It is with great sadness that I have to report that Addis passed away in the early hours of yesterday [Sunday 27 June] at his care home near Guildford. He had been taken to hospital with what was diagnosed as untreatable double pneumonia, and was returned to his care home for his last few days.
Most of us are aware that Addis was first diagnosed with Parkinson's disease several years ago, an inevitably degenerative condition against which he struggled manfully, both bridge-wise and socially. When it became clear that he couldn't safely continue to live alone, he moved to a care home close to elder son Richard in early 2019.
Bridge was a major part of Addis's life, as both player and administrator. He and I first met over a card table at the Dorney whist club and, when Burnham Bridge Club was formed in the 1980's, we were founder members. Our first success in the bridge world was as Burnham Pairs Champions in 1986/87!
Addis hugely enjoyed his bridge, both at club, county, and national level, and kept the trophy-engraver busy particularly in Berks & Bucks events, winning the Rex Avery County Pairs, the Swiss Pairs [twice], and the Mixed Pairs [twice]. At the national level, we were regular visitors at the main EBU Summer Festival in Brighton, supporting both the EBU and the local brewery in equal measure. He was a Life Member of both Burnham Bridge Club and Berks & Bucks CBA.
But Addis gave much back to the bridge world. He served as Burnham Chairman for several years, Berks & Bucks Chairman for four years, and sat on the EBU's Tournament Committee for some 15 years. He was delighted to be asked to serve as the non-playing captain of the Berks & Bucks Tollemache team in 2010.
Addis's family would like to express their tremendous gratitude to those of his bridge-playing friends who went the extra mile in supporting him, particularly in the latter years, when his deteriorating condition meant he could often be very confused. I'll never forget my last visit to the care home, just pre-Covid, when he was extremely confused, and any sensible conversation was impossible. But I started talking about bridge events which I knew had been particularly notable for Addis, and the transformation in him was incredible. I'd obviously penetrated deep into his memory banks, he had a beer and a glass of wine and, by the end of the lunch, he was laughing and joking with us. That's a memory that will stay with me forever.
This is a bridge club website, so I've concentrated on bridge-related aspects of Addis's life but, as many of you will know, he was an assiduous socialiser, particularly when it came to dinner parties. Even in his latter years of living alone, he still thought nothing of catering for a dozen dinner-guests.
So, goodbye old friend, lost but never forgotten.