The South Burlington Novice Duplicate Bridge Group meets at the O’Brien Civic Center on August 25 for the last time after 40 years of playing cards together every week in this location. The group will move their gathering to city hall during renovations to the building.

It’s in the Cards: Local Bridge Group Celebrates 40 Years

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Thursday September 01, 2016

For over forty years, the South Burlington Novice Duplicate Bridge Group has been gathering each Thursday night at the O’Brien Civic Center on Patchen Road to engage in card games and enriching fellowship. Started in June 1973, the group had its roots in an adult evening class that originated out of South Burlington High School under the direction of Ed Reiter. The group enjoyed Reiter’s class so much that they decided to continue to meet regularly, falling into a weekly Thursday schedule. While it started out slow, the low-key social environment allowed for continued interest and growth as more were drawn to the casual gathering of leisure card players.

While the membership may have changed, the roots remain the same and can be felt immediately walking through the door as you are instantly welcomed with warm smiles, handshakes and hearty how do you do’s. A non-bridge player myself, the welcome alone was enough to make me want to learn, if only to have an excuse to spend more time with these lovely people. Though many of the attendees were long term veterans of the group, they are always open to spreading their joy of the game to others, and naturally create an atmosphere of learning.

After over 40 years of operation at the O’Brien Center, the bridge group will be finding a new home as of September 1, when it moves to the large conference room at South Burlington City Hall. This space will allow for more parking, easy accessibility in the winter months, and more elbow room to foster continued growth. The Recreation and Parks Department is currently in the beginning stages of planning for a complete re-design of the current O’Brien Center footprint, and hopes to increase the current facility capacity to serve as a neighborhood community center that will house the South Burlington Historical Society as well as host a variety of recreation programs, to include welcoming home the bridge group.

Join me in recognizing The South Burlington Novice Duplicate Bridge Group. They are not only playing bridge, but are building a bridge for continued community connection through life long leisure activity. All those interested in learning more about this novice group are welcome to attend any Thursday night session between the hours of 7 and 9:00 p.m. at their new home in city hall.

SOURCE: Holly Baker, CPRP, Assistant Director, South Burlington Recreation & Parks