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Canterbury News with Max Robb

A table of bridge being played...but where? Meanwhile, here are some snippets from September.

Plastic Cups at Tournaments.

            When I arrived at the Timaru Club recently, I noticed that I was able to have my pre tournament fix in a crockery cup! This caught my attention because recently a few of us have been taking our own crockery cups to tournaments to save using the plastic /paper cups that end up filling the waste basket.

            As the play was about to start at Timaru, I heard a lady remind someone to put out the paper cups. Apparently they still had 20 plastic cups to be used up!

            Later while chatting with a lady at the servery, I found that I was talking to the original promoter of the idea of shifting back to crockery.  This lady had suggested to the committee that the club had plenty of very presentable cups and saucers that were languishing in the cupboard, and the committee agreed to this small measure to help the environment

            I applaud this move and encourage other clubs in New Zealand to make the effort to use their dish-washer more. Then it will become a bigger measure.

 Friendly Akaroa

            Four of us from the Christchurch club extended our weekend on Banks Peninsula to play at the Akaroa club. We were impressed with the hospitality they extended us, and they were very pleased to see us there to add another table to their Howell movement. But imagine the excitement in that room a week earlier when two relative novices to the game scored over 70%! I managed to get Ross Ruddenklau and Frances de Latour to pose.  

  70% at Akaroa

Ross Rudenklau Frances de Latour  Akaroa 18.jpg
The sun shone especially on Ross and Frances.

Just a week later Page Lawson and Paul Le Lievre scored 71% to create a bit of excitement in this small club – unfortunately I couldn’t be there to enjoy their nice moment.

Canterbury Regional Pairs 5A       [Timaru on 15th September]

            Even Bridge Experts need to know the Rules!

You have to put this in your regional news –did you know that Max, Pavla, Neil and Sarah were asked to leave the hotel…….. “, one of my regional contacts enthused to me.

             As is invariably the case, Timaru put on perfect weather on tournament day, so at lunchtime players escape to the outdoors. There are no picnic tables at the clubrooms. So a few had gone to the hotel next door and were using the tables outside.  When I passed by, I thought it strange that a group were sitting on a very small patch of grass in the hotel car-park! They had been asked apparently to move off a hotel table, as they weren’t consuming alcohol!

Later Max tells me firmly that he had not left the clubrooms…..!

Anyway these people were unfazed by this, because in the afternoon they acquitted themselves well, and the final placings were:


Paula Gregory and Michael Johnstone



Jane Lennon and Jane Skipper

 They couldn’t overcome some earlier bad luck.


Max Morrison and Pavla Fenwick

consistency with scores of 57, 58, 60%


Kay Robb and Mary Buckland

a nice result for a new partnership


Brad Johnston and Glenn Coutts



Neil Phillips and Sarah Garland


 Paula and Michael’s 68% for the 2nd session was a clear high for the day. Arguably Michael and Paula play in more tournaments than anyone else from the South Island. It was pleasing to see them win another tournament on their home turf.

Michael Johnstone and Paula Gregory 18.jpg Jane Skipper and Lennon 18.jpg Max and Pavla 18.jpg
Victory for Michael and Paula                 Second for Jane Skipper and Jane Lennon     Third place for Max and Pavla


Christine Darvell and Cath Preen, from the Timaru Club, attended Congress for the first time this year, and managed to come 3rd in the NZ Intermediate Pairs. No mean feat.

Christine Darvell and Cath Preen Timaru 18.jpg              Mary Buckland Sarah Garland Pam Tibble Trish Downward Cormack cup winners 18.JPG
 Christine Darvell and Cath Preen                     NZ Bridge Chairman Allan Morris with Cormack Cup winners,
                                                                         Mary Buckland, Sarah Garland,Pam Tibble and Trish Downward

I really appreciated Neville Newburn getting this photo of Christine and Cath and forwarding their quote “Had a ball. Really excited to have done well at very first Congress. Especially enjoyed meeting some wonderful people - especially Chris Sutton and Janet Howell (Motueka) and Jenny Cooper (Golden Bay - Takaka) and  teaming up with Dot Rapley”.

Two Christchurch club members, Sarah Garland and Pam Tibble, joined up with Trish Downward and Mary Buckland from the Ashburton Club, to win the Cormack Trophy for highest finishing all Women’s Team in the Hamilton City New Zealand Teams. This quartet can be proud of their achievement.

         New Zealand Women's Representatives for 2019

Jane and jane.jpg   Jenny and Shirley  and Craig Shanahan  18.jpg
   Jane and Jane                                        Jenny and Shirley with Crockford's President,Peter Van Leeuwen
Crockford's 5A Open Pairs                         Crockford's 5B Intermediate Pairs


Jenny Wilkinson and Shirley Newton


Ken Jones and Jack Lyon


Sarah Garland and Pavla Fenwick


Harsha Sirisena and Peter Lee


Stuart Grant and Pam Whitehead


Margaret Fraser and Helen Gardner

Stuart and Pam had come down from Kaikoura for the weekend and were in the hunt until they met Shirley and Jenny on the very last two boards. Neither board panned out that well for them and they slipped to 3rd.

Never mind, I am sure they were very pleased to do so well in this tournament.

The Intermediate event was very close and each place determined by less than the result of a board. Congratulations to all three pairs.

   Timaru Anniversary Pairs


John and Jane Skipper


Trish and Peter Downward


Harry Shepherd and Greg Buzzard


Bill Mecchia and Jillian Lister

John and Jane Skipper.jpg Trish and Peter Downward.jpg Harry Shepherd and Greg Buzzard.jpg
 John and Jane Skipper                            Peter and Trish Downward                           Harry Shepherd and Greg Buzzard

     (also featuring is Timaru President, Lesley Andrew)

Harry Shepherd and Greg Buzzard had come all the way from Invercargill. They were rewarded with the top percentage of the day, 65%, but it was not enough to head off the earlier leaders.
Bill Mecchia and Jillian Lister.jpg    John McDonald and David Sewell  Crockfords 18.jpg
 Bill Mecchia and Jillian Lister                      John McDonald and David Sewell

Winners of C section were John McDonald and David Sewell. In fact they had done well enough to head off all those in the second section. Pretty good for relative newcomers!


Christchurch Red Team

Christchurch red team 18.jpg

Front: Terri McFedries, Frank Stewart, Peter Lee  Middle: Harsha Sirisena, Liz Douglas, Catherine Lods, Jenny Wilkinson, John Wilkinson     Back: Frank Stewart, Shirley Newton, Richard Lapthorne, Neil Hawkins.
 (Is it just coincidence that a team member flaunts a Liverpool Football Club scarf? "Red" has been the winning colour in that sport too!)

I’m sure the Regional Committee would have been pleased with the support shown for this event – 8 teams of 12 members each gathered at Crockford's Club. Teams came from Timaru, Ashburton, Rangiora, three teams from Christchurch Bridge Club, and two teams from Crockfords ( an impressive effort from a relatively small club).

                It was the Christchurch Red Team that prevailed. They were excited with their win. The 4 grandmasters were ably backed up by their Intermediate and Junior members. These new players to tournament bridge will be encouraged by their success.

 Town v Country

After a hiatus of 11 years the country came to town (Rangiora) to compete for the Noel Clemens Rose-bowl.  The event was popular between 1968 and the early eighties although winners are not recorded.

17 tables played 34 boards in a zig-zag movement on Sunday 23 September 2018.   The event had been promoted through posters, bales of hay, traffic cones and speed signs.  A combination of bridge, food, free drink and more drink, town and country themed songs and dress made for a very popular occasion.   The members will be back next year.

Victors on the day were "country" by a small margin. The following photos show the mood and atmosphere.

rangiora revised 1.jpg      rangiora revised 2.jpg   
"Furs and Pearls", Pauline        " Country Yokels" alias         
Miller and Judith Calder.       Adrienne Lamb and Mary Warren.

rangiora revised 3.jpg

  "Town" was those in the Rangiora town post code 7400 and south of the Waimakariri River, and Country everybody else.









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