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Marion Shimmin (1879-1942)

First Female MHK

First female member of the House of Keys and campaigner for financial aid for the Manx fishermen.
The Island’s first woman MHK was born in Cheshire, coming to the Island around 1900 to work as a teacher. 
In 1933, Marion Shimmin stood as a candidate in the by-election at Peel caused by the death of her husband Christopher.  She was duly elected to become Member of the House of Keys for Peel, and continued to serve her constituents until her death in the summer of 1942.
Marion Shimmin was a member of the Manx Labour Party and a keen advocate of the interests of the less well-off in the community.  Announcing her election, the Peel City Guardian described her as ‘a most intelligent and capable lady, if anything above the average standard of members of the present House’.
Like her husband, she was a member of boards and committees including health, insurance, pensions and fisheries. While on the Isle of Man Fisheries Board in the mid-1930s, she was instrumental in persuading the Isle of Man Government to introduce a system of financial aid for fishermen.  She was also on the Manx Museum Trustees, the Council of Education and the Emergency Distress Committee. 
An obituary commented that her greatest concern was ‘to do the best she could for humanity in general’.

A most intelligent and capable lady