Board Terms

London Bridge Centre Inc held its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday December 1, 2020. Board terms expired at the AGM for Dwight Bender, Judi Carter, Jackie Potters and Adèle Woolfe. Nominations to fill vacant Board positions were received for Gayle George, Janine Higgins, Rick Jordan and Les Wroblewski. These nominations were presented to and approved by the membership at the 2020 Annual General Meeting.

Subsequent to the AGM, the Board met and appointed: Judy Stirling as President, Al Edwards as Past President, Janine Higgins as Vice President, Tom Jolliffe as Treasurer and Betty Grant as Secretary. 

Board terms are for three years and expire at the annual meeting in the fall of 2021, 2022 and 2023. 

An Annual General Meeting of the membership is to be held each year prior to September 30. LBC members will be asked to nominate candidates for vacant Board positions and elect new Board members from the slate of candidates presented at the Annual General Meeting.

 

Board Members and Officers

  • Judy Stirling

    President 2018 - 2021

    My first introduction to this amazing game was in my teen years as my parents were avid players. While playing bridge in University, we would often move all of the potted plants in our student lounge to the corner to create a barrier where the profs could not see us playing in our marathon sessions. After graduation, the next 40 years were dedicated to my family and my career as a psychotherapist.

    About five years ago, a friend invited me to play and I've fallen in love with the game all over again. It’s great to be back at the table where the camaraderie is wonderful and the intellectual challenges are limitless.

    I'm delighted to be a board member as I want to give back to the club and to this game for all of the joy it has given me.

    When I’m not playing bridge, I am thinking about bridge as I golf, paint, and garden.

  • Al Edwards

    Past President - 2018 to 2021

    I first learned to play bridge during university. I spent many hours in the Maths lounge at U of Waterloo playing bridge, but still managed to graduate! I started playing duplicate after taking lessons from Arlene and earned my first fraction of an ACBL masterpoint in 2003.I enjoy the challenge of analyzing the clues and "solving" each hand in communication with partner. The social aspect also adds significantly to my enjoyment of the experience.

    Sue and I have two daughters and now a granddaughter and grandson, and we are fortunate to have our extended families nearby. I'm a retired actuary, having thoroughly enjoyed my career with London Life, Great-West Life and Canada Life.

    Volunteer activities in my community and my profession have also been a priority. I'm also an avid golfer. You can tell that by my golfer's tan!

    It wasn't difficult to become involved with the Board of the London Bridge Centre. Sue and I both believe bridge has much to offer to many in the community and we want to see it grow. That needs volunteers to make it happen - so we're in.

    When I'm not playing golf or bridge, I've been known to treat family and friends to a barbeque topped off with one of my banana cream pies (my Mom's recipe). And, my search for a scotch that I don't like continues...

  • Janine Higgins

    Vice President 2020 to 2023

    My parents taught my brother and me to play bridge when we were very young, so that they could play. I played in a ladies bridge club for 30 years after moving to London, but didn’t advance beyond ‘kitchen bridge’ until I took lessons from Richard Fokes and went to my first tournament when I got hooked on duplicate bridge. To me bridge has the perfect mix of socializing and competition. I love going to tournaments because you can play a lot of bridge in a short time. I am very proud to be part of a member owned club, and have made many friends here.

    I practised law for a dozen years at Siskinds, then left the practice of law to set up shop as a mediator. I quickly added teaching courses, facilitation and life coaching. I am mostly retired from mediation and facilitation. My primary activity now is teaching courses in leadership, emotional intelligence, positive psychology, assertiveness, and conflict management, for Western Continuing Studies and for organizations.

    Between us, my husband Ward and I have five children and seven grandchildren. We love to hike and completed the Bruce Trail over six years a while back. We also love travelling and spending time at our cottage in Port Franks.

  • Tom Jolliffe

    Treasurer, Facilities Manager and Webmaster - 2018 to 2021

    Much of my parent's social life revolved around playing bridge. As a child, they often got me to play dummy. In later years, Saturday night bridge took on a decidedly Canadian theme and was played in four sessions - before the hockey game; first intermission; second intermission; and, during Juliette!

    I love the social interaction and the camaraderie of the game. As well, the intellectual challenge of trying to continually improve your bridge skills is unparalleled.

    I felt the London bridge community was underserviced and so becoming involved on the Board was a way to broaden opportunities for all players to enjoy the game. I'd like to help build the London Bridge Centre into one of the leading bridge clubs in Canada.

    Before focusing on bridge, I spent my career in the investment organization of London Life and then managing a credit union. But bridge isn't my entire life. I have an ambition to cycle from Budapest to Lisbon. I've accomplished about half of this route so far. There are so many roads,and so little time. I'll just have to keep trying to cycle all the way to Lisbon!

  • Betty Grant

    Secretary - 2019 to 2022

    Although I come from a very competitive family background, we were more into active sports and board games so I wasn’t introduced to Bridge until about 4 years ago. Thanks to the great tutelage of Peter on Tuesday afternoons and both in class and private lessons from Audrey, I feel that I kind of “get” this game and it has become somewhat of an addiction.

    I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a degree in psychology, did my Teacher’s Certification at UWO and taught Phys. Ed for 7 years with several Ontario Boards while following my husband’s career path. When we settled in London, I became a Real Estate Broker, my other passion, and sold Real Estate for 35 years until finally retiring 2 years ago.

    Along the way we had 2 children who have given us 5 wonderful grandchildren. The family joke is that whenever our 3 year old granddaughter Grace comes over and I’m not here she says “Oh Nana’s playing Bridge again!” no matter where I am.

    From day one, I was impressed with the London Bridge Centre. The friendly and encouraging atmosphere was overwhelming and I have always felt that this comes from the “top down”. I am looking forward to my tenure on the Board and hope to be a strong contributor to this great member’s owned club.

  • Marilyn Ellis

    Membership Director - 2019 to 2022

    In 2005 I began to plan ahead for retirement as a high school physical education teacher and guidance counselor. I remembered my mother’s joy when she came home from an afternoon of bridge recounting how she had made a grand slam. I signed up for my first bridge course advertised in the “Spectrum”with Richard Fokes. My bridge lessons continued with Richard and Peter Tuttle at the Bridge Fokes bridge club. My learning continued with many, many lessons from Audrey Craig who became ‘a voice in my head’ as I played bridge at the London Bridge Centre. My teachers have been outstanding and have nurtured and supported my love of the game.

    When I am not playing bridge, my partner Patricia and I enjoy traveling to Alberta, B.C. and Australia to see our 4 children and 4 grandchildren. I enjoy gardening and walking our toy poodle Nikki. I have become an American politics fanatic and tune in to MSNBC regularly to follow the drama.

    We members of the Bridge Centre are so fortunate to have such professional leadership. We have benefitted from their integrity, care, insight and dedication. I am happy to join this team in a role I feel best suits my abilities. I spend 3 afternoons a week in a friendly, welcoming environment and want to help our club. I encourage members to pitch in with daily tasks dealing with dirty glasses, filling and emptying the dishwasher and setting out our treats. “Many hands make light work.”

  • Angie Francolini

    Director - 2019 to 2022

    I was introduced to the game of bridge by my in-laws, Geno & Joan. The game is a great way to learn the true character of the prospective daughter-in-law. Bridge offers many opportunities to showcase your temperament, smarts, ego, graciousness and calm. It is as much a form of art as science, especially when playing duplicate bridge.

    Recently retired, I decided to resume the game of bridge. This time, I was interested in studying the game and digging into the science. So LBC was the perfect place to quench my thirst for knowledge. I took several lessons and practiced Saturday mornings before being encouraged to join the duplicated tables for real. I was hooked and became an ACBL member on the drive for those part-points. I’m still an eager novice - knowing enough to be dangerous to both my partnership and on occasion opponents. The more I learn the more I appreciate the art of the game, the judgment that takes years to master.

    Bridge is an elegant, joyful pastime. I am grateful to Geno & Joan. I am keen to help others discover the wonderful world and community of duplicate bridge.

  • Gayle George

    Director 2020 to 2023

    Bridge was never a serious part of my life until my friend Judi Waters got me hooked on the game. I grew up a farm girl west of Mt. Brydges where I enjoyed my time training standardbred horses and being with my family. I participated in many competitive sports, as well as, women’s fastball and 10 pin bowling. I retired from teaching in 2001 and then focused my attention on golfing and curling.

    My mentor Judi, decided since she took up golf that I should give bridge a serious try. I signed up for lessons with Hazel Hewitt in 2016. Hazel's advice was, "If you want to get better at the game you need to play". I jumped in with both feet and have never looked back. Judi, Hazel, Audrey and Marie are great teachers of the game and I learn something new from them all the time.

    Hopefully being on the board I can give back to the club in a small way. The environment at the London Bridge Centre is so welcoming and friendly that you become part of their bridge family. I would like to do my part in helping this great club continue with its success.

  • Rick Jordan

    Director 2020 to 2023

    My first exposure to the game of bridge came as a teenager. We would visit my aunt, uncle, and cousins in Toronto a few times a year and as a result of those visits I learned enough to play kitchen bridge.

    Many years later, in the fall of 2016, while sidelined from work due to my recovering from heart surgery, I asked my brother Jim to take me to a duplicate game. I was totally hooked, joined LBC and the ACBL and started playing three times a week!! Unfortunately, the frequency of my bridge games was reduced when I returned to work in January 2017 and was not able to play nearly as much until I retired from the golf business in 2018.

    Since becoming an LBC member, I have met a lot of new friends and always felt welcome. More experienced players have been very helpful to me in improving my game. Having an opportunity to serve on the board allows me to do my part and make sure we have the best bridge club possible.

  • Alison Marr

    Co-Chair Education Committee - 2019 to 2022

    I played a bit of social bridge in the early ‘70s in England where I grew up, and it wasn’t until 2015 when I started to wind down my family practice that I thought of taking it up again.

    I was fortunate to find Arlene Lundgren teaching bridge around a coffee table in Masonville Mall and she deftly showed me how much fun it was to learn some of the intricacies of the play of the hand. My friend Judy Stirling had been extolling the virtues of the new London Bridge club and after a couple of beginner classes here I was hooked.

    Beyond bridge, (and online Funbridge which is wickedly addictive), I love to golf, and ride horses. Our family is widely spread (England, Ireland and New Zealand) and we are fortunate to be able to travel a lot to spend time with them. I’m entering the era of being a grandparent, which is fabulous as all fellow grandparents know.

    Thank you for inviting me to be a board member. I have very much enjoyed my membership over the past 3 years, find the club very well run and welcoming, and hope I can contribute to its ongoing success.

    I am on the Education Committee so please let me know if there are any subjects or approaches that you would like the Committee to organize beyond what we are currently offering.

  • Bruce Moor

    Director of Bridge Operations - 2018 to 2021

    Like others of my generation, I learned to play bridge at home, and gained a little skill playing duplicate as a graduate student at Queen’s University in Kingston. Also like others, bridge remained an occasional recreational activity through the years, as a career in research at Queen’s and Western, and the demands of raising a family (2 children, a daughter and a son) took precedence. It was a social bridge group at First-St. Andrews United Church that was the catalyst to re-igniting my interest in the game, and it was also members of that group who steered Susan Wark and I to Fokes to learn to play duplicate. After little more than a year, with very little playing experience, I found myself heading north to Haliburton in the company of Dwight Bender, Peter Tuttle and Terry Wright to take the ACBL Club Director’s course, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Although being a director can have a negative impact on one’s ability to progress as a player, I have found enjoyment in this role, making numerous new friends and gaining an appreciation for the importance of the game in the lives of all who play on a regular basis. As the London Bridge Centre develops into a full-featured, modern bridge club, the opportunity to contribute as a club director to an even more vibrant bridge community in London is a major reason for being on the LBC Board. It is early in the journey, but it is a journey that promises numerous rewards – social, intellectual, recreational and, every once and a while, some gold points!

  • Les Wroblewski

    Director 2020 to 2023

    I first began playing bridge while attending high school in Poland. A few years later, I began developing my skills in college, playing rubber bridge with friends after school. However, it was not until immigrating to Canada that I truly developed my passion for bridge.

    I was introduced to duplicate at the David Burke Bridge Club in London, Ontario, a few years after emigrating from Poland in the mid 1990’s. After joining the club, I received my first gold points playing with Roman Dubinski at the London Regional Tournament. With his help, I became a Life Master in 2005. I’ve now been playing Bridge for over 45 years, and continue playing with my partners Chris Punter, Janusz Pruski and Roman Dubinski on a regular basis. What I enjoy most about bridge is the mental challenge and the unique set of problems and circumstances presented with each game. I strive to continue learning in order to develop and hone my skills.

    On a personal level, I am a retired auto mechanic & former business owner of Woodfield Automotive. In my spare time, I enjoy hunting, training mixed martial arts, gardening, travelling and spending time with family and friends. I am fortunate to have a beautiful wife of over 40 years, Bozena, along with three sons, and four beautiful grandchildren.

  • Penny Finneron

    Newsletter Editor

    As a teenager I played bridge during spare periods in high school; both of my parents were keen players. Until I retired five years ago, I didn’t play at all as no one my age played. A few weeks after retiring, I walked into a bridge class and met some women who have become very good friends.

    I was keen to meet new friends when I moved to London two years ago, in fact while searching for a house I asked the real estate agent “where’s the bridge club”? I’ve received a very warm welcome in London and especially at LBC.

    Online bridge has kept me connected to others and my mind occupied during the pandemic.

    I’m the proud grandmother of two-year-old Christopher.

    If you have any ideas for future articles please don’t hesitate to contact me via email.

  • Susan Edwards

    Accountant and former Treasurer

    Growing up in a home where lots of card games were played, it was inevitable I would learn to play bridge at some time. I played some bridge as a teenager. Then life as a student at Queen's University, a career as a Chartered Accountant and a second career raising two daughters took over. Around 2003 I took lessons from Arlene Lundgren and that opened up the world of bridge to me again.

    The mental exercise of the game is wonderful and bridge also provides great social benefits. My husband, Al, and I love going to tournaments.
    I got involved with founding the London Bridge Centre because I really want bridge to continue in London.

    I feel a member-owned club allows all players to contribute to the success of the club. Our goal is to have a great facility with a welcoming atmosphere for both experienced players and those just discovering this wonderful game!

    When I'm not playing bridge I love spending time with our adorable grandchildren. Our granddaughter doesn't play bridge yet, but is quite good at "Go Fish" and "War"!

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