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QUIN, ANNIE WINIFRED MARY nee FLYNN

 

Annie Flynn was born in New Plymouth on 12 July 1875, the daughter of John Flynn and Mary Jane nee Hall.  When Annie was 17 months old the family came to Hawera, where John drove the stage coach between Hawera and New Plymouth via Opunake.  John Flynn was one of von Tempsky's Forest Rangers, and had been wounded in the engagement at Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu.

 

Annie's musical career started early through the formation in her home of a family orchestra in which all ten children were instrumentalists.  Each member could play at least two instruments. Annie was particularly gifted at playing the piano, organ and double-bass and she also taught music.  Annie's mother, who had formed the Flynn Family Orchestra,  was noted for the quality of her high soprano voice, despite the fact that she had never been trained as a singer. She became a member of the first choral society formed in Hawera in 1880.

 

In 1893 Mr Joseph Higham formed an orchestra of women, and Annie became a member playing the double-bass. She continued as bass player in Mr Robert Foster's Gilbert and Sullivan operas as well as joining the Hawera Orchestral Society. She never missed one of their performances up to her retirement in December 1943 when she was made a  life member. Annie was also pianist for  Daisy Reilly's choir, which she took over on Daisy's death renaming it the Orpheus Choir, holding recitals to assist many worthy causes.

 

Annie was also organist for St Joseph's Church in which she was first president of the Catholic Women's Social Committee (now the Catholic Women's League).  She composed the Hawera Technical High School song to a setting by Dr Vernon Griffiths, was a piano accompanist for the silent movies and later for the "Competitions".

 

In 1901 Annie married William Alphonsus Quin, an accountant and local historian who wrote the book The Story of Hawera for the Hawera Industrial Exhibition in 1904. They had a family of seven children to which Annie imparted a love of music and the dramatic arts.

 

Annie Quin died on 29 December 1955 at Hawera, aged 80 years and is buried at the Hawera cemetery.

 

SOURCES

Obituary "Hawera Star" 30 Dec 1955

Book of N Z Women