News from the Club during the Pandemic (# 2)

Palmerston North Bridge Club


I hope that you are all keeping safe and well-fed in your bubbles. So, this is my second update from my own isolation – it is kind of taking on a “new normal”.  I seem to be having much more contact with friends and family from across the globe and eating and sleeping well. No sign of a cough or sore throat yet – I hope that you are all feeling as well. Just a further reminder, that if you need anything at all or just a chat, please feel free to ring any of your committee members who are very happy to take your call and try to help sort out any problems.

Tony Clear 06-355 1721 or 021-02723554

Laura Griffin 021-436905

Anne Gordon 027-3278276

Liz Burrows 06-355 1259 or 027-3039218

Denise Servante 06-353 0664 or 027-353 0664

Tony Fayerman 06-357 7834 or 027-350 4689  

In this update, there is news about:

1. A step by step guide to participating in the twice daily online 15-board games being organised by Auckland Bridge Club. Julie Bunnell very kindly offered to be my partner when I took my first foray into BBO this week. I am certainly a late adopter of online bridge, but it was really easy once I got familiar with the layout of the screen. Julie has provided information below to get you started – it’s easy to register and you can partner with anyone from around the world.

2. A link through to the three times weekly improvers sessions being offered by Mr Bridge (aka Bernard Magee) – now may be the time to brush up and break any bad habits that have developed in your play.

3. Keeping your stocks of hand sanitiser replenished. Club member, Tony Fayerman, has done an amazing job of ensuring that there are supplies available for Club members – particularly those who are in the “at risk” group – let’s face it, most of us!

A special thanks to Jack James who has continued liaising online with the people who had just started the 12-week lessons course before lockdown.

I know you will be disappointed not to have the Annual Report and Accounts to read and help pass the time this week. But I am pretty confident that we will get them to you shortly. We are also investigating setting up our own Club sessions online so please watch this space!

Please let me have your news and views to share with Club members as we enter week 2 of NO CLUB BRIDGE. ☹ Meanwhile, stay safe!

Denise Servante


Feeling bridge-deprived? Why not try playing online? (Julie Bunnell)

The Auckland Bridge Club is offering daily online 15-board games at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm, via Bridge Base Online. These are open to all bridge players in New Zealand, and a number of club members are already playing online. Follow these steps to get started:

1.    Go to and register. Choose your own username and password.

2.    Ask a bridge friend you’d like to play with to do likewise (if they are not already registered). Tell each other your usernames.

3.    Browse around the site and read the introductory information.

4.    About 15 minutes before game time, go to and login.

5.    On the home screen, click on Competitive, and then click on All Tournaments.

6.    Use the search function to find a tournament containing the word “kiwi”. The tournament will usually be called something like Afternoon Kiwi Pairs or Evening Kiwi Pairs. Click on the tournament.

7.    Invite your partner to play, using their username. When your partner accepts, you’re in.

8.     Nothing will happen until the start time, and then your hand and your opponents will appear on the screen. 

9.    When it’s your turn to bid, your name will be highlighted yellow, and a bidding panel will appear on your screen.

10. Unlike face to face bridge, you have to self-alert bids that would normally require announcing (1C, 1NT) or alerting. You alert and explain before you place your bid.

11. When it’s your turn to lead or play, your name will be highlighted in yellow.

12. When the hand is over, the next one will appear. When the round of three hands is over, nothing will happen until the next round begins with new opponents. 

Bernard Magee Live Broadcasts: Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays at 11.00am

Bernard Magee's first broadcast was a great success, with well over 4000 of you tuning in to watch it live and many more of you watching the recording. As there has been so much good feedback from this, Bernard has decided to do three live broadcasts a week while he has the time available to do this.

The easiest way to keep up to date with Bernard's broadcasts, is to subscribe to his YouTube channel ( This is completely free, and it also allows you to comment and interact.

DIY Hand Sanitiser Available for “At Risk” Club Members (Tony Fayerman)

As some of you already know, Tony F has been making DIY hand sanitiser, and has distributed it around some of the “most at risk” members of both Palmerston North and Hokowhitu bridge clubs. However, he has not been able to make contact with all club members personally, and this message attempts to rectify that.

If you would like to obtain a bottle of hand sanitiser, please call or text Tony on the numbers in the membership booklist or email him at There will need to be a small charge for the sanitiser, to recompense Tony for materials. The exact charge will be advised later but is expected to be appreciably less than retail cost. (Of course, there’s virtually no hand sanitiser in retail outlets at the moment!)

Tony currently has enough material on-hand to make 20 by 500ml bottles. More supplies are due shortly, so it should be possible to supply most/all those who are interested. Tony is therefore happy to extend the offer to at-risk family members of club members.

The sanitiser formula is based on a World Health Organisation bulletin. If you would like details of the formulation before deciding whether to purchase, send Tony an email. He’ll be happy to provide details of the exact formulation that has been made up and why.

Tony has been firmly advised that he should not be out and about making deliveries (he’s over 70).  Therefore, arrangements will need to be made to collect it from his letterbox. The collector could be yourself, or a family member or friend – but definitely not someone in a high-risk category! Tony has had a couple of club members volunteer to make deliveries, so that’s also an option.

The sanitiser is dispensable from either a pump (think liquid soap type) or a spray bottle (think spray-on glass cleaner), so if you have one of these, please bring it along to swap for a full bottle.  (To keep the dispenser supply going in the short term, Tony has bought some spray bottles of glass cleaner from the supermarket for about $3 each just to get the bottle … so if you bring an empty bottle of any kind with you, he will fill it up with the glass-cleaner he has already got).

Lastly, there are also a number of small hand-bag/glove-box sized bottles available – first in, best dressed.


News from the Club during the Pandemic (# 1)

Palmerston North Bridge Club

Hello! These are unprecedented times. Our first thought is for the safety and well-being of family, whanau and friends. I hope that you are all taking the best care of yourselves as we enter into the Level 4 restrictions from midnight tomorrow. Your Club Committee is here to help and support you in anyway necessary. If you would like a chat, or are feeling stressed or alone at this uncertain time, please reach out to one of our Committee members – we are here for you. The following Committee members will be your first point of call:

Tony Clear 06-355 1721 or 021-02723554

Laura Griffin 021-436905

Anne Gordon  027-3278276

Liz Burrows 06-355 1259 or 027-3039218

Denise Servante 06-353 0664 or 027-353 0664

Tony Fayerman 06-357 7834 or 027-350 4689

What no bridge!

We know how hard it is having to stay at home and not play bridge

Don't forget there are various online bridge games you can play.  The most popular being BBO (Bridge Base Online).  You can play free or pay a small fee to participate in tournaments.  Sign up now and have look around.  If you need help, contact one of the Committee members above. One tournament (recommended by Tauranga Bridge Club) is the Speedball held on the hour every hour.  12 boards in an hour.  The fee for this is $US1.25. Auckland Bridge Club are running a daily match on BBO starting each night at 7.30. It is listed as For Evening Kiwis by AKBC #4863. 

Alternatively, you can get 3 friends together and start a table.  You can chat, practice and see how you compare with others playing the same hands.  Click on this link to get started 

There has also been a whole bunch of free downloads to help you fill in the hours and days. You can find a grab bag of goodies by clicking on this link.

We'll keep you updated on new things to do while in isolation (is this the right time to start reading "The Luminaries"?).

Business Continuity

The Club premises are closed down. This means there will be no AGM this Thursday evening. BUT, the Committee would still like to get some business done - we think we may even get a bit more interest in our Annual Report and Accounts when everyone has time on their hands. So, I've attached with this message a list of the current nominations for the Committee - everyone has the chance to put themselves forward for any of the positions and I would encourage you to think if you are able to give back to the Club in this way. With our next News update, I'll attach my Annual Report and the reviewed Accounts - that will clearly be the highlight of your week. So watch this space.

If you have any items that you would like sent around to Club members - please send them through.  We will try to get information round to people whenever practicable and appropriate.

In the meantime, keep safe, keep busy and keep clean! 

All best wishes,

Denise Servante


No Bridge at the Club for at least Three Weeks


The Committee has taken the decision to suspend all bridge sessions at the Club Rooms for three weeks from Monday 23 March.

This follows the latest advice from NZ Bridge:

the global messaging is border closure in itself will not be enough and that more is required if we are going to take control and quell this pandemic. “Social distancing” is becoming the norm and people should not congregate in close proximity for more than 15 minutes at a time.

The difference in New Zealand compared with other countries is that those societies are subject to community transmission whereas we only have a border issue. Hopefully that remains the case and we are able to largely contain the virus at the border. Unfortunately our planning must assume community transmission, a rise in cases and the impact this will have on everyone.

New Zealand Bridge is deeply concerned about protecting our bridge community. We know we have an older demographic who are the most susceptible group. We also know that bridge is a game that involves close-quarters contact around a bridge table and touching of cards that go to numerous people. Droplets from people talking, laughing, sneezing and coughing pose a threat to all players and officials present, especially if someone is unaware they are infected.

None of us want players harmed; consequently we see no choice but to recommend that clubs close for three weeks from Monday 23rd March. We also recommend all tournaments throughout this period be cancelled.

Currently we plan to re-evaluate on 9th April to see whether closure should be extended or if it is okay to reopen clubs. In the meantime we suggest Clubs look at running events on BBO. Over the coming days we will put out guidelines on how you might achieve this.

The Committee is going to follow this recommendation. We know at this stage it is precautionary but we would rather take steps now and contain the Pandemic as much as possible, than wait for developments which could have much harsher and longer-lasting impacts down the line. We will continue to share with our members news as it comes to us from NZ bridge and will also be following up on opportunities to run online events.

Watch this space! Meanwhile, keep safe and please reach out to your Bridge Community (i.e. us!) if you need anything.

Your Club Committee

AGM 2020

Palmerston North Bridge Club A G M

Thursday 26 March 6.15 pm

Multigrade playing session to follow at 7.15 pm



2019 AGM Minutes

Lessons 2020

PN 5A Swiss Pairs

Our Open 5A Swiss Pairs tournament on Saturday 12 October 2019 attracted a record entry of 21 tables.


The Winners were Jan Whyte & Ken Bateman (Palmerston North)


pictured here with PN Bridge Club President Denise Servante (centre).


In Second Place:


Pam Livingston & John Davidson (New Plymouth/Wellington)


and in Third Place:


Carolyn Yeomans & Alister Buchanan (Napier)


Class of 2019 Graduates

On August 5th our 2019 learners had their first full evening of bridge in the Novice Plus session. Here we are with our graduation certificates for successfully completing the course and being brave enough to give it a go!



Quinella at the Wanganui 5A Swiss Pairs

Palmerston North club members had a particularly sucessful day at the the Wanganui Swiss Pairs held on the 14th of July, taking out both first and second places.

Winning the tournament were Morgan Booker and Jan Whyte

and in second place were Tony Clear and Laura Griffin



Interclub Win for Palmerston North

In June 2019, the Wanganui, Hawera and Palmerston North clubs returned for their annual tri-match tournament which was not held last year. A very successful day was held in Whanganui, with Palmerston North winning the Wilkin Cup which is for head to head competition between Wanganui and Palmerston North. Palmerston North then won the "Claret Jug" for overall honours on the day. For more information, see the June newsletter.

Lessons 2019

A happy bunch of new bridge players started lessons at the start of May and all have returned each week. We are well through the course now, with only a couple of weeks left. We look forward to welcoming them into our regular Monday night Novice evening where they will be a welcome boost to our numbers.







Intermediate and Junior Tournament Results 2019

On Saturday 18th May, we held a successful Intermediate and Junior tournament. Club members yet again featured prominantly in the results.


Junior winners (below) were Tad Krogulec (who normally resides in Westport but calls Palmerston North his home club) and his teammate Paula McCool, who is a member at Pahiatua. They were also the defending winners from 2018.


In 2nd place were Angela and Paul Harper (photo below), of Palmerston North, while in 3rd place were Harry Mills and Linda Lawrence from the Dannevirke club. 


The Intermediate tournament was won by our very own Club President Denise Servante and her partner Martin Carryer. 


In 2nd place was Jim Heald and Mark Kuijten from Levin.


 In 3rd place were Cindy Lowndes and Laura Griffin also of Palmerston North. 

Club Members achieve at recent Intermediate Tournaments

CD Intermediate Interprovincial Trials

On the weekend of 11th and 12th May, in Whanganui, the trials for the Inter-Provincial team was held. The Intermediate team from Palmerston North managed to survive both days with an unbeaten record, and have won the right to represent Central Districts in Christchurch, over three days, in November. They will compete against Intermediate team winners from the other six provinces around New Zealand. 

CD Intermediate Winners 

Garry Hodge, Laura Griffin, Cindy Lowndes & Debbie Marcroft


Feilding Intermediate - May 4

Third place in the Feilding Intermediate Tournament was Hans van Bunnik and Anne Gordon with a combined score of 57.72% over 2 sessions of play. They were followed by Cindy Lowndes and Laura Griffin in 4th place and Debbie Marcroft and Garry Hodge came fifth. 

 Hans van Bunnik and Anne Gordon


Hokowhitu Intermediate - April 28

 The Hokowhitu Tournament was held on the last Sunday of April. After two sessions of play the winners were Debbie Marcroft and  Garry Hodge with a score of 59.12%. They were followed by Hans van Bunnik and Anne Gordon in 2nd, John Hogan and Stuart Malcolm placed 3rd, while Allan Mudford and Tony Fayerman were 4th.


 Garry Hodge & Debbie Marcroft

 Hans van Bunnik & Anne Gordon

 John Hogan & Stuart Malcolm

National Recognition for Club Volunteer

Club stalwart Liz Burrows has been named as NZ Bridge's "Volunteer of the Month" for April. Congratulations Liz!

Read more about Liz in our April Newsletter


Many Happy Returns!

Congratulations to Joy Mitchell who recently celebrated her 90th birthday!


Friday Luncheon bridge players wish Joy an early Happy Birthday.


Joy is an enthusiastic bridge player and regularly plays at the club on a Monday and Friday. She is also a keen participant in club tournaments.


As well as bridge Joy's two other main passions are lawn bowls (which she only gave up last year) and genealogy:


 Joy's Birthday Cake


Read more about Joy and her adventures in our April Newsletter


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