The Regina Duplicate Bridge Club (RDBC) was formed in 1958 by six friends, Bill Robertson and Chester Teal, who commuted from Radville, Pat Boyle, Tom Burke, Harry Van Eyck, and Blake Carson, who were playing regularly in their homes. When they were then introduced to duplicate bridge, they decided to form a formal bridge club. It is believed they recruited friends and acquaintances to play bridge at their first site. Initially, they played twice a week, Tuesday and Friday evenings, just renting the Orange Hall on the 1200 block of Albert Street for these two evening games. It is rumored that they once averaged 14 tables.
Later the bridge club moved to a hall on the 1300 block of Broad Street. The building was the old Auto Electric Building, next door to Sid Sunflower Seeds. Still later, club games were held at the YMCA before signing a 30-year lease in 1964, locating the club in the basement of the River Heights Shopping Center. The club had come a long way in only six years after being formed.
This 30-year lease expired in 1994, but was extended annually until the club finally moved in August 1998 to their current location at 349 Albert St. Here, the club signed a 20-year lease, extending to 2018.
In 1988, a second duplicate bridge club was started up and played at All Saints Anglican Church about twice a week. This club lasted about a year and a half. This attempt at a new club was the prompting needed to start the search for a new club location and, in 1998, the club eventually moved to its current location.
The original playing fees were set at $2.00 per person. In an attempt to increase membership, the club introduced a playing fee of $0.50 per person for students. In 1970-71, the club drew approximately 30 university students to the club, and in 1974, a new crop of students were recruited from the University. Many of these former students are still playing. Kaplan/Sheinhold (K/S) and Precision were the mainstay systems used by many of these new club players.
The first club director was Hans Krause. Hans was the promoter and primary driving force in the early days of the RDBC. Art D’Entremont, a club member since 1960, took over the directing duties from Hans and taught many members to be club directors. Art was also the Club Manager until the early 1970s. Lee Wilson then became the club manager.
The first Life Masters were Bill Robertson and Ches Teal. They were quickly followed by Hazel Smith, Art D’Entremont and Sherrill Brooks. Other Life Masters quickly joined the ranks and are honoured on our Wall of Recognition.
Some Successes by our Members
In the mid-1970s, Peter Worby, with a novice bridge player, was 1st overall, nationally, in the Helen Shields National Rookie/Master Event. He continued his winning way when, in 1992, he and Kevin Young won the ACBL North American Pairs Championship Flight B at Pasadena, California. In 2012, Peter and Kevin also won the Mini-Blue Ribbon Pairs in San Francisco, California.
In 1977, Dan Mathieson and Gary Johannsson won the inaugural District 18 playdowns of the Grand National Pairs (now The North American Pairs) in Great Falls, Montana. From there, they represented the Club, Unit and District in Norfolk, Virginia. They again represented District 18 in 1978 and 1980.
In 2008, Cal McLeod, Rick Gaucher, James Dalmage and Scott Rosom won the CNTC Flight B Championship.
The RDBC has been the home to two professional bridge players, Ken Gee and Barry Harper.
Ken Gee was introduced to the game of bridge in 1981. He became a full-time professional player in 1987. Since that time, Ken won the Richmond Trophy, awarded annually to the top Canadian player to win the most master points in that year, six consecutive years from 1998 to 2003.
While Barry Harper was first introduced to bridge in 1969, he did not attend a duplicate game until 1975. He became a student of the game, and in just over two years he was Saskatchewan’s youngest life master. He was the first Saskatchewan player to be listed on the McKenny List (now the Barry Crane Top 500). He was also the first Saskatchewan player to reach 2,500 master points. Barry became a full-time professional player in 1990.
In 1990, Barry and Saskatoon’s Don Campbell won the Open Pairs (now the Silodor Cup) at the Spring NABC in Fort Worth, Texas. Barry won the Richmond Trophy in 2005, 2006 and 2009. Along with the 2005 Richmond Trophy win, Barry went over 10,000 master points and, with his NABC win, he attained ACBL’s highest rank of Grand Life Master.
Our Junior Program has done well for itself due, in part, to the hard work of John Quesnel, who put on a number of summer bridge camps for youths. He had children from ages 8 through 20 years old attend.
One such junior was Erin Berry. First introduced to bridge by her mother, she quickly rose through the ACBL ranks, attaining Life Master (LM) in August 1997. That fall, she took part in the trials to select the junior team members to represent Canada at the International Youth Festival in Holland. She had already placed her name into the ACBL to attend the 1998 Junior Bridge Camp and was planning to play in the Canadian Junior Trials in August. Unfortunately Erin died in a car accident before she could attend the camp. In Erin’s memory, her father set up the Erin Berry Memorial Fund to help junior players, under 20 years of age, with expenses incurred in attend bridge events.
Erin Anderson was able to take advantage of this fund in 2002 and 2003. In 1998, at the young age of 14, Erin attained her Life Masters becoming the youngest female in Canada to get her LM, at that time. In 1998, she became part of the ACBL Junior Corp. She and her teammates represented Canada at the World Junior Team Championships in 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2006. In 2004, she and her teammates won the World Youngsters Team Championship. In 2001, she was named the ACBL Queen of Hearts, the first Canadian to win the title.
James Dulmage and Scott Rosom are two other junior players to attain national recognition. In 2008, they represented Canada at the World Junior games in Beijing, China, ending up tied for 5th overall.
More recently, Darien Cozart has participated in the junior program. He represented Canada at the World Junior games in Turkey in 2014 and in Italy in 2016.
On the administration side, Dick Anderson has served bridge in many different capacities for over 35 years. They include representing Zone 5 and being a member of the Canadian Bridge Federation (CBF) Board of Directors from 1981 to 1991. He served as CBF President from 1982 to 1984. He represented District 18 on the ACBL Board of Directors from 1992 to 2009 and was elected ACBL President in 1998 for a 1-year term. He was President of the South Saskatchewan Unit from 1980 to 2008. He was a member of the World Bridge Federation Executive Council from 2006 to 2008. He was the Chairman of the ACBL Board of Governors from 2013 to 2016.
Janice Anderson, Dick’s wife, was the RBDC club manager for many years, as well as the CBF Executive Assistant and only staff member of the CBF. She retired from the CBF in 2014.
Over the years, the RDBC has been lucky to have many talented and qualified teachers to help new, and not so new, club members become better bridge players. In addition, the RDBC has been run through the hard work and dedication of many, many volunteers. We wish to thank the many teachers and volunteers.
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