Von Possner Family #7009

Colombo Chetty/Dutch Burgher Family Genealogy

VON POSSNER, Arthur Kurt - Family #7009

The" Ice Kompaaniiya" at Kompaniveediya (Ceylon Cold Stores or "ELEPHANT HOUSE")

Arthur Kurt Von Possner the manager of the Colombo Ice Co. was a colorful character who worked as an engineer during the construction of the Suez canal. He arrived in Ceylon and managed the first Ice factory. Prior to his arrival ice was imported as mini icebergs. This was auctioned at the jetty. Residents of Colombo wrapped cut blocks of ice in blankets to delay melting. "Eating" ice, and iced aerated drinks with brandy were popular among the social elite... The first ice machine was imported in 1863. In 1866 the Colombo Ice Co was managed by Arthur Von Possner. He lived at Glennie Street named after an Archdeacon of Colombo. This area was locally known as Kompaniveediya, named after the Ice Company. 

Von Possner introduced the "Elephant" as the trade mark of the company, which later became Elephant House. He used to hire a boat to take him across the Beira Lake to the Galle Face Hotel for his favorite drink. One night, after one too many he walked in the wrong direction towards the sea and shouted "Yakko botuwa genning", meaning “Hey you, bring the boat here” (Ceylon in our Times 1894-1969 p 82). 

Von Possner and Magdalene had four daughters, Laura, Wilhelmina (Mini), Anna, and Therese. Laura and Mini were among the social elite of their day. They remained spinsters. Anna married Wagner of the Freudenberg Company and Therese who trained as a nurse at St Thomas Hospital London married a patient named Percy Napton of San Fancisco and emigrated to California.

1  Arthur Kurt von Possner 1833-1900 + Magdalene (Maria) Aserappa 1848 (7007)

...2  Laura Von Possner (spinster)

...2  Wilhelmina (Mini) Von Possner (spinster)

...2  Anna Von Possner + Wagner (Freudenberg Company)

...2  Therese Von Possner, nurse at St Thomas Hospital London, + Percy Napton (patient at the hospital) of San Fancisco and emigrated to California.