From L to R Gianluca Cacace, Teacher Mike Viotti, and Tyler Irby
If you were paying bridge in the Newcomer Section on Sunday afternoon, at the regional, you can't have failed to spot these three fresh-faced individuals at the table, playing the game for the very first time in a public arena.
The three represent an energetic initiative to introduce bridge to Bermuda's high schools. For long, Bermuda's conservative community has resisted all attempts to encourage students in the ways of playing cards - at one time, and not a million years ago, a student could be punished for even bringing them onto school premises.
Now, however, at Saltus Grammar School, the game of bridge is recognized as a skill in the Duke of Edinburgh Program, a community based service and development scheme for young adults.
Several of our senior players have assisted in this process - La Belle Danielle Cloutier, John Burville, Jersey Girl Donna Leitch, Martha Ferguson and Ellen Davidson, for example, but all are agreed that the real credit goes to teacher Mike Viotti (pictured centre above), without whose drive and energy the scheme would have faltered early. So, huge thanks to him in particular and to all the other organizers in general.
Credit must also go to the two students above who cheerfully braved the morass of tournament bridge and survived intact. In speaking with Gianluca and Tyler afterwards, it was evident that they had enjoyed the experience very much - incredibly, everybody had been on their best behaviour and they actually came away thinking we were rather a nice bunch!
May they never have cause to reverse that glowing verdict!
By: Janet Evans