|Farewell Address from Bill Pencharz
President European Bridge League
This evening the 44th Generali European Bridge Championships will come to an end. The end of 14 days of top class international bridge competition.
You, the players, are to be congratulated for your dedicated and skilful participation in the four Championships which have been held over the last fortnight. And you are also to be very warmly congratulated for your good humour and good sportsmanship.
The entry in the Ladies Pairs - 129 pairs - has only been exceeded once before and in the Open Teams and the Seniors Teams - 37 and 29 teams respectively - we had the largest participation ever in a Generali European Bridge Championship. And the standard in the Ladies Teams was the highest ever seen.
It is customary and right to take this opportunity of thanking everyone who made the Championships possible. First of all I would like to thank everybody who worked in the Championships - The local organisation under the supervision of Mario Dix, with its charming hospitality staff and fast footed caddies. Technical Co-ordinator, Gianni Bertotto and mis en place by Fulvio Colizzi, Franco Crosta and Giancarlo Suar.
The Duplication Team headed by Natasha Herment, ably assisted by Annie Checkroun, Annamaria Orlandi, Nadia Protogene, Helene Vivier and (lucky man) Alex van Dongen.
Network Manager, Mark Newton Information Systems, including scoring and viewgraph under the magic wand of Professor Gianni Baldi, ably assisted by Manojkumar Nair and a team of ten computer and rama operators.
The Press Room, serenely controlled by Elly Ducheyne and her daughter Caroline Ducheyne. The Line Up, Systems and Hospitality Desks effortlessly run by Corrie Lowerse, Annalie Kooijman, Annaliese & Eric Schmidt-Bott, Monique & Christian Callon, Irena & Janek Chodorowska under the direction of Jan Louwerse.
The marvellous team of EBL Tournament Directors under the leadership of Claude Dadoun and his three lieutenants, Max Bavin and Antonio Riccardi (and congratulations for the arrival of his third son) and Massimo Ortensi.
The Media Team (View Graph and Daily Bulletin) under the dynamic direction of Jean-Paul Meyer with Mark Horton (who also designed the Programme) and a team of dedicated commentators and scribes. The EBL Internet Site by Panos Gerontopoulos and Thanassis Matziaris, the Appeals Committee under Jens Auken's firm grip and with a special mention for Herman de Wael as Chief Scribe.
Our charming Master of Ceremonies and Protocol, Anna Maria Torlontano. And last by no means least that triumvirate in masterful Bridge Championship organisation - Jean-Claude Beineix, Ton Kooijman and Anna Gudge.
To all of you who have worked in the Championship, of whom the people mentioned above are only a few, I again give my grateful appreciation. All of us who have spent the last fortnight in Malta have grown to love this delightful and historic Island.
On behalf of all of you, I am pleased to thank Michael Refalo, the Maltese Minister of Tourism, the National Tourism Organisation of Malta and especially Margaret Parnis-England, the promoter of this Championship.
It would be quite impossible to hold a bridge championship of the quality of the 44th Generali European Bridge Championships without the generous support of our sponsor. Therefore, let me once again say how much the European Bridge League - and indeed all European Bridge Players - appreciate the sponsorship of the Generali Group, the Insurer without Frontiers.
My special thanks go to the Generali Group's President, Alfonso Desiata for his personal interest and support. It has been a pleasure to spend the last fortnight here in Malta. The Island of Malta has been a marvellous host in every possible way.
So, 'Thank You' to all who worked in these Championships. 'Thank You' to the Island of Malta, 'Thank you' to Margaret Parnis England and 'Thank You' to the Generali Group But, most of all, 'Thank You' to all of you - the Bridge Players. It's your Championship and you have made it great
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by Tony Gordon
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