Gordon Johnstone

Gordon Johnstone was EBU Chairman from 1946 to 1948. During that time the EBU began producing its own members magazine. This article is taken from the first edition of the publication - Contract Bridge Journal - and highlights some of his contributions to the EBU and English bridge.

Gordon Johnstone appears as the first Personality in this Magazine, not only because he inaugurated it but by virtue of his Chairmanship of the English Bridge Union. For this onerous task, Johnstone has three supreme qualifications:
1. He is so experienced a person in public affairs that he holds posts of distinction on no fewer than eight public bodies, ranging from the trusteeship of the Cheltenham District Savings Bank to the secretariat of an association of electric 'power companies.
2. He is such a glutton for work that he conceived, organised, arranged the finance for, and generally supervised the Cheltenham Bridge Congress - a triumphant success - in the minutes snatched from other (and more profitable) activities; so hardworking, in fact, that he has only one complaint - that every day holds but 24 hours, every week but seven days.
3. He possesses so demoniac an ambition, so sublime a confidence, so irrepressible an optimism that he has already gone on public record to the effect that he will not be satisfied until the E.B.U. has a membership of 50,000 and this Magazine a circulation of equal dimensions.

In addition, the E.B.U. owes the very form of its existence to him already: he, with G. F. Stapleton Harris, drafted its constitution in 1939.

Scottish-ancestored, Yorkshire-born, Gloucestershire-resident, he unites the shrewd determination of the one to the kindly, rock-like steadiness of the other. The two are flavoured by his metropolitan experience.

So far as Contract goes, Johnstone has played with distinction, largely in the hottest schools of the North where he has made an appreciable mark; has written both in the North and the West.

Not the least valuable of his bridge assets is his membership of the Card Committee of the Portland Club - a position really required by the Chairman of the E.B.U.

Johnstone, still comfortably short of forty, can cram more into his life - his appetite has a Yorkshire zest - than most. He ranks among his hobbies not only bridge but chess, at which he has only just short of ranking-player status; and golf, which he plays off a handicap of 6.

Bridge does not figure in his list of hobbies. That, to him, is business - Big Business. It surely will be if he hits the 50,000 mark at which he aims.

Gordon - our founder - carries our hopes: not merely because we shall succeed with him and suffer if he suffers; but because he has set before the not-so-small world of card-players the good democratic slogan that will characterise his tenure of office: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number.