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Otago/Southland News

A big thank you first of all to Brad Johnston who is taking a break from producing excellent regional news reports for several years. We are “between reporters” this time and thus thank regional committee members, Judith Lawton (Chairperson) and Lynne Fegan (Treasurer) for their contributions below.

Just before we hear from them, we want to make sure that all readers know who their regional committee is. They work hard to provide and improve the bridge in their region, at times no easy task. So, as well as Judith, from Invercargill, and Lynne, from Wanaka, we have Secretary, Carole Bee from Cromwell and Phil Noye, from Dunedin.

Over first, then, to Judith:

"Along with NZ Bridge, The Otago/Southland committee is delighted to welcome Wanaka’s Sonya Adams to the NZB role of Regional Bridgemate for Otago-Southland.

Sonya Adams 2021.jpg

Sonya displaying the award at the huge Wanaka A & P Show back in March for her bridge stall.

 Sonya has a dynamic approach to bridge. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she has great ideas to promote bridge that we’d never dreamed about.  We are so looking forward to supporting and working with Sonya in this role. She ran a Bridge Awareness Campaign in Wanaka earlier this year which has brought a new group of players to the club. She has recently started a daytime Pub Bridge session in Wanaka.

Providing help in the time of Covid

(p.s. strictly for new players only!)

Natalie Martinovic .jpeg

typical of the type of enthusiasm Sonya brings to a group of new players. Here is an innovative way to remember your bridge system in times of Covid. There is, of course, one proviso. You do need your partner to provide the same information or else the memory jog will not help you very much! Pictured is a new player, Natalie Martinovic, masked up and ready for action!

Calling Novice Players

With the inclusion of a novice section at Congress in February, our committee has voted to pay the entry fees of any Otago Southland novice in any teams or pairs event at Mt Maunganui in February 2022, i.e. not just the Novice Pairs. We envisage they might play in some or all of the following:

Novice Pairs                                   1 session  Saturday February 13th

Intermediate/Junior Swiss Pairs 2 session Saturday February 13th

   (note: you cannot play in both of the above)

Intermediate Pairs                       2 session Sunday February 13th

Junior Pairs                                   2 session  Sunday February 13th

(again, the above 2 events run at the same time)

Intermediate Junior Teams 2 session Monday February 14th

 We hope this will encourage newer players to realise that tournaments are for everyone and that there is great bridge to be played outside our own region.”

Please make sure Novice players in your club are aware of this, if you are an Otago-Southland reader.

And over to Lynne for news of the Hamilton Cup:

A Family Legacy

“On their 1979 departure from the Alexandra Club in Central Otago, Don and Betty Hamilton presented a very handsome silver tray for 5 clubs to contest in Teams events.  The clubs participating were Alexandra, Tapanui (now West Otago), Cromwell, Maniototo, and Roxburgh (no longer operating).

After moving to Christchurch, Don and Betty played at Crockfords.  Sadly, Betty passed away in 1994 at the age of 80 while Don made it to 89, passing in 2004.

The Hamilton’s had 3 daughters, – two of them being well-known in the Christchurch bridge scene:

1)     Helen Good (sadly died in 2017)

2)     Marg Hyder – now living in Wanaka, but not a bridge player as she was put off by her mother at Twizel, when she played the wrong card and her mother ‘climbed into her’!

3)     Joan Small played with her sister, Helen and won her first tournament playing with her father

Helen and Joan both achieved Grandmaster status with Joan still very active at the Christchurch Club.

The Hamilton Plate has been in recess on several occasions, but is now contested annually by 4 clubs:  Alexandra, Cromwell, Queenstown and Wanaka.  It is still a Teams event, but now with 3 teams participating from each club, Junior, Intermediate and Open.  Maybe the next extension is to add a Novices Team for each club!


The Hamilton Plate is scheduled for 31 October at Cromwell this year but Covid-19 may take control of that diary date.  Wanaka is the current holder of the Plate which means that the accompanying Silvo Cloth will hopefully get its annual airing!”


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