May Newsletter + Mark's Report + Survey

snip may

You will have, by now received an email with the May edition of the NSBC Newsletter.

If you missed it, you can find it by clicking on Newsletters

Don't miss our mercurial President's take on how the club is doing - reproduced below.

Also don't forget to complete the survey sent to you a few days ago. You have until Friday to let us know where you think the club should be heading. 


Mark Guthrie - Club President


You often hear people talking about things being like a duck. All calm on the surface and mad chaos under the water.




I think that is a fair way to describe a bridge club. As the president, I was expecting to sit on the duck’s back and wave at the crowds, or on a good day, be hanging off the back waterskiing. It has been a bit of a surprise to find myself under the water getting kicked in the face, especially since I can’t swim ( I honestly can’t ).

However tough a job might be, there is nothing as sweet as when the first pay cheque comes in. I’ve been hitting refresh on my online bank statement since the middle of the month, to no avail. Finally, I called Kit Myers, our accountant to check up on things.

“Can you say that again? said. I’m not sure I follow.” I said.

“For the third time, THE PRESIDENT DOESN’T GET PAID.”

I was imagining Kit as Neville Bartos in Chopper “There’s no cash here. Here, there’s no cash."

     “Typical of the mistakes I make.” I said, “Imagine me taking the only honorary committee position that doesn’t get paid!”  

“Er... Nobody on the committee gets paid.”  

This could make some of the promises I had employed to get people to take the more difficult positions a little hard to follow through on. Still 20% more than the last person is technically still zero.  

“I get it, Kit.” I replied, with a knowing wink, which was a bit silly because we were talking on the phone.

“I’ve worked in these situations before. Expenses are King. Work lunches, taxi rides to the club, the odd bit of furniture that gets accidentally delivered to my house. Say no more. I’ll just need a credit card with a decent limit.”  

At this point we seemed to get cut off, so I called him back. Repeatedly.  

Apparently, COVID hasn’t been the blessing it first seemed to face-to-face activities and the club has been losing a small amount of money every month since the government introduced it. Now, I had fully expected my time as president to be a loss-making period for the club, with the club’s losses, being my gains, so to speak. However, if I am not going to be the one profiting then we needed a new approach.  What I needed here was a group of smart people who could come up with my ideas for me, put them into action, and explain to me what had just happened in case anyone asked about it. What I needed was a Committee!   Ideally one that doesn’t get paid. 

“You’re late.”  I turned around quickly. “Who said that?”  

“We did. The Committee.” [Electric Music]  

I saw a group of Spandex-covered, mask-wearing superheroes. And behind them was the committee. 

Shaz “The Lightning” Thompson, who had more ideas before she was born than I have had since, let a long scroll fall out from her hand along the floor towards me. It had little squiggly writing on it and all I could make out was the top that said “Shaz’s Ideas Since 10 Minutes Ago”.  

“I think we should take on chess once we get this sorted.” She said smiling at me.  

Rod “Numbers” Owen was busy typing on his cash register. He looked up and gave me a knowing look too. A look that said, “I can see the Matrix.”  

Jake “Brains” Andrew stood at a collection of virtual computer screens, swiping his hands across them and moving things around. He combined a picture of a group of people with a pack of cards and another pack of cards. I shouted “Snap!” but the screens formed the word “Strategy”.  

Janie “Come to my house after dark next Wednesday” Russ was doing some yoga moves and staying very Zen, ready for the plan to form. I was wondering why her quotey thing in the middle of her name was so long when she pointed out that she had actually said that, hence the quotes, and that was when and where the next committee meeting was being held.  

Carol “Captain Marvel” McMurray was examining an alien lifeform. She looked like she was trying to save it, but the butter sauce in the pan next to her gave away her real intent.  

As they all noticed my arrival, they gave out a collective groan “Oh no, he’s back.”  

Carol looked around the group and asked “Where is Lunch?”  

I thought this was a good idea, even at 9am, but it turns out that Captain Marvel was actually referring to the last member of the Committee, Ian “Lunch” MacLaren who runs one of the largest printer company recycling empires in Sydney. 

Anyway, that is probably enough nonsense for one month. For those of you that prefer your news in bullet point form, here you go: 

  • The club is doing well (but losing money, which we are looking into)
  • The committee is awesome (the staff and volunteers are better, but don’t tell the committee)
  • Bridge is a card game

    Next time I can fill you in more on the strategy work the committee have been doing, cost saving initiatives, and a bunch of growth things that are going on.


    Stay Safe - Eat Chocolate Biscuits - Play Bridge