CAVBC Clontarf Area Virtual Bridge Club
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Reflection of CAVBC 2020
Reflection on CAVBC 2020 - special thanks to Aidan Synnott, Dan O'Mahony and Dick Kiernan 🙏

Dear CAVBC members     

As the end of year draws near, it is truly a time for reflection on this extraordinary year.  It has been a challenging time for one & all and we hope you are all keeping safe and well.

It's hard to believe we have not had face-to-face bridge since last March!  We all thought then it would pass in a few weeks and we'd be back to normal but the road has been more rocky than that.  One of the great lifelines for us all has been Virtual Bridge.  This has come about for CAVBC primarily from Aidan Synnott, Dan O'Mahony and Dick Kiernan.

Aidan, back in April, was the catalyst of it all and with his huge knowledge of bridge, tournament directing and technical expertise collaborated with Dan O'Mahony for CAVBC and Dick Kiernan for Foxbay and soon a little army of TDs followed enabling over 400 people across Clontarf and Foxhall/Bayside to enjoy bridge 5 nights a week as well as the Individual Tournaments on 6 Sundays since September.

  We can't thank Aidan enough for his generosity with his knowledge.  He has coached and mentored up to 20 TDs in CAVBC and many more besides. He has tirelessly maintained Include Lists for various tournaments, TD'ed countless tournaments in CAVBC in addition to GRVBC (Glasnevin) and DNR.  He was SOLELY responsible for the success of the IBU Sims Pairs which enabled over 600 players across GRVBC/CAVBC and Foxbay per night to take part from 02-06 November.  It was a hugely challenging exercise with prepared deals and very untimely BBO issues.  No-one else could have pulled it off!  He is always available to support and advise, has the patience of a saint and a great sense of humour!  We've had some much needed laughs these last few months!

 Dan has brought it to another level with his ideas for the interesting schedule that has evolved since May.  He is the brains behind the sponsored Nolan's Individual League, Novice/Non-Novice game, Turkey Draws, Zoom Prizegiving parties and is already cooking up ideas for the New Year!  Along with regularly TD'ing, he spends a huge amount of time behind the scenes taking minutes from the TD weekly meetings for circulation to the clubs, organising the pairings for the Turkey Draws, which is no mean feat as it requires pairing skill levels in such a way that the tournament is fair and equitable!  He also has a great talent for regaling all the various tournaments which are posted to the CAVBC Bridgewebs ... and sooo much more!  He is always showing his thanks to other members of the TD group and never takes any credit for himself but quite frankly these things wouldn't have happened (or been half as much fun) without him!  He has kept us thoroughly engaged and amused over the last few months which has been a much needed distraction!

 Dick has been instrumental in setting up CAVBC and continues to support all its aspects, he is to CAVBC what Neil Armstrong was to the moon! He made sure that everyone was welcome, he didn't let lack of IT skills stand in their way, he took the time and continues to personally mentor and encourage so many members to join this community, when we all needed something to distract us from the craziness of this year.  Thank you, Dick, for all you have done to make this happen.

So to sum it up, we are very grateful to Aidan, Dan and Dick for kick-starting this now 20+ group of TDs who manage the operation seamlessly to enable so many of us to enjoy bridge in these difficult times.  Thanks also to Orla Murnane for her trojan work on the CAVBC website.

The future is looking bright for return to face-to-face bridge.  Who knows if CAVBC will live on in tandem but whatever happens we will all undoubtedly look back with fond memories of CAVBC in 2020.

We wish you all & your loved ones a very happy and healthy Christmas & New Year.

Stay safe

CAVBC and Foxbay TD group 

Dec 2020