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The Lake Charles Duplicate Bridge Club became affiliated with the American Contract Bridge League in 1955. The games were held at the Majestic Hotel on Wednesday evenings. The late Harry Marcus was the first director of the club. Jerry Boudreaux also directed games.
At that time there were games in Lafayette, Beaumont, Crowley, and Orange. Jo and Bud Dillingham (deceased), from Jennings, attended weekly. In 1957 Jo Dilliangham asked Jerry Boudreaux if he could go to Jennings and set up a weekly game there. Jerry and Floyd Vincent set up the game and Jerry taught Jo how to direct.
In 1959, five duplicate bridge players organized the Lake Charles Bridge Studio which was located on the corner of Kirkman and 12th Streets. The organizers were Jerry Boudreaux, Robert Boudreaux, Genevieve Boerman, Frances Morgan (deceased) and Duncan Duncan Murchison (deceased). Jerry directed the games. The club still met on Wednesday nights and later on Saturday afternoons, as well. Bridge lessons were given by Genevieve Boerman, Robert Boudreaux, and Frances Morgan.
In the early 1960's Jim Jacoby (deceased), well known professional player, taught a class at the Studio. In 1962 the bridge studio was closed. The Wednesday night games moved to the Lake Charles Airport. Genevieve Boerman was the director. At that time a Monday night game was also held, also directed by Genevieve.
The Wednesday night game, fondly reffered to as the "traveling club" , moved to the bowling alley until 1965. Robert Boudreaux, Haskell Edmonds, and Jerry Boudreaux organized the Studio, named Bridge Unlimited. The Lake Charles Duplicate Bridge Club held their Wednesday games there on Oak Park Blvd. Jerry directed these games and Genevieve conducted evening bridge lessons.
In September of 1966 Bridge Unlimited was closed. The Club moved to another location on Oak Park Blvd. Genevieve resumed the job of club director.
In March of 1967 the club conducted the Wednesday night games at the Charleston Hotel. The games were played weekly there until 1969 when the club moved to the Greater Lake Charles Chamber of Commerce building. The club appointed Jo Dillingham, the first certified ACBL director in Lake Charles, as their director.
In 1974 the club moved to the Belmont Motel, then to the Lakeview Motel, and finally to the Downtowner Motel where they played until 1989. Jo Dillingham was still the director.
In January of 1989 the club's weekly games were held at the Petro Chem Club, then they moved to the College Oaks Recreation Center, and after a few months to the Lanza Center.
In 1977 a Monday Night Duplicate Bridge Club had been formed with Wilbur Dahlquist as director for the games. This club eventually donated their tables and the balance of their club funds ($103.00) to the Lake Charles Duplicate Bridge Club. Jeri Courtney was President at that time.
The Friday Morning Duplicate Bridge Club became sanctioned by ACBL under the Lake Charles Duplicate Bridge Club and also held their games at the Lanza Center.
In the early 1970's the Sulphur Bridge Club was organized by Ina Bradfore (deceased). The club met at the Country Club with Genevieve Boerman assisting Mrs. Bradford. The club became known as the LA Louisiana Duplicate Bridge Club and was later moved to the Recreation Center in Sulphur with Lorraine Wynn directing the games.
In January of 1998 the Sulphur Club joined with the Lake Charles Duplicate Bridge Club and games were held on Mondays at 9:30 am, Wednesday at 7:00 pm, and on Fridays at 9:30 am. A 199er game (for players with fewer than 200 master points) began meeting the second and fourth Thursdays at 9:30. The Wednesday game has been changed to 1 pm, a 1 pm Saturday game has been added, and also a night game.
Kay and Billy Blake became interested in bridge, took lessons from Judy Robertson (who at the time had a number of bridge classes on all levels), and offered to remodel a building, then serving as a warehouse for air conditioning equipment. It had orriginally been Kingery's children store. The work was completed in January of 1999 and the Lake Charles Duplicate Bridge Club and the Sulphur Club moved into the facility which is located at 1800 West McNeese Street. A large opening wine and cheese party was held with all known bridge players in the Lake Charles area invided. The membership of the club has tripled since that time, and enthusiam remains high. There are currently a minimum of six games held there weekly with special games for beginning players. Judy Robertson is still actively teaching classes. We tried an Easy Bridge program (a new way of teaching bridge with beginners playing duplicate and earning master points) but no longer have it. We have been honored to have the late Paul Soloway play in two of our tournaments at the club.
The club has held a Sectional tournament every year, two 199er tournaments, three 299er tournaments, and now a 499 tournament every year since moving into the Bridge Club.
Last updated : Oct 28, 2012 15:24 CDT
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