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Canterbury News with Max Robb

 Will You Still be Playing at 100?

            For some time, I have been aware that there are two people at least in the Canterbury region approaching 100 and were still making it to their club to play bridge.

            So, I was disappointed when recently a club member, Garry Thompson, stood up to announce that Robert Long had decided at the tender age of 98 to retire from coming out to play bridge on a Thursday night. He then gave a rather nice summary of Robert’s association with the club and a synopsis of his life.

            Robert had been a member of the Christchurch club for over 50 years.  Like myself, he had been a Mathematics teacher throughout his professional life and shared a strong interest in tramping. He was also a very good tennis player.

            Also, for at least the 15 years that I have belonged to the club, Garry Thompson has been Robert’s Thursday night partner; in fact, Garry told me today that he had partnered Robert for 23 years. Garry had made it easy for Robert, in his failing health, to get to the club, and get around the room as an East-West pair. For this Garry needs to be commended as a good sort in the club.


Crockfords 8B  18th July. The four top percentages for the day were Richard Lapthorne/Neil Hawkins 68%, Pam Tibble/Margaret Burgess 65%, Max Robb/Bill Mecchia 63% and Tony Quinlivan/Sam Gurney 60%. Interestingly this order was reflected in the overall results for the day.

Open                                                                                             % overall

1st       Richard Lapthorne/Neil Hawkins                                     63

2nd      Pam Tibble/Margaret Burgess                                        62

3rd       Max Robb/Bill Mecchia                                                  61
                                          Top Open Pairs

Richard Lapthorne  Neil Hawkins 2021.jpg     Margaret Burgess  Pam Tibble 2021.jpg      Bill Meccia Max Robb 2021.jpg
Richard Lapthorne and Neil Hawkins  Margaret Burgess & Pam Tibble      Bill Mecchia & Max Robb
                                (also featured is Crockfords President, Jan Burrows)

B Section

1st       Sally Croy/Gordon McCormick                                     55

2nd      Piotre Ratka/Richard Williams                                     54

3rd       Graeme Black/Phillipa Borlase                                    52

Richard Williams & Piotr Ratka.jpg               Graeme Black & Phillippa Borlase.jpg 
Richard Williams & Piotr Ratka    Graeme Black & Phillippa Borlase


C Section

1st       Peter Bullion/Anne Holwell

2nd      Debbie Mallon/Janice Tedder    

Peter Bullion & Anne Holwell.jpg                  Debbie Mallon & Janice Tedder 2021.jpg 
Peter Bullion & Anne Holwell     Debbie Mallon & Janice Tedder



Christchurch Mid-Winter Teams   24th July

  I thought that 26 teams was an impressive number of entries, but Tim Schumacher told us that just the week before they had 36 teams in the far reaches of Northland. In fact, 6 players had flown and driven up from Christchurch.


1st       Jan Alabaster/Graeme Tuffnell/Timothy Schumacher/David Skipper

2nd      John Skipper/Jane Skipper/Jane Lennon/Dallas Dagg

3rd       Shirley Newton/Jenny Wilkinson /Margaret Burgess/Pam Tibble

4th       Caroline Caseley/Mehboob Chiba/Tina McVeigh/Jo Hampton

5th       Max Robb/Chris Bras/Pamela Glyn/Julian Glyn

            The Alabaster and Skipper teams were neck and neck going into the last round. It was fitting that the strongest two teams would play each other for the title, and it was the Alabaster team that won the day.

            Margaret and Pam gave able support to their more experienced team mates Jenny and Shirley to come 3rd. The Newton team’s only loss was to the winning team in round 4.

Restricted Open

            I wasn’t the only person who appreciated the lovely gesture of two grandmasters Mehboob Chiba and Tina McVeigh to team up with two up and coming Intermediate players, Caroline Caseley and Jo Hampton. I can imagine their excitement when they scored up at the end of each round and found they had won another match. Collectively their efforts gave them an 80% success rate for the day, and number 1 spot in this section. This was a big day for Caroline and Jo. I looked up their master points to discover that one of them had more than doubled her A point total!

            Max Robb/Chris Bras and Pamela Glynn/Julian Glynn punched above their weight to come in 2nd in the restricted and 5th overall.


1st       John McKenzie/Debora Gudgeon/Shawn Adriel-Ai/Jane Walders

2nd      Sally Croy/Gordon McCormick/Tracey Bruce/Toni Jones

            For most of the day the McKenzie team came in with modest wins to take out first spot – well done


1st       Fiona Findlater/Brigit Hearn/Rex Denley/Denise Denley

Fiona, Brigit, Rex and Denise had to show fortitude in braving the rigors of an Open competition, and we hope to see them arriving to sample more tournament bridge. 

Geraldine All Grades   8B      8th August

            Of particular interest was that a car load of bridge players arrived from the deep south. Greg Buzzard, Harry Shepherd, and Donna and Kevin Skoropada arrived from Invercargill and would not have been impressed that it snowed on them for much of their stay!

Geraldine snow at tournament 2021.jpg
Snow is falling at Geraldine 8B

In the morning, the top percentage went to Michael Johnstone and Paula Gregory 67%, and Annemarie Pavletich/Grant Patterson, Pam Tibble/Sue Southen and Sam Gurney/Tony Quinlivan also scored over 60%.

            In the second session it was David Sewell/Debbie Seddon-Sewell who headed the field with 65%.

John Kruiniger/Liz Fitzgerald, Harry Shepherd/Greg Buzzard and Kees De Vocht/Ian Southen also did well.


1st and Overall Winners          Paula Gregory and Michael Johnstone

2nd                                        Ian Southen and Kees De Vocht

3rd                                        John Kruiniger and Liz Fitzgerald


1st                                        Debbie Seddon-Sewell and David Sewell

2nd                                       Tony Quinlivan and Sam Gurney

3rd                                        Viv Hill and Jeanette Meijer


1st                                        Sue and Steve Geddes

2nd                                      Robyn Howie and Karen Walker

3rd                                       Pam Taylor and Leslie Graybill


How to keep Up to Time!

            Recently, on a Friday morning bridge session, I had secured a contract of 4Spade-small. Anna, sitting South, couldn’t make up her mind on which card to lead and actually said words to that effect.

            I asked if I could help. Quizzically she glanced at me and jokingly I leant forward to draw a card from her hand. She opened her hand a bit more as if I was doing her a favour. As I pulled the Diamond-small2 forth, my partner Pam was already laying out dummy. Assessing dummy, and before the Diamond-small2 had hit the deck, I asked “Can I change my lead?”                    

Everyone laughed.

 When we arrived back at Anna’s table two weeks later, she said she had had a good chuckle each time she remembered the moment.

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