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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2016, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Ivy Cover-Ramsey

COVER-RAMSEY, IVY (nee Ivy Cover)
Jamaica/United States
Born 07 March 1921 Jamaica
Still alive August 2015 and living at Brentwood New York.
Married (1) Alva Pagiel Ramsey (1906-1994) on 12 September 1938 in St Andrew, Jamaica. Divorced by 1954 as article refers to him as "former husband".
Married (2) Stanley Rosenthal. Deceased by 2015.
[Active from at least 1938 to 1955]

Titles

Won Jamaican Championships 1947-1952.
3 time ATA New York State champion (1953 and ????)
ATA Connecticut State winner.

Born Ivy Cover, her family name was pronounced "Coo-ver" or "Cool-ver." Years later her name was incorrectly given as Culver as a result of how her name sounded.

Ivy began tennis at abut age 14 after other sports, including track and equestrianism. She represented Jamaica in Barranquilla at the 1946 Latin American Games.

Ivy used a Western grip on her powerful forehand, which allowed her to hit with topspin with ease. This was unusual in an era when most women used the Eastern grip.

In 1938 she wed her tennis coach Alva Paigel Ramsay.

From 'The Daily Gleaner', Monday 12th September 1938:

"Lawn Tennis. Comparatively, this sport experienced another dormant, if not silent week, yet there was one notable feature of the week on which, I am sure, all exponents of the game will offer their sincere congratulations. I refer to the marriage of Miss Ivy Cover, 1938 girl champion, to her tennis coach and mentor, Mr [Alva Pagiel] Ramsay, which took place on Wednesday afternoon last.

"The 'World of Sport' adds its personal congratulations to this popular couple, and now that our girl champion has selected a partner we hope, not as in the past to see her alone on the courts battling single-handed her way to victory, but in the company of her 'better half'."

In 1948 Ivy and her husband had started the magazine "West Indian Sportsman". She was the mother of two and divorced by 1953. The children stayed with her mother for most of the 1950s. From this time she adopted the name Cover-Ramsey, changing the "a" to "e". The reason for this slight name change is unclear.

Ramsey came to the US in 1953-a gift from her Aunt Edna. This allowed her to travel the US circuit, and she appeared in the US Championships.
She enjoyed it so much that she decided to apply for a permanent visa to study Physical Education at Bethune-Cookman College. This was given as a scholarship from the predominantly black American Tennis Association. Though never explicitly mentioned, photos make clear she would have been considered "black" or mixed race in The United States.

For three consecutive years (1953 to 1955) Ivy competed at Forest Hills. Some sources list her as Jamaican, others simply state "of Brooklyn" or "of New York." Ramsey later went on to graduate from Tennessee State University.

By 1957 she was an instructor at Southern University. Later settling in Brentwood, New York, where she taught school. Mrs Ramsey was honored in February 2014 as the first coach of a women's team at Brentwood High School.

In 1999 Ivy was inducted into the Jamaican Sports Hall of Fame under the name Ivy Cover-Ramsey.

Quote:
Posted by Yvonne at ATA Nationals ? 1945 | Black Tennis History

My mother played the great Ivy Culver [sic] Ramsey in the late 1950’s in Jamaica, and won. She has the trophy to prove it and spoke much of the event. Although at the time it was a small local competition, it was a great accomplishment for my mother. A Google search of her name recently led me to a 1954 Daytona Beach Morning Journal article, where I first saw her photograph. The lady in the long sleeve in this photograph appears to be her. Thanks, this photograph basically indicates that Ivy Culver [sic] Ramsey was one of the ‘greats’ in tennis in her time. I am also now realizing why my mother made such a big deal of that historical event. She indicated that Ivy was so vexed at loosing that day, she threw away her racquet before leaving the court.


Ivy is on the far left. From the 1945 ATA Nationals




Sources:

Ivy Cover-Ramsey [A Blast thread]

"Ivy Ramsey Suffering From Lack of Competiton", by Sylvia Maltzman, Daytona Beach Morning Journal, 16 April, 1954, page 5. (article includes a photo)
https://news.google.com/newspapers?n...,3070984&hl=en

Ivy Ramsey Rosenthal Renaming Ceremony -2-1-14

http://www.robsny.org/Archive/Announ....htm#interview

Jamaica, Civil Registration Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1878-1930

http://www.robsny.org/NewslettersPDF...ayJune2014.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zt45XbtLtg [A youtube interview from 1996]

search.ancestry.com
Pittsburgh Courier 7th August 1954

[Thanks to Jimbo, Newmark, Rollo and Rosamund for this information]


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Last edited by Rollo; May 15th, 2016 at 04:41 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2016, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ivy Cover-Ramsey

For reasons unclear Mrs Cover-Ramsay (she was wed to Alva Ramsay, as several sources make clear) became Mrs Ivy Cover-Ramsey. Her name even morphs into simply Mrs Ramsey as a teacher until her second marriage as Mrs Rosenthal.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2016, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ivy Cover-Ramsey

Ivy is on the far left. From the 1945 ATA Nationals




The photo above indicates Ivy had played tennis in the US before 1953, when she more or less became a permanent US resident.

On the right in the stripped jacket is Althea Gibson, future star who broke the color barrier then in place in American tennis.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2016, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ivy Cover-Ramsey

I was able to discover an interview from 1996.




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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2016, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ivy Cover-Ramsey

In the interview I love how she talks about getting strong arms from milking cows!

And dancing with Pancho Gonzalez, playing Nelly Landry. Ivy also recalls getting coached by Don Budge, "the government paid him to coach me."


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2016, 05:55 PM
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Re: Ivy Cover-Ramsey

Great finds!
--

Regarding Ivy's surname(s), I see in 'The Gleaner' newspaper that her first married name is always written as Ramsay (as is, naturally, that of her first husband who, incidentally, was a sports correspondent with the newspaper in question for over 50 years).

I wouldn't hyphenate Cover-Ramsay because Cover was Ivy's maiden name. She is almost always referred to as Mrs Ivy Cover Ramsay in 'The Gleaner'. This is the case until 1969 at least, so she probably hadn't married Stanley Rosenthal by then. Ivy makes several visits back to Jamaica from the late 1950s onwards and appears in some tennis tournaments, though not many, partly because she had suffered an injury at some point.

Under the heading "Former Tennis Champion Returns Home", 'The Gleaner' of 1st September 1966 notes:

"Mrs Ivy Cover Ramsay, former All-Jamaica tennis champion, returned home last Thursday to take up residence here. Mrs Ramsay left Jamaica in 1953 for New York where she played in the United States Lawn Tennis Association Tournament at Forest Hills. She was awarded a scholarship by Mrs Bethune Cookman to study at the Bethune Cookman's College after the splendid performance in the tournament,.

"In the same year [1953] she was granted another scholarship, to Tennessee State University, where she received in 1963 her B.Sc. degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Mrs Ramsay took a course in Civil Defence Training at the Federal Eastern Training Centre in 1963.

"She worked with the community of Brentwood, Long Island, New York, as a coordinator of the Civil Defence Shelter Management Course and as Assistant Coordinator of Radiological Monitoring for police, firemen and people of the community. There she taught ballet, tap dancing and physical education in the Adult Education classes. She participated in the New York State Recreation Training Institute for the town of Islip, and assisted in the town's auxiliary association for the help of retarded children.

"While attending Tennessee State University, Mrs Ramsay represented the school at several collegiate tournaments and coached the teams. Commenting on her return, Mrs Ramsay said: 'Although I have had a very rewarding experience in America, I am very glad that I have come home to stay.'"

Clearly, at some later point Ivy decided to go back to the USA and make her life there again.

[Note: Ivy had become Mrs Rosenthal by August 1978, so no doubt she married Stanley Rosenthal between the beginning of the 1970s and then! Also, 'The Gleaner', in a piece on the late Alva Ramsay, notes in October 1994 that he was survived by seven children, 13 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Unfortunately, none of the articles on him mention Ivy Cover.]
------

Last edited by newmark401; May 15th, 2016 at 06:30 PM.
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