CARDS and dice have been played at the
KCC since its inception. No doubt, cards and dice will continue
to be played in the Club's premises forever more. The first mention
of Bridge comes in Peter Hall's history of the first 75 years
of the Club: "In April 1957 Messrs E M Marchetti and J Tang
won the Hong Kong Contract Bridge Association Combination Paris
Tournament." So much for the early history of card or bridge
at the KCC.
It was the late Seventies or early Eighties
that bridge was introduced to the Club as a competitive game (duplicate
pairs). At the time, a few members (among whom were Fred Hutchinson,
Elmo D'Souza and Andrew Maslowicz) played friendly games in the
bar area. Norah Allen was the original organiser of Duplicate
Bridge which was played in the old squash court. Not being very
popular to start with, guests were welcome to boost the numbers.
Norah regularly invited some very good young players who were
blind and Braille cards were used. It was all very well managed
by Norah, but the sessions dropped off for a while until Josie
Noble got hooked on bridge and in 1983 decided to have a go at
running the duplicate game. This was an immediate success with
a regular turnout of a half-a-dozen or so tables. In due course,
guests from the United Services Recreation Club and the Kowloon
Bowling Green Club were invited to join.
Around 1986/87 the venue was moved to the
Coffee Shop because the old squash court was being converted to
the Trophy Room. The new venue made a big difference and by May
1992, bridge/dinner evenings came into being which proved very
popular and great fun. That event was the first of many such events.
In June 1992 the KCC organised the first
Inter-Club Team game and invited players from the Ladies Recreation
Club, Hong Kong Football Club and the USRC. This caught on and
eventually led to the formation of The Hong Kong Inter-Club Bridge
League. Many clubs joined this League (including the Japanese
Club Women's team). Inevitably, teams came and went as the various
clubs faced their own organisational and popularity problems,
but over the years teams from Club Lusitano (which in 2004 switched
to play for Club de Recreio), Hong Kong Club, Hong Kong Cricket
Club, Hong Kong Country Club, Ladies Recreation Club, Royal Hong
Kong Yacht Club, Discovery Bay Club, Gold Coast Yacht & Country
Club, Jewish Club, Rotary Club and of course the KCC have participated.
In May 1993 four of our ladies members
(Jan Bailey, Saranne McNaught, Carolyn Levine and Josie Noble)
had the distinction of being selected to join the Hong Kong Women's
Teams to play in Beijing in an International Bridge Invitational
Tournament. There were two teams representing Hong Kong, which
finished third and sixth in the Consolation Match.
In the historical year of 1997, the Club team,
captained by David Mok with teammates Jan Bailey, "Babu"
C F Ebrahim, Ricky Dadlani and Raju Ramchandani, topped the Hong
Kong Inter-Club Bridge League. The KCC team won the championship
trophy in 2001, 2002 and 2007. Victor Cheng was recruited to replace
Jan Bailey who left Hong Kong. The A team was even more successful
with Irene Ho joining in 2007. In 2010, they have outdone themselves
by achieving the League and Cup double.
Club Lusitano created a new trophy in memory
of Francis Abraham (a stalwart of their team) and named it the
F C Abraham Trophy. The old trophy was retired.
In 2003 KCC entered a second team in the Bridge
League and following the great tradition of the other sports,
it was creatively named KCC B. It is now captained by Shabbir
Barma with teammates Haseena Barma, M C Young, Robin Hauser, Gulu
Chugani, Anderson Chow, Arjan Kirpalani, and Rashida Ebrahim.
In 2010, the KCC 'A' team excelled itself by
achieving a double, winning both the League and the Knockout Championship.
Over the years, coaching sessions have
been held by Cushla Monty, Maki Hauser, David Mok and Raju Ramchandani.
Thanks to their hard work, several beginners have been
successfully introduced to the game.
Currently the Club
has a small but dedicated group of Bridge players. This is a very
informal affair and more members, even beginners, will come and
play; being assured of a very friendly and satisfying time.
The Club's Duplicate Pairs sessions continue to be held every Tuesday. Since Josie Noble left, the directorship has been in the capable hands of David Mok, "Babu" C F Ebrahim and Raju Ramchandani. A very friendly atmosphere prevails and a very enjoyable evening is had by a regular group of players who turn up. High Tea/Dinner Bridge evenings are held twice or three times a year. A group of players still play friendly bridge on most days in the corner of the main bar and new members and old are often seen kibitzing. It is hoped that a few of them will eventually sit down to play, and even join the weekly duplicates. Guests from other Clubs are also welcome. Bridge is such a wonderful game...come and find out for yourself.
Contact info for the bridge section are: