Geoff Ellis, President of the St Francis Bay Bridge Club, presented a cheque for R6300, the proceeds from their Annual Bridge Day Charity competition, to Station 21 of the National Sea Rescue Institute. Marc May, representing NSRI Station 21, accepted the donation which took place at a ceremony at the St Francis Links.

NSRI Donation from St Francis Bay Bridge Club

Photo: Marc May of the NSRI with Geoff Ellis, President of the St Francis Bay Bridge Club.

May expressed sincere thanks on behalf of the NSRI. He said that the funds donated would be used exclusively by Station 21 and gave a brief outline of the work done by the dedicated and selfless volunteers who provide assistance to those in trouble on the seas. They give of their time and skill without any form of remuneration. He emphasized that the work they do is hard, selfless and sometimes, inevitably, ends in tragedy. He explained how he warns new volunteers that they will inevitably have to cope with difficulties and failures but will also have deeply gratifying rescues and successes.

Fundraising days for the NSRI were started over 30 years ago by Dinks Liebenberg, founder of the St. Francis Bay Bridge Club. She was passionate about the work done by the NSRI and initially started fund raising luncheons among friends. When she founded the Bridge Club, she incorporated an annual charity bridge competition. Even though Liebenberg has retired and moved away from St Francis, the Club now continues the tradition she started.

These competitions have gained in popularity and attract bridge players from far and wide. Unfortunately Liebenberg (who is now aged 93) was not able to attend this year’s gathering but sent her best wishes to the Bridge Club and to the NSRI. Support for the 2015 event was tremendous with 88 players from Port Elizabeth, Somerset West, Knysna, Jeffreys Bay and St Francis Bay competing in a really friendly and happy atmosphere. Eileen Ellis and Judith O’Hara from St Francis Bay were joint Tournament Directors and everything went like clockwork. The venue and assistance provided by the Links was excellent. Businesses in St Francis Bay and members of the club donated generously and thanks were expressed to them all.

North/South Winners were: Gabrielle Lonsdale and Eileen Ellis (St Francis Bay). In second place were Jeanne Williams and Jacques Labuschagne (Jeffreys Bay) and in third place were Stephanie Kemp and Sam Fourie, also from Jeffreys Bay.

In the East/West section, the winners were Karen Gillanders and Di Hobson from Port Elizabeth. In second place were Ginty Tagg and Theonie Kirton (St Francis Bay) and third were Jenny Blackwell & Marietjie Lategan (Jeffreys Bay).

Photo supplied – Edited by Collo