Photographs Taken Approx: 1886
Ivy was born 10 October, Dunedin, New Zealand and lived with her parents Elizabeth and William (V) Poppelwell at 300 York Place. She was the only girl among four brothers - George, Henry, Colin and Cecil (Eddie). Her first school was St Joseph's, Dunedin and then on 8 August 1896 she enrolled at the High Street School in Dunedin when she was 13 years 10 months.
Ivy (Anna) was a warm generous caring person of strong personality and marked musical gifts. In her teens she lived as companion to her Aunt Fenwick, her mother's sister in Dunedin, who fostered and financed her musical education, and when she died, she left a bequest which enabled Anna to continue her singing training overseas. Anna was a member of St Joseph's Cathedral Choir in Dunedin with her brothers Henry and Colin, as well as her cousin Polly.
Then, from her Aunt Fenwick's bequest, Anna became a protege of Dame Nellie Melba at the Melba Conservatorium of Music in Richmond, Australia. Afterwards, she then went on to Germany where she studied Italian and German the Lieder technique with Elena Gerhardt when she was in her twenties.
Anna had a fine mezzo soprano voice and had a long career as pianist, accompanist, solo concert singer as well as a music and voice teacher for about 40 years. Her pupils used to call her 'Madam Ginn'.
In 1938 Anna was invited to be in a concert with the British Music Society, New Zealand Section, at the Bristol Salon on July 7 in Wellington.
Note: The programme is shown in a pop-up window - Concert Programme - as it did not reduce very clearly after scanning because of its age, it is shown at a larger size for better viewing.
Anna was very proper indeed, and you had to ask if you were allowed to wear slacks to a singing lesson. She also liked to have good looking young people around her. There were many romances and a lot of suitors and romances. She was engaged to be married before George Ginn, but, unfortunately the young man died in a motorbike accident on the day they were going to be married. Anna's hair turned white from the shock of it all.
George Alfred Ginn- Merchant
Ivy Fenwick Ginn - Married
3 Park Terrace, Wellington
When she was 32 she married George Alfred Ginn who she met on a ship. George had looked over at her and saw her straight back, and wanted her to sit at his table. He was not a very sympathetic man. On one of their Anniversaries, they went for a walk and sat somewhere on a hill. Anna thought he was going to say something romantic, but instead, he said: 'Oh dear, I think we are sitting on a septic tank.' So much for romance! After she married George Ginn, she used her middle name of Anna and went by that for many years - only occasionally was she called Ivy.
George was a prosperous tea merchant who had tuberculosis and was supposed to die within 2 years after their marriage, but, went on to live for approximately 12 more years. He died in 1926. They had one son - Russell Henry - born November 23, 1916. They lived in Karori, Wellington for a while before moving to 3 Collina Terrace, Thorndon. St. Mary's College was at the back of their property, where her Aunts Catherine (Kate) and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Poppelwell were early boarders
The house in Collina Terrace was a two storey Victorian residence and Anna's Singing Room was in the front of the house which had a wonderful view of Wellington Harbour with the foreign ships and the inter-island ferries coming in and out. That was before the ICI building was erected right in front of Anna's house which then blocked out her view.
The Singing room had pictures of Elena Gerhaardt, Dame Nellie Melba and others. A large bookcase filled one wall with manuscripts of songs all overflowing along the walls. Little ivory elephants and Egyptian scabbards abounded. Brass animals were everywhere. A snake, a buddha, 3 wise monkeys, elephants, frogs, a snail, butterflies and bowls. A lady called Nola used to come in once a week to help polish them all. Mr. Nippert was Anna's right hand man. He was the "I'll fix it mum," to everything.
Jeanie Weenie was her maid and was the daughter of an Indian mother and a Scottish Father. When Jeanie left to get married, Annie persuaded Tattie and Dan Eckhoff and family (who were renting a house in Kelburn) to share Collina Terrace with her, and to help with her mother Elizabeth who was rosie-faced with gray hair and very religious. They stayed for 12 years.
The Singing room had an ornate white ceiling and a long bamboo curtain pole covered the windows with coffee coloured curtains. One of Anna's favourite scales for her pupils was 'gone-doubt-gone-fear' which used all the 'o' sounds and rounded the mouth. She also practised the Bel Canto method of singing and had many pupils over the years. They included: Robin Dumbell (her star pupil) and George Metcalfe (both tenors), John Simpson, Raymond and Elaine Romanos, Dorothy McKegg, Frank and Jean Malthus, Maria Dronke, Beverley Reid and many others.
There were also the monthly tea parties when the little trolley was wheeled out from the kitchen with the best china, little white doileys on each plate waiting for the tempting little cucumber sandwiches, queen cakes, rock cakes and others. A large silver teapot sat in the middle of the trolley and Anna used to turn to one of her pupils and say 'Would you like to be mother?' which meant they were allowed to pour for everyone. A great honour indeed!