The American Bridge Association
SOUTHWESTERN SECTION

History & Archives

Sectional Vice-Presidents

 

 

Ace Hi DBC San Antonio

 

Barton - Galley

 

Dallas-Fort Worth DBC

 

Earline Winn

 

Greater Houston DBC

 

Houston – Pioneers

 

Jet Setters DBC

 

Mary Ann Is Back

 

Metropolitan DBU (MDBU)

 

Park Manor DBC

 

Southwestern Section

 

Texarkana Port Arthur DBC

 

University DBC

 

Young Professionals

 DBC

Missouri City DBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 Duplicate Bridge In Houston And The Southwestern Section

 

The GREEN LIGHT was turned on in Houston by the late Dr. Thomas A. Fletcher. Dr. Fletcher had moved to Texas and adopted Houston as his home. Shortly after his arrival, he invited a friend, Mr. Rosseau to teach the mechanics’ and particulars of the game of bridge to several interested persons.

           Another Legendary pioneer, Carter Wesley, helped Dr. Fletcher and Mr. Rosseau sponsor the first ten table game which was held at St. Lukes’s Episcopal Church. Verdell (Miss Dell) Narcisse, Georgia Webster, Durword Collins and James Clay placed as winners.

       

The interest soared and waned for a period of time. Then, in 1949, Mr. William C. Prestwood moved to Houston and joined . Dr. fletcher and others in conversation about duplicate bridge and the advantages of affiliation with the American Bridge Association. Mr. Prestwood had lived and played duplicate bridge in New Jersey and was a participant in the first tournament held in Buckroe Virginia in 1933. Mr. Prestwood motivated players and encouraged Floyd Tate, Norman Cavitt, Doyal Branch, Durward Collins, Corry jones and Louis Smith to travel to New Orleans and Mobile for regional tournaments.

 

They traveled regularly, and Prestwood developed a “ClubForce” system that he thought was unbeatable. After a visit or two to New Orleans and Mobile, the”travelers” were battered, beaten and outraged with the “Club Force” . They abandoned this system and began to re-group. In the mean time enough interest was still aglow to organize a club and these early pioneers set out to do just that. The stage was set for the beginning of duplicate bridge in organizational form in the great state of Texas and the great city of Houston.

 

Greater Houston Duplicate Bridge Club

 

          Greater Houston Duplicate Bridge Club became the first official Houston organization. Mr. Durword Collins became the first president and remained in that position for ten years. Floyd Tate became the club director and bridge play in an organized club manor was started at Hester House, a Fifth Ward neighborhood center. Joseph Raibon, Ruby Ellison, Hortense Lane, Joe Lane, James Clay, Laura Sands and George Sands along with the previously mentioned persons were active players.

          Arthur Robinson from St. Louis, who was stationed nearby at Ellington Air Force Base, came aboard as an energetic organizer and certified director. In 1962 the club moved to the “Third Ward” area YMCA and later to the Postal Alliance Building and gained the interest of:

Postal Alliance Building and gained the interest of: Lillie Hall

Joshua McAfee

Natilda George

Lillian Graham

Flora Jones

Elga W. Steward

Wanda Rager

Curtiss Robinson

Ollie Guydry

J. Clarence Davis

Clyde McGaffey

Janice Brooks

Dr. John Williams

Gloria Hobbs

Isaac Moorehead

Al McAfee

as New Players

 

 

 

 University Duplicate Bridge Club

 

           In 1957, William Prestwood, Laura Sands and George Sands, who were charter members of Greater Houston, Along with Odessa Sayles founded a second club, the University Duplicate Bridge Club and moved its members back to Hester house were George and Odessa worked. Sam Price, who with his assistant Bob Reid, played a little bridge was persuaded to include bridge as a scheduled activity. The Sands and Prestwood had not been happy with the move of Greater Houston to the third Ward and they along with:

Renetta Etter

Erma Walton

Bertha Loper

Hortense Lane

Joe Lane

Delores Mott

Thomas Williams

Molly Gray

Nannie Brown

Joe Tillman

became University Duplicate Bridge Club. Now bridge in Houston was looking up; we had two clubs and fierce

competition began to flow

 

 

 

Young Professionals Duplicate Bridge Club

 

                In 1959 Mrs. Erma Walton totally grasped the bridge fever and started “bugging” everyone in ear shot about this fascinating game of duplicate bridge. Mrs. Walton organized the Young Professional Duplicate Bridge Club which also played in the Third Ward area. Mrs. Walton additionally organized the Kibitzer affiliate and brought in more new players than anyone else at any time then or now. This was one of the biggest highlights of bridge in Houston. Mrs. Walton was also known for calling players married or not any time of morning or late at night. In terms of enthusiasm and the number of new players recruited, Mrs. Walton could easily be termed the “Mother” of duplicate bridge in Houston, Texas.

 

 Metropolitan Duplicate Bridge Unit (MDBU)

 

The Metropolitan Duplicate Bridge Unit of Houston was organized in 1960. The Unit Prospered under its first president Dr. John Williams and subsequent successors:

Erma Walton

Mary Ann Hudson

Carrie McAfee

Louis Ray

Lionel O. Barton

Wanda Rager

Conseula Broussard

Earline Winn

Clarence Thompson

Clifton (King Bee) Smith

Clarena Richardson

Fred Carvin

 

 Ace Hi Duplicate Bridge Club of San Antonio

 

San Antonio, in the meantime, had been active in National games and the New Orleans regional games. After 1954 Th Ace Hi Duplicate Bridge Club  of San Antonio began participating in the Houston tournaments.

C.D. Collins

Novella Collins

L.E. Askey

Mamie Holmes

Ellan Van Dyke

Calvin Kennedy

Alice Kennedy

sponsored the first San Antonio Regional in 1958

 

 

 

 

Park Manor Duplicate Bridge Club

 

 

Park Manor Duplicate Bridge Club of Galena Park Texas was organized by Mrs. Nannie Brown in 1972 and

this new club began sponsoring regional games in 1972.

 

 

 

 

 Dallas-Fort Worth


          Dallas-fort Worth organized and began sponsoring regional games in 1971.

 

 Jet Setters Duplicate Bridge Club

 

Houston in the mean time was on an all time high where Mrs. Vivian Donnell and her partner, Mrs. Margie Dixon were having so much fun at duplicate play that Vivian wanted her parlor bridge friends to share in the fun. She then drew from the parlor bridge circles a group of forty women and began a house-to-house play. From this group Earline Winn formally organized the “Jet Setters” with Mr. Robert Latham serving as its first president in 1971

This new club began sponsoring regional games in 1972.

 

 

 

 

Texarkana – Port Arthur Duplicate Bridge Clubs

 

 

          Unfortunately the Texarkana and Port Arthur clubs of the 1960’s have faltered and are no longer chartered.

Subsequent efforts to reactivate these clubs have failed, but efforts continue.

 

          Efforts to organize in Prairie View, Galveston and Oklahoma City have met with little success at the time this was Written, but efforts will continue. The Beaumont club survives and our current Sectional Vice-President Mrs. Lela Wilson lives there.

 

 Greater Houston and the ABA

 

Greater Houston Duplicate Bridge Club became affiliated with the ABA as early as 1953 when Durward Collins paid for his non-playing wife and son in order to have eight members to submit for its first charter, but it was not until 1954 that Houston held its first regional game. Because there were yet dissenting members, this was almost a crusading effort on Durward’s part, for he did all of the planning and most of the work. Joe Bloom of New Orleans came and directed free of charge and was a guess at Durwards home. The same traveling players Floyd Tate, Norman Cavitt, Doyal Branch, Durward Collins, Corry jones and Louis Smith continued to blaze the tournament trail and from inspired conversations with Leonard Jefferson and Joe Bloom they began to develop interest in joining or developing a section. Prestwood is given credit for houston’s becoming part of the Southern Section.

 

 Systems And Conventions

 

Doyle Branch and Clyde McGaffey were the first to build extensive bridge libraries and introduce “systems” and  “conventions’ to local play. Prestwood published his “Short Club.” Both Doyle and Prestwood held winning partnerships with “Miss Dell.” They each would read the books and tell Miss Dell about them. Miss Dell became an expert player and did a magnificent  job of promoting duplicate play. Although she was ill most of her playing years she was a winner both locally and nationally. Miss Dell devoted much of her time to encouraging good players to

practice and compete. She was adamant in her teachings with new players to learn the little things that one did not get from books. Prestwood and Miss Dell were the first in Houston to become well known in national competition.

 

 The Southwestern Section

 

          In 1961 Greater Houston’s Club President William L.Smith and a committee of:

John L. Williams

Durward Collins

Thomas Grace

Floyd Tate

Doyle Branch

Began an effort to acquire from The American Bridge Association a charter for creating a Southwestern Section. This became a reality in 1963 at the Summer Nationals. The ABA

President Victor Daly appointed Prestwood acting Southwestern Section Vice-President with the responsibility of organizing and holding the first election. Prestwood then went to Texarkana, Port Arthur and Dallas to meet with, to teach and to organize prospective players. The ABA granted charters to Twin City, Acme and Challenge Duplicate Bridge Clubs in their respective cities. Dr. Mary Torian was the first secretary in the Dallas Club, but she later moved to Houston were she remained active and published the first newsletter of the Southwestern Section.

 

First Sectional Meeting

 

Our first Sectional meeting resulted in the election of Calvin Kennedy as sectional Vice-President and Mrs. Hortense Lane as Sectional Secretary. Mrs. Lane passed away and the new ABA rules prevented Kennedy From being re-elected. Doyle Branch and Rancye Brown were elected Section Vice-President and Section Secretary Respectively.

 

 Houston – Pioneers – Drifters – Movers – Workers

 

Prestwood

Doyle Branch

Clifton (King Bee) Smith

Curtis Robinson

Cornell Hobbs

Ollie Guidry

Ruby Ellison

J. Clarence Davis

Clyde McGaffey

Neil Harris

Hortense Lane

Joe Lane

Corry (NoTrump) Jones

Martin Mayfield

Joe Raibon

Janice Brooks

Norman Cavitt

Eleanor Smith

Joshua McAfee

Carrie McAfee

Joe Bloom

Windell Smith

Mildred Pace

George Sands

Naomi Smalley

Isaac Morehead

Matilda George

Gloria Hobbs

Laura Sands

Durward Collins

Marian Womack

Earline Winn

Flora Jones

Alice Kennedy

Floyd Tate

Erma Walton

Elga W. steward

Mary Ann Hudson

Calvin Kennedy

Rancye Brown

Mr. Rosseau

Vivian Donnell

Robert Latham

Carter Wesley

Novella Collins

Mae Clark

Christine Wilson

Thomas A. Fletcher

Corry Jones

Louis Smith

Lillie Hall

Lillian Graham

Verdell (Miss Dell) Narcisse

Wanda Rager

Renetta Etter

Nannie Brown

Odessa Sayles

Delores Mott

Thomas Williams

Molly Gary

Joe Tillman

Fred Carvin

John Williams

Clarena Richardson

Leonard Jefferson

Thomas Grace

Mary Torian

Lela Wilson

Lionel O. Barton

Dwight Galley

 

 

 

 

Barton  -  Galley

 

 

          Today when one thinks of bridge players in Houston, a couple of new comers ('70's) come to mind. The names of Lionel O. Barton and Dwight Galley are respected throughout the ABA, for they are consistently among the top winners in the ABA. Both have worked very hard locally in increasing the number of tournaments and in effectively organizing most of our big promotions into smooth working events. Lionel and Dwight both go about their ways quietly encouraging all players to do their best and work hard. Both have served on national committees and Lionel has served in a number of local capacities. It was during Lionel's regime as Sectional Vice-President that we made our most progress in terms of attracting name players to our area.

 

 

 EARLINE WINN

 

          Mrs. Earline Winn succeeded Lionel, and during her administration the Southwestern Section enjoyed its greatest growth. Earline blazed new trails as the first woman Vice-President of our section and the winningest woman player to represent our section. Her winning ways, hard work and devotion to bridge is legendary in Houston.
          In 1972, the Metropolitan Duplicate Bridge Unit of Houston successfully sponsored the American Bridge Association Summer Nationals under the leadership of Mra. Carrie McAfee who was strongly supported by husban Joshua. The late Joseph Raibon was General Chairman and Elga W. Steward Sr. was the unit secretary.
          In 1980, Big "D" (Dallas) hosted the ABA Summer Nationals. This was a successful effort and a spectacular event in that the "Dallas Aces" (World Champions) conducted a seminar and later played against ABA's top team. The success of this event was largely due to the nurturing efforts of our own affable, lovable and gracious Christine Wilson. Christine recently ran a very organized campaign for Southwestern Sectional Vice-Presidency losing to Fred Carvin.
          In 1986, the MDBU of Houston again hosted the Spring Nationals. Under the leadership of Earline Winn and the cooperative efforts of the entire unit (5 clubs), this event inked in the black for the first time in years.

 

 

 Dwight Galley Sets Record

 

          Dwight Galley of Houston Texas and Somerville new Jersey won the "Friend Race" for 1980. The "Friend Award" goes to the player who accumulates the most masterpoints from January 1, to December 31.
          The 1972 Summer Nationals of the ABA in Houston found Dwight walking around in a state of disbelief. At that time, the winner of the "Friend Award" only had forty National masterpoints to his credit. He was amazed to know that were ABA members who had amassed more than a thousand masterpoints, and since the Nationals were in Texas he had a chance to see some of these "breathing bodies". He did not at this point set out to "get them", but he became a bridge ambassador.
          By the fall of 1972 he had formed a partnership with Lionel Barton of Houston. Lionel was the 1978 "Friend award" winner. This Duo, whom Jackie Sheppard once referred to as the "Texas Tornados" gloriously raked in the masterpoints at home and away from home. By the end of the year Dwight had become a Life Master. The next year he was the Life Master Player of the Summer Nationals in St. Louis. He also became Senior Life Master in 1973. In 1974 he became a Diamond/Ruby Life Master after winning more than three hundred points that year.
          In 1975 Dwight and Lionel became teammates of Joyce Williams and Bob Price, numero uno and six time winner of the "Friend Award'. It took just three more years for Dwight to become a member of the Top Ten of the ABA.

 

 

 Mary Ann Hudson

          The heart of the Southwest bridge community, heavily burdened by the death of Verdel (Miss Bridge) Smith in late April, was given a much lift by the news that Mary Ann Hudson ic coming back to Houston in June.
          Mary Ann left us two years ago to began work on her doctorate at the University of Tennessee. One of the high lights of our annual trek to Memphis' September tournament was seeing and being with her again. She will receive the Doctor of Pharmacy degree  June 2, and get back in time for the Southwestern Sectionals in Fort worth June 8-9.
          She has accepted the position of Clinical Pharmacy at texas southern University wher she received her B.S. degree in the School of Pharmacy and were she was teaching prior to leaving for Memphis. Welcome back Doctor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  


 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 


Doyle Branch

 

 


Leonard Jefferson
 

 

 


Miss Dell
Verdell Narcisse

 

 

 


Elga W. Steward

 

 

 


Lela Wilson

 

 

 


Clifton Smith

 

 

 


Clarena Richardson

 

 

 


Fred Carvin

 

 


John (Doc) Williams

 

 


Thomas Grace

 

 


Calvin Kennedy

 


 

 


Marian Womack

 

 

 

 


Lionel O. Barton


Floyd Tate

 

 


Earline Winn

 


Dwight Galley

 

 

 


Mary Ann Hudson

 

 

 

 

 

 

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