Hello Everyone,

 

Welcome to the new season of playing the best card game in the world!

 

This will be my final year as president of SBU North District. I shall continue as a member of the committee though as its education officer. It is vitally important to teach the game to both young and old and I do feel that bridge is enjoying a renaissance. I shall also continue in my new role as finance convener of SBU.

Thanks to all of you for the support you have given me this past season.

I have tried to visit clubs in the district and will ensure that I come and visit all of you before the end of the season and I am particularly determined to visit Shetland with a few others from North District if they would care to accompany me on a wee holiday. Let me know.

I must admit to being a somewhat ‘feartie driver’ in my beloved Fiat 500 during the winter nights as I live in the Shire myself and the back roads and AWPR works do slow me down.

It has been a revelation to me as your president that as the only bronze level player on the SBU national council that I represent the majority of we bridge players. It is a role I take very seriously.

 

Together with Pat Lennon who as the recently retired North District representative I do believe that our voices have been listened to. It has led to more bronze events such as the National Pairs and National Teams competitions as well as the recognition of success for bronze players in other national competitions. We are particularly indebted to Fiona Greenwood for her tremendous enthusiasm in promoting the game for players like myself.

 

There has been a repeated refrain during my tenure as your president. “The SBU. does nothing for us”. Having witnessed the tireless and self-sacrificing work of my fellow council members and administrators and conveners and volunteer teachers, this is not the case at all.   There is a great deal of organisation taking place to promote teaching and to organise national competitions and congresses and to serve our members through Mempad. Some of the events are not run as smoothly as we would wish but they still run and if everyone just left and disaffiliated then where would we be? I am conscious of all the wonderful work of our predecessors in Scottish bridge who have left us with the legacy of a very structured organisation. Were it not so we would all be playing rubber bridge in our homes in our own wee worlds and missing out on the greater worldwide game. I am so impressed by the enthusiasm of all the bridge players who support the national organisation.

 

There are wonderful opportunities to enjoy playing bridge in our national competitions and congresses as well as our district events and I hope that you will look at the North District and SBU websites and get together and play as teams or pairs and just have a good time. I promise you that you will enjoy yourselves no matter if you come last. Believe me, this is my usual experience, but I have fabulous memories of my bridge holidays and continue making new friends and enjoy a relatively cheap hobby where my brain is kept active. I also like watching our international players competing when I can see them on BBO vugraph - especially our juniors who are our future.

 

I would ask you to consider teaching the game to others (I know that this is my yearly refrain). It hurts to see any decline and an attitude of “it will see me out”. We need new blood always. Do think about the future of the game you have loved playing and of its legacy and its past in Scotland with the likes of Hugh Kelsey and Albert Benjamin.   The greatest of world players. We owe them so much. Also of the legacy of your own clubs. Of all our own folk such as the late Lessel Reid and Bruce Ferguson.

 

Do behave better! I have to bite my tongue as a retired secondary school teacher watching some of the infantile behaviour which goes on by a minority of players who should know better, who let themselves down with conduct which ranges from extremely irritating to bullying. Do call the director if anyone breaks law 74a. You leave home for an evening of enjoyment and you should not to be upset or embarrassed by the behaviour of your partner or of any other player. We have to play with grace and not disgrace.

 

Liz McGowan has worked very hard in her role in charge of law and ethics. We have a revised law book this year from WBF. My husband Steve is newly returned from attending a two-session course for an update on the laws and he will organise a session soon to inform you about the changes once we receive clarification updates from WBF. Initial feedback is that there is a concern by our law makers that the laws should not scare new players off. There are some interesting changes.  If you are unable to attend the presentation I shall send you the notes.

Our new law books cost £5.00 each with one free for each club. I shall get these in the post soon if I cannot deliver these myself along with your diaries. Each district is holding a stock of SBU playing cards and law books. The cards cost £1.00 per pack. SBU News is also for sale with a yearly subscription.

Have the best of fun playing bridge throughout 2017 and 2018.

 

With kindest regards,

 

Loraine