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On Aug. 10th + 11th , 2016 the Midland Duplicate Bridge Club at 427 William St. hosted the Contract Bridge contingent of the Ontario 55+ Summer Games. Twenty districts were represented by 21 pairs of hopeful medal winners. A total of 24 rounds of bridge were played on 2 consecutive days. The tension was palpable with 3 rounds to go. The points were very close with 6 pairs in contention for gold.
Gold: Gerard Brisson and Denis Rinquette
(District 2 Cochrane)
Silver: Bob Hill and Rene Gregoire
(District 6 Ottawa East)
Bronze: Alan Lantz and Ron Oswald
(District 27 Grey-Bruce)
(Written and Submitted by Anna Janssen)
Google “benefits of playing bridge” and you’ll be surprised at the number of articles published on how this game keeps the mind active and youthful. In 2000, according to blueberrybridge.com, a professor proved that playing bridge increases the levels of infection fighting T-cells in the blood stream. While the average age of an American Contract Bridge League member is 67, the large number of nonagenarians and older that play bridge is not just a coincidence – it’s an interesting AH-HA statistic. Whether it’s the focused strategic thought process or social team player interaction, there’s no doubt that playing bridge is an extremely good exercise for the mind.
For instance, Peterborough resident, Hazel Brunford, a top bridge player, turned 100 in July. Then there’s Lily Hansen, 103, of Ludington, Mich., who has played bridge for nine decades and is the director of a duplicate bridge club. "Everybody asks how come I am 103 and still driving … still around,'' she said. "[Bridge] keeps your brain working. I honestly believe that.''
The Midland Bridge Club has its own nonagenarians: Noreen Baer, a long-time member and multi-year Terry Fox Walk participant and Sheila Hawkins, bridge teacher and eponym for one of the club’s rooms - The Hawkins Room.
According to AARP (the U.S. equivalent to CARP), Hall of Fame tennis star Martina Navratilova wrote that bridge "is more than just a card game. It's a cerebral sport. Bridge teaches you logic, reasoning, quick thinking, patience, concentration and partnership skills." Warren Buffett, 85, who plays bridge with Bill Gates, age 60, once said that he wouldn't mind going to jail if he had three cell mates who were capable bridge players.
In May, the Midland Bridge Club made a strategic move into its new home at 427 William Street. With the help of generous donations of money, materials and labour, the inside has been completely transformed, redecorated and upgraded. Accessibility is superb with the rooms being all at ground level. And the tables are permanently set up for players to just sit down and play. There are regular ACBL sanctioned games on Monday afternoons and Wednesday evenings.
The club, with its full kitchen, climate controlled rooms and huge parking lot, is an ideal place for area residents to host a card party in exchange for a donation. In December, the Full Deck bridge group, who used to play at the Calvary Baptist Church, began to host their Thursday afternoon games at the Midland Bridge Club.
- Wendy Smith
Midland, July 1, 2015: From Coldwater, to the old YMCA, to the Yonge Street Recreation Centre, to the new YMCA, to St. Paul’s United Church, to St. Margaret’s Catholic Church. And now, finally, the Midland Bridge Club has found a permanent home at the old Huronia Players Theatre at 427 William Street, Midland.
On June 29, Midland’s Mayor Gord McKay and Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton attended the Grand Opening and official ribbon cutting ceremony.
The highlight of the day was the dedication of one of the renovated rooms to long time member, Sheila Hawkins and her husband Ross, who passed away several years ago. The Hawkins Room pays tribute and shows gratitude to Sheila and Ross for their years of teaching bridge and volunteerism.
“I am humbled by the gesture,” stated Mrs. Hawkins. Mayor McKay presented Mrs. Hawkins with a special volunteerism plaque and to the club, a certificate from the Town of Midland.
Mr. Stanton presented the club with a certificate from the Government of Canada and represented MPP for Simcoe North Garfield Dunlop, who could not attend, with a certificate from the Province of Ontario.
Many people will recognize the outside of the building as the old home of the Huronia Community Players, but they will not recognize the inside. Through generous donations of supplies, money and volunteer power from the Midland Bridge Club membership, the inside has been transformed into a bright, cheerful place where people from all skill levels can spend time together playing cards and socializing.
Midland, June 18, 2015: From Coldwater, to the old YMCA, to the Yonge Street Recreation Centre, to the new YMCA, to St. Paul’s United Church, to St. Margaret’s Catholic Church. And now, finally, the Midland Bridge Club found a permanent home at the old Huronia Players Theatre at 427 William Street, Midland.
On June 29 at noon, Mayor Gord McKay and MP Bruce Stanton will be attending the Grand Opening and official ribbon cutting ceremony. Anyone interested is welcome to attend and enjoy sandwiches, sweet treats and punch in celebration.
The highlight of the day will be the dedication of one of the renovated rooms to long time member, Sheila Hawkins (pictured right) and her husband Ross, who passedaway several years ago. The Hawkins Room will honour and show gratitude to Sheila and Ross for their years of teaching bridge and volunteerism.
Top picture: Helmut Serwotka, John Gignac, Bill Matwichuk and Mike Nihill