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May. 19, 2019 | Sunday
Local News
Duplicate Bridge Centre looking for new members
Helen McCallum, chair of management committee NOTL Duplicate Bridge Centre. (Submitted)

The NOTL Duplicate Bridge Centre is seeking new members.

Helen McCallum, chair of the management committee, said the group, which meets every Tuesday and Friday at the NOTL Community Centre, is “very sociable.”

The group is going to host non-competitive fun duplicate bridge sessions to run alongside regular games in hopes of recruiting new members. The program aims to bring duplicate bridge to people who might be unsure about starting up in the organization, she said.

“We want to introduce fun and friends for people who would like to play duplicate bridge but feel it’s a little too serious. We would like them to feel relaxed and enjoy a game a bridge.”

The club can have a bad name due to the seriousness of the game. She said she’s hoping to change that by introducing others to the positive benefits of joining. It’s a great way of meeting people, she said, as well as keeping the player’s mind sharp.

“We would like to increase our club membership. We would like to open it up to people who may feel a little intimidated by the duplicate bridge,” she said, adding that the game is “very serious.”

McCallum joined the club 18 months ago, quickly making her way to a place on the committee.

To bring more activity to her retired husband’s day and to improve their game, she said it was exactly what they were looking for. Her husband had just retired, she said she thought it would be a good way to keep them both busy and meet new people. Which, she said, they have done.

“I said to him we’ve got to get out, and we’ve got to play bridge and you’ve got to play golf.” He was reserved about it in the beginning, but she said that changed quickly. “A typical man. But over the time he’s gotten more and more interested and now he loves it.”

The NOTL Duplicate Bridge Centre is an American Contract Bridge League sanctioned club, which was started in September 2012 by Evelyn Eaton with the help of Claude and Muriel Tremblay. Growth of the club has been continuous since its inception, boasting 120 members now.

In 2017, the group successfully petitioned the ACBL to create a new unit for the Niagara area to better service local bridge players. The group focuses on offering more tournaments and supporting clubs in development of new players.

McCallum said bridge good for keeping active and is a way of warding off dementia, adding that many of the players are “very bright.”

She is a realtor with Bosley Real Estate, and at 70, she said she isn’t yet ready to retire.

“In real estate you can keep working until you don’t want to work anymore.”

Crediting duplicate bridge with helping in concentration, McCallum said she enjoys what she does and said she will keep working as long as she is active.

For those looking to join, email McCallum at hfmccallum@gmail.com.

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