop and Shrimski were both confirmed in the 1879 election, but Hislop resigned on 28 April 1880 “for private reasons”. The resulting 1880 by-election was won by George Jones, who served alongside Shrimski until 1881.

Shrimski then represented the Oamaru electorate from 1881 to 1885, when he resigned. In the 1884 general election, he defeated Viscount Reidhaven (who later became the Earl of Seafield when he succeeded his father).

He was appointed to the Legislative Council on 15 May 1885, one of an unprecedented nine appointments made by the Stout–Vogel Ministry in 1885, which inflated the council’s membership to 54. He held that role until he died in 1902.

In Oamaru, he was a member of educational and philanthropic institutions. In his public life he held many positions. He is regarded as the founder of the Waitaki High School of which he was first Chairman of the Board of Governors.

He held the offices of chairman of the educational board of North Otago, treasurer of the Oamaru Hospital Board, and vice-president of the Otago branch of the Anglo-Jewish Association.

Shrimski moved to Auckland in 1900 to be closer to other family members. After having been ill for five weeks, he died at his residence in Lower Symonds Street, Auckland, on 25 June 1902 aged 72. He is buried at Waikumete Cemetery. He was survived by his wife Deborah Shrimski.