Thank You From Kate Malkani
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A tribute to Sam from longstanding team mate Stuart McCreadie.
Sam who sadly died last week had been active in Ayrshire and Scottish bridge for over 45 years. He contributed much over the years. He learned the basics of bridge from his father and improved his bridge skills in the early seventies in the bridge four of Ian Dalziel, Jean Cunningham and Kate Lawrence – later to become his wife. Sam and Kate joined Beith Bridge Club where their bridge mentors were Bill and Peggy Anderson. When Beith withdrew from the league a few years later, they joined Kilwinning Bridge Club where they were stalwarts in the league team ever since.
Sam played with quite a number of partners over the years, and all would testify myself included, that he was easy to play with – as demonstrated by the number of individual tournaments he won. The only partner with whom he might have heated exchanges at the bridge table was Kate - it would be discreet not to give your opinion as to who was right!
Sam would probably agree that his favourite form of bridge was teams of four over 24 to 48 boards, and Sam really enjoyed matches in the Scottish Cup, Gold Cup, and Ayrshire Cup. When his team travelled home after a match he would enjoy “chewing the fat” – especially if the team had won.
Sam won most of the competitions and trophies in Scottish Bridge and nearly all the Ayrshire trophies. The main one to escape him was the Scottish Cup, and that was perhaps because the rest of the team was not quite up to his standard! He represented Scotland in the Senior Camrose in 2008, the following year was NPC, and this year was a member of the SBU Senior Camrose team.
He was an excellent card player – indeed there was no weakness in his game. Probably what singled him out from other Ayrshire players was his ability to know instinctively what was going on at the table.
Apart from Kate, he had successful partnerships with Gordon Smith, Jack Lowe, John Dick and David Gerrard. But he was happy to play with anyone and was well known in all the Ayrshire clubs and a member of quite a few.
He contributed in other ways too. He helped and contributed to the establishment of the Prestwick Bridge Centre in 1978-79; he was ABU president in 2008-09; he was works convener for the Centre for several years; he taught and introduced newcomers to the game. He was involved with teaching youngsters and especially impressed them with the magic tricks he demonstrated. His magic was not confined to the bridge table.
In recent years he had continuing health problems. But despite illness he would not be prevented from playing bridge. And a couple of days before his demise, he played in the Scottish Swiss Pairs in Ayr finishing a creditable 3rd with Kate. It was great to see him happy and discussing the hands animatedly. Indeed the Master Points won that day re-established his pace in Scotland’s top 50.
The Ayrshire Bridge scene will not be the same without Sam. He will be missed.
Proposal for changes to constitution
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The following changes have been proposed by the ABU Council. A vote will be held at the forthcoming AGM, for which a two-thirds majority is required for approval.
In simple terms, we are removing the requirement for National and Local Match secretaries to be specified at an AGM as this is restrictive on who can combine duties and in any case neither posts are office bearers. They are no different from eg. master point secretary or league secretary.
The change from no longer automatically giving all our assets to the SBU in the event of our dissolution is pretty much self explanatory.
Section 6, Paragraph 1b
At present reads:
Match Secretary (National), Match Secretary (Local) and additional members of Council not exceeding nine in number.
Additional members of Council not exceeding ten in number.
Also, the paragraph below at present reads:
The offices of District Secretary and Treasurer may be conjoined as also may be conjoined the functions of Match Secretary (National) and Match Secretary (Local).
The offices of District Secretary and Treasurer may be conjoined.
Paragraph 12 at present reads:
DISSOLUTION In the event of the Ayrshire District being wound up, funds remaining after all debts have been paid shall be transferred to the SBU for the benefit of bridge in Scotland.
In the event of the Ayrshire District being wound up, funds and assets
remaining after all debts have been paid shall be transferred to third parties
provided that such bodies are charitable or directly associated with Scottish
bridge and non-profit making. No assets (including cash) can be transferred to
any ABU member (including members of Council) or any third party profit making
The president and vice-president shall have responsibility for managing the
process. The decision on which bodies will receive the transferred assets
shall be determined by the ABU members, at a General Meeting.
Chairman's Update - 19/01
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We are well into 2019 and 2 more Ayrshire competitions have been completed recently. Congratulations to the Ayrshire Pairs winners, Maureen Rennie and Matthew Pumphrey. The winners, plus 2nd placed Margaret Brown and Sandy Martin will be invited to represent the District in the Spence Cup in May, which this year will be hosted by Ayrshire. And a splendid win in the Ayrshire Individual for Ian Short - well done indeed.
The Festive Funday was held just after Christmas, raising £263, which is being split between The Samaritans charity and support for the Scottish Ladies China funding appeal. Many thanks to Maureen and Sharon for organising this.
A Council meeting was held at the beginning of the month. Mike Reekie was voted on to Council to fill one of our 3 vacancies and his help will be invaluable in the busy months to come, I'm sure.
There were several interesting items on the agenda. Director fees were discussed. I suggested that a playing director should not get as much as a non playing director and felt that £32 for a 24 board session when one is playing is too much. Indeed, I have been gladly directing the Winter Friday afternoon sessions myself for nothing. However, Council took the opposing view and felt that the inconvenience of directing warranted it. Thus, the Winter Friday and Summer Competition will continue with a volunteer playing director, maybe attracting a nominal fee and other competitions will attract the full rate. Movement and rules directing will be split to reduce the burden on one person where appropriate.
We also discussed the appropriateness of bringing pets into the centre, following an enquiry from a member. Council was nearly unanimous that, other than guide dogs, this was not allowed.
Support (or lack of) for Ayrshire competitions was back on the agenda. The Ayrshire Pairs semi finals were cancelled of course, and several other dropouts meant that there were only 6 tables for the final. The Tourney Cup has only 2 heats and Doon Club, which holds one heat indicated that they would not hold a heat if visitors were allowed. We clearly need to look at the viability of these competitions for next year. Almost certainly, the Ayrshire pairs will be reduced from 3 rounds to just one qualifying round and a final. The Tourney Cup may well end up as a one-off teams of 4 event, open to Ayrshire members only of course. I will be looking to forming a sub-committee to come up with a plan for next season that might encourage members to participate. This will involve finding out what members actually want. I sense that many people are satisfied just playing in their club environment and don't want to play in more competitive events. Whether this is because they feel intimidated playing against better standard players or just don't want to play at weekends, I'm not entirely sure. As always, if you have any constructive comments, please let somebody on the Council know. Anybody for a Mixed Pairs or a Mens / Ladies only event?
A couple of possible amendments to our Constitution were proposed.
Firstly, the need to specify National Tournaments and Local Tournaments conveners when electing a Council. This has been restrictive in who can do what on the Council, particularly the ability to merge one of these tasks with an Office Bearing responsibility. These jobs have been carried out by Office Bearers consistently over the past few years, so it makes sense to drop the restriction.
Secondly, is the slightly controversial entry that says that the SBU get all of the District assets (this would include the building) should the ABU cease to exist. With decreasing numbers across the Districts, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the SBU might decide that Ayrshire should be amalgamated with another District at some time in the future. We are looking at a proposal to change this clause to something that gives District members the opportunity to convene a Special Meeting to decide what happens with our assets. These amendments will have to be proposed at the AGM with a two thirds majority in favour in order for the Constitution to be changed. Again, if anybody wishes to pass an opinion in the meantime, please get in touch.
Finally, it is looking increasingly likely that the SBU will be pulling the plug on its contract with the Peebles Hydro to run its thrice annual Congresses; falling numbers and increased charges being to blame. I would like to see a future Congress being held a bit closer to us West Coast folks. I suspect though that it will be very difficult to find an alternative venue that ticks all the boxes, but the SBU Council is very open to ideas on how to move this issue forward. I will be pleased to pass on any thoughts.
PW Summer Competition Information
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The Pollok Williamson Summer Competition will run on 18 Wednesdays from 1 May to 28 August.
Play will commence at 7pm and players are asked to be seated by 6.55pm. Table money will be £3.
The average of a player's best 12 scores will determine the overall rankings.
A handicap competition will run alongside the main competition. Everybody will be allocated a handicap this year and will be eligible to win a weekly handicap prize, but winners will have their handicap reduced by 2 and 2nd place reduced by 1 for the weeks following. Where 2 players in a partnership have different handicaps, their average will be used. A player's handicap cannot be reduced below zero.
A list of everyone's handicap will be posted on the centre noticeboard. These have been compiled by a sub-committee of D Wiseman, E McGeough and J Burn and have been based mainly on last year's results, but also taking into account each player's current ability. If anyone is particularly unhappy with their own handicap, please consult with one of the aforementioned. Players not on the original list are as welcome as everybody else and will be allocated a handicap when they first play.
Weekly prizes will be awarded to the top 2 positions in both the main competition and the handicap competition. A third prize may be awarded if there are sufficient tables.
Pollok Williamson has very kindly again pledged £600 of prize money for the overall plus handicap winners and places. The sponsor wishes to encourage less experienced players, thus anyone with a starting handicap of zero will not be eligible for an end of season handicap prize.
The end of season handicap prizes will be determined by the handicap issued at the start of the season and are not subject to weekly reductions.
There is no hosting system in place this year, but members are encouraged to post partner requests on the ABU website.
There will be a rota for the Movements Director, the Rules Director and the Scorer, who will each receive free table money. This is not restricted to Council members and other competent persons are encouraged to volunteer for these roles in order to share the workload.
In order to try and keep the speed of play up, previous results will not be displayed on the Bridgemates, only the percentage obtained. The Big Time clock will be used where possible, so that moves can be called on time rather than waiting for the slowest table to finish.
The competition is always keenly contested, but the Chairman and Council are very keen for this event to be played in as friendly a spirit as possible and will treat any bad, intimidatory or rude behaviour appropriately.
Wishing everybody an enjoyable competition and if you have never played in this before, why not give it a go.