by Joyce Skelton
It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the sudden death of John Cattanach.
John Cattanach worked consistently harder than any other member of the Worcestershire CBA committee since joining it some 20 or so years ago and he was involved in getting people interested in bridge for the whole of that time. He had a spell introducing bridge into the local schools using MiniBridge and was an enthusiastic Regional Officer for the EBU. Latterly he used Bridge For All and MiniBridge to teach adults – and very successfully too - his students have done well in national beginners events. He was at the forefront of bridge teaching in Worcestershire and campaigned actively for the promotion of the game both in the county and further afield. Many players have John to thank for introducing them to our wonderful game; thereby enriching their lives
When he joined the WCBA committee he proposed a rubber bridge competition, to be organised for charity and aimed at duplicate and non-duplicate players alike. With the help of sponsorship this regularly rose over £1000 for charity, and did the entire organisation himself. John was for many years the County’s membership secretary, and was efficient in this as in all that he did. Many years ago he also took over the county’s newsletter, expanded it – often writing large parts of it – and increased its frequency. Printing the newsletter often involved driving miles, so he could call in a favour - its organisation and distribution was a considerable task!
Throughout the years John was a positive force on the committee, ensuring that things were dealt with and standards were maintained. His leadership was recognised when he was asked to be our Chairman on several occasions.
In every sense John was a larger than life character: well over six feet tall and with a voice – and his Scots burr – to match. Known to many bridge players, he was charming and responsive to them all. Partnering him was a joy – he would always tend to look for his own possible errors first.
He will be very sorely missed and our heart felt and deepest sympathies go out to his wife Rosemary and their family.