MARGARET CURTIS (19th September 1933-25th February 2020)
I am sorry to have to report the death of our President Margaret who passed away peacefully at a Care Home in Rugby aged 86. She had been Secretary to the Association for an astonishing 55 years before retiring in 2011. Back in 1996 the then Chairman Mac Grant commented that he was amazed at her grasp of every aspect of bridge both in Essex and the EBU. The late Dimmie Fleming once said to him that Essex was the best run County. So for all those 55 years the County was basically run by Margaret for a while assisted by her husband George as Tournament Secretary. As a player she won most of the Essex Competitions several times and represented the County on numerous occasions.
Her expertise was not confined to bridge, at the age of 20 she played netball for England touring the West Indies. She later became Honorary President of the Essex Netball Association attending all their matches whatever the weather. Her other passion was gardening and up to the age of 80 she was still doing 4 or 5 gardens a week including her doctors!
Returning to bridge she was a major influence with the EBU being a board member for 41 years including a spell as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Tournament Committee.
I would probably be in trouble for this from Margaret as she was not into technology. To try and modernise her the Essex Members bought her a laptop as part of the presentation on her 50th Anniversary as Secretary. Attempts at training did not really work, she returned to her card index system! Very much her own woman.
Our condolences go to her family, at the time of writing details of the service are not yet known, Margaret’s wish however was that any donations in her memory should go to Doctor Barnardos Home in Barkingside. This link leads to a page for donations:- https://www.barnardos.org.uk/
By Tony Philpott (26th February 2020)
Biography for Margaret:
Margaret has been heavily involved in bridge at county and national level of sixty years.
She served on the EBU Board from 1959 to 2000, acting as Vice Chairman from 1984 to 1989. She was also a member of the Tournament Committee from 1989 to 2013, twice serving as Chairman (1990 to 1995 and 2002 to 2005).
Margaret was part of a small committee which proposed the introduction of the Dimmie Fleming Award, and is still a member of the committee which considers the candidates proposed by the counties. She has been part of committees which have organised the European and World Championships held in England - in 1985, 1987, 1989 and 2002.
She received the Gold Award for her services to English Bridge in 2000, and became a Vice President in 2004.
In addition to her work with the EBU, Margaret served on the Executive Committee of the British Bridge League, and also served as Chairman of its Tournament Committee from 1996 to 2001.
She served as Honorary General Secretary of Essex CBA from 1956 to 2011, and then assumed the role of Honorary President. She has attended EBU Council and Shareholders' meetings on behalf of Essex from 1957 to the present day, as was also the organiser of the Eastern Counties League for many years.
As well as being a successful administrator, Margaret has also done well at the bridge table, including victories in the Seniors Congress Teams, Year End Swiss Pairs, and Ladies Pairs.
Amazingly she has also found time to pursue other pastimes to a high level, having played Netball for England in the World Championships, and serving as President of the Essex County Netball Association.
Last updated: October 2016