Volunteer of The Month
November 2019 - Irene Carson, Balclutha.
Irene has been a major contributor to her local club for a very long time. Club committee member, Jane Whitmore, reflects below on the tremendous contribution that Irene has made to her local club, a view endorsed by present and past members.
"Irene Carson has been a member of the Balclutha Contract Bridge Club for 27 years. She has been a committee member at different times and in the last several years has stepped up to be one of the most valuable members we have. During that time she served as President for three years. She was a staunch campaigner of retaining our club rooms when the issue came into question and has always been an active recruiter of new members. She will approach people, encourage other members to approach people and put up flyers up around town and schools.
Irene is the contact person for our club. Her name and number are used in the local newspaper under club contacts for new members and enquiries. One of her greatest contributions to the club has been to teach new members. She runs lessons then supports each new member by being their partner or organising a supportive partner as they progress to club night. This continuing support enables beginners to get through the rather daunting experience of playing on club night to a stage where they can compete in relative comfort. Playing with Juniors has often been to the sacrifice of her own game but a sacrifice she has selflessly made as she is more concerned with their progress and retaining them in the club than her own master-points.
Irene being presented with her award by Balclutha President, Jane Thomson
Irene is one of the first to arrive each club night and lessons' night. She is friendly and welcoming. She has also been there when projects around the club need doing, such as tidy up of the section, checking on and rearranging the rooms after they have been hired out and will take on tasks such as contacting the council to gravel a stretch of road outside the club. She organises the raffle prizes and sponsors for our yearly Balclutha tournament which helps enormously with fundraising. Bottom line - Irene gets things done.
Irene is leaving us in December to move to Christchurch to be nearer family. Irene's departure will leave a huge gap in the club and it is fitting we submit this nomination to show our appreciation to one of our hardest-working and efficient volunteers. We will certainly miss her."
It is thus a pleasure to make Irene the New Zealand Bridge Volunteer of the Month for November 2019.
(Keen-eyed readers will have noticed that we have not made a presentation in October. The club concerned had asked that the presentation be made early in November. So, we will have two presentations in the one week. Watch this space....)