by Judith Sanis, GCBA
There will be many bridge players in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and the rest of the country who will be saddened to know that Derek Rue died on 10th July 2018, just after his 84th birthday. His regular presence in the Cheltenham Bridge Club will be missed by his many partners and his friends.
Derek was born in Northern Ireland before the second world war and he went to school in Worcester. He was only nineteen when he took the civil service exam and moved to Cheltenham.
Derek joined the GCHQ as an executive officer in 1953. During a long and very successful career he held a number of increasingly challenging operational and administrative posts. His final appointment was as Head of the Security Division responsible to the Director GCHQ for all security matters within and across the department. He retired in 1994 as a member of the Senior Civil Service.
Derek was an important figure in the history of the Cheltenham Bridge Club and Gloucestershire County Bridge Association. In 1966 he was one of the founder members of the Cheltenham B.C. with the foresight to purchase the lovely building in Tivoli Road. The conversion into a splendid playing space has given one of the top bridge clubs in the country a permanent home that is shared with the county association. In the decades since, he was a regular member of the committees of the Bridge Club and the County Association, fulfilling a number of roles in each. In 2010 he received a Dimmie Fleming Award for services to bridge.
Derek first came to prominence as a top county player in the 1960s and was a regular winner at county and national level in the decades since, right through until this year. He helped Gloucestershire win the Tollemache Cup in 2007. Derek represented England’s Senior Team in the European Championships and the World Olympiad in 2004, and he was also a silver medallist in the 2001 European Bridge Pairs Championship. He wore his England blazer with pride.
Derek also found time to enjoy sport. He was a life member of Worcestershire County Cricket Association and watched them regularly. Some of us will also know how much he enjoyed a social round of golf.
Most importantly Derek was a very good friend to so many of us. His excellent conversation, his knowledge of world affairs, his wit and his kindness will be a loss to us all.
Dimmie Fleming Award citation 2010
Derek Rue has been a well known figure in Gloucestershire bridge since the 1960’s. He first joined the GCBA Executive Committee in 1966 and apart from a four year spell spent working abroad, he was continuously a member of the committee until his retirement last May. During that 44 year period he filled many roles including President, Secretary and Treasurer. Derek was always a calm guiding influence prepared to undertake any task that benefited County members.
Derek was also one of the founder members of Cheltenham Bridge Club. In 1966 along with 11 other bridge players funds were raised to purchase No: 4 Tivoli Road and the club was formed. It has become one of the top 5 clubs in the country and currently has 500 members. Derek has worked tirelessly on the club committee. Carried out Chairman duties and has been a Club Trustee since 1988. He has represented the club in many competitions with great success including winning the prestigious Garden Cities Trophy on two occasions. He was also a silver medallist in the 2001 European Bridge Pairs Championship.
Derek is always willing to offer a helping hand to the less experienced with his wealth of knowledge. An extremely likeable man who deserves recognition for his considerable contribution to bridge at all levels.
Major International Appearances
Senior European Championships: 2004
Senior World Olympiad: 2004
Tollemache Cup winner: 2007