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Margaret East

Margaret East
Parramatta Bridge Club, NSW

During the 1980s my brother and his Margaret Eastfamily moved to Canada and started playing bridge, so whenever my husband and I visited, a game of bridge was always suggested. I had no idea what I was doing and often wondered at the time, ‘why I always seemed to be Dummy’.

After our second trip to Vancouver in 1996 we decided to take bridge lessons and I was ‘hooked’ straight away. I only played once a week at first as I was still working full time but once I started part time work ‘I was off’. At one stage there was a saying going around the club room that, “Margaret ONLY PLAYS BRIDGE ON DAYS ending in ‘Y’”.

As soon as the lessons were over I joined the Club Committee and two years later became Parramatta Bridge Club Secretary. Next year should be my 20th year as secretary and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working to develop the Club and I have met many interesting players of this fascinating game. 

Why did you decide to become a Bridge Teacher?

I greatly admired the lady who taught me to play bridge and we became close friends. Her name was Fay Mansfield and she would have been known by many people as she taught ‘Beginner Bridge Lessons’ at Parramatta Bridge Club for 20 years.

When Fay wanted to retire from teaching she talked me into taking on the role. She really didn’t need to ask me twice as having come from a teaching background and about to retire I jumped at the chance. 
What do you enjoy most about playing/teaching Bridge?

Bridge provides great mental stimulation and allows for interaction with other people. One elderly lady told me some time ago that she only keeps getting her car serviced so that she can get to bridge twice a week. There is always something to learn when playing bridge.
After having taught primary school age children all my working life I find it quite refreshing to be teaching adults. These people arrive so eager to be taking up a new skill and later down the track become quite excited when a finesse works or say to me, “ NOW I understand what you mean.”

When I see people coming to bridge sessions and I know they live by themselves or are not very well I often think of the words of Somerset Maughan, “…You can play bridge so long as you can sit at a table and tell one card from another. In fact when all else fails; sport, love and ambition, bridge remains a solace for entertainment.”