HOW THE CLUB WENT FROM THIS TO THIS.
Sketch by Cath Adams
The club's interesting life began after a chance remark by the then manager of the Lake Hotel in 1970, who said he would like some club or organization to make use of two spare lounges at the hotel where the Cobb and Co now stands.
At the same time, a Rotary function in town brought up the subject of a bridge club for Taupo, and Ailsa Fagan and Gordon Melville decided to put these ideas together.
An advertisement in the Taupo Times brought no less than 61 people to a meeting at the Lake Hotel on August 19, 1970 and a steering committee consisting of Mr Melville as chairman, Mr J S Horrax and members Mrs K Martin, Mrs V Scullard , Mr E Pearce, Mr G Rees and Mr G Wilson was formed.
The Taupo Bridge Club was born and a week later this committee met to set up the programme, Much was arranged at this meeting- session times, table and stake money, subscriptions ( $3 in 1970 ), refreshments, cards, house committee, name tags and correspondence.
Play started on September 9 1970, and though using the hotel lounge worked well, the club soon realised the value of having its own home.
A chance came when the old Taupo Golf Club rooms became vacant and the committee offered to rent them. With tremendous help from friends, the club was soon ready to move in and the young Taupo Bridge Club was in its own home. By 1972 it was running a full programme with up to 100 people playing and by 1973 it was holding tournaments.
With money raised, hard working members later provided a new roof for the clubhouse, improved the kitchen, re-carpeted the floor, and enlarged and refitted the ladies' restrooms to a standard that was described by a visiting player as 'the best restroom in the Southern Hemisphere". Some of the money used was provided by member's interest free loans, the use of subscriptions and table fees and the usual raffles. These rooms were used until mid 1990. To protect the club's interest and investment the buildings and contents were insured with a commercial replacement policy.
On Friday 28th July 1990 the building was totally destroyed by a fire believed to be arson. ( Trevor Watts surveys the result. ) Due to the foresight of the a previous committee the insurance money was adequate to rebuild in the present site.
The work of our then Honorary Solicitor and club member Chris Gibson, committee members Jack Dellow (Treasurer), Keith Knox and Trevor Watts (President) was instrumental in getting to the situation we are in today. Through negotiations with the Golf Club, it was decided to buy out its interest so that the bridge club owned the new rooms outright and had a long term watertight lease of the present area, This meant that the bridge club could develop the grounds to suit its own requirements. The Golf Club assisted by a large part of the price to be paid off over an extended period interest-free.
Many hours of discussion and meetings by Messrs Watts, Dellow Knox and Mrs Dixon resulted that when the chosen architect Sandy Geddes had completed the design, only a few minor changes were required to the actual building. Plans and specifications went out to tender and a tender from Ross Construction for $182,134 was accepted. The building was handed over April 5 1991,
Other committee members in 1990 during this period included Mrs M Cooper (Vice President) , Mrs K Masden (Secretary), W Barnes, J Brough, P Burry (Past president), A Dixon, Y Dykes, J Stansell and H Upton.
A special mention should be made of the work load carried by Jack Dellow during these years, He managed all the Club's normal finances, was involved with the negotiations on the final contract price and subsequent adjustments on an ongoing basis, the design of the club rooms, the purchases of furniture and fittings and replacement of cards and other playing materials and the lease and financial arrangements with the Golf Club.
Margaret Cooper, who had not long before had the computer up and running, had to start from scratch again.
The new clubrooms were opened on April 6 1991 by her Worship the Mayor,
Joan Williamson ( with Trevor Watts in the photo ).
TRIBUTE TO TREVOR WATTS
Trevor Watts who was President from 1990 to 1992, has written the story of those years which covered the time of our disastrous fire and the re-building of the new clubhouse. No description of those events would be complete without a tribute to Trevor whose experience, drive and thoroughness played a huge part in our being able to overcome such a major setback to the club. The amount of work he put in was colossal and the club owes him a great debt of gratitude which should be acknowledged in this publication. ( refers to the 25th anniversary book )
Today the Bridge Club, affiliated to the New Zealand Bridge, has over 200 members and warmly invites newcomers for whom we run instruction classes from time to time.
Active members from the early days are Nicola Chapman and Frances Rankin.
We are today the proud owner of purpose built Clubrooms overlooking the Taupo Golf Course.
A MEETING WILL BE HELD AT THE LAKE HOTEL
ON WEDNESDAY, 19th AUGUST at 7.45 p.m.
TO DISCUSS THE FORMATION OF A BRIDGE CLUB.
ALL PLAYERS, OR THOSE INTERESTED IN LEARNING TO PLAY
CONTRACT BRIDGE ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO ATTEND