Shirley Waymouth

Thank you Shirley

Unless one is a "dedicated follower" of competitions and the various cups and trophies the Hamilton Club use to identify its numerous competitions one could be excused for not knowing who Shirley Waymouth was. Shirley was a very long term member of Hamilton Club, joining back in the early sixties and being active through until the nineties. In 1990 she was recognised for all she had done for the Club being awarded Life Membership to the Hamilton Bridge Club. The Club's Friday players in the Richmond room still compete for the Waymouth Trophy for the annual Championship pairs.
Life was more difficult back when Shirley started bridge - no computers or dealing machines so her passion for scoring as described below meant a tough job compared with today..... It wasn't that easy for the players either - at the end of the session there was no just walking away - the cards had to be all sorted by suit and value before being returned to the holders !

Shirley passed away at the end of 2022 but as a final act of great generosity bequeathed the sum of $10,000 to the Club. The committee is investigating what this generous sum can be used for, as we would like the "item" to be something Club members can see, admire or use on a regular basis. If any member has a suggestion these are welcome - pass them along to the committee or the Club's secretary

The Club has in a small way started the process by re-naming the Hamilton Congress Open Pairs which is played annually at Labour Weekend to the Hamilton Shirley Waymouth Pairs, The first playing of the event with its new name takes place next month on the 21st October @ Hamilton's Labour Weekend Congress

Shirley Waymouth  Life Nomination

The 1991 Life Membership Nomination to the late Shirley Waymouth -

Shirley Waymouth  Life Nomination


Shirley Waymouth

This tribute is from the NZ Bridge website .

Thanks, Shirley. A Tribute to the late Shirley Waymouth

A Life Member of New Zealand Bridge, Shirley Waymouth, passed away on 16th November this year. Born on 13th May 1927, Shirley was 95. Her first name was Joan but she only ever used her second name.

She was born in Mangaweka but lived most of her adult life in Hamilton. She is survived by many nephews and nieces. She had three sisters but never married.

Shirley was Life Member both of the Hamilton Bridge Club as well as of New Zealand Bridge.

A teacher of mathematics, it was thus not surprising that Shirley got into scoring not just at the Hamilton Bridge Club but all around the Waikato. Her teaching took her to Hamilton Girls High School where she was a very popular teacher and became Deputy Principal until she retired around 1982. She learnt to play Bridge at the Hamilton Bridge Club but preferred the social to the competitive side of the game. Shirley was a quiet but a very organised person.

When Arthur Head organised a team of scorers, he got Shirley involved and she loved it.

She was a very competent director as well but her main passion was in scoring….and these were the pre-computer days, the days of hand-scoring.

In 1999, she gave a speech at the Hamilton Club in honour of Rosalie Rosevear who was her scoring partner for many years and who was retiring. As we remember what scoring used to be like, here are Shirley’s own thoughts.

“I started scoring tournaments in the early 1960’s with Arthur and Doris Head and Pam Tong. When they gave up, Rosalie offered to help and for years, we scored tournaments from Taupo to Huntly, Tauranga and Rotorua, Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Morrinsville and Cambridge.

It was in the days of manual scoring, no machines to help. We had a system. I would match-point the cards and Rosalie would fill in the North-South recap sheet. Then, she would add that sheet while I filled in the East-West one. She would then add while I started on the strips. If Rosalie did not balance, my job was then to check for a match-pointing mistake.”

Shirley reflected that in those days clubs did not have their own club-rooms and that the hired rooms did not all have places for scorers. They scored “in draughty passages, or amongst the food in the kitchen. At Taupo, we were put in a caravan, at Mt Maunganui in the broom cupboard and at Thames in the ladies’ toilet (a spare one!). At Putaruru, where bridge was played in the football clubrooms, we were below the men’s changing-room… and at one tournament, we were taken to a house about a mile from the club-rooms. We were told to ring when we were ready and they would pick us up…but the phone at the club-rooms was “off the hook” and they had locked us inside the house! We escaped out of a window and ran back to the club-rooms with the results!”

“Eventually, we got a programmable computer and life was easier when George Sherrell was directing as he came in to help.” However, there was a trip to Te Aroha. Shirley and Rosalie were asked to score but were met at the club-rooms door by a man who said “I’m from Auckland and my wife is playing in the tournament. I have written a scoring program and I would like to score today on this computer. They can pay you and you can go home!”

Neither would budge but eventually they agreed both to score the event. It seemed Rosalie and Shirley scored the first session while the Aucklander set up and scored the session in the afternoon getting the same result. Then, they both scored the second session…and Rosalie and Shirley finished first!

Eventually, though, computers took over and Rosalie and Shirley became redundant. Not so, though, at the National Congress, where Shirley was employed, as well as scoring, to deal the boards, something she did for at least 14 years. She scored the first National Congress by hand but it became easier when computers were introduced. Doris Eldridge was her helper there. Arie Geursen, Chief Director in those early Congresses, described her as so well organised. She had to be, too, as the scoring room in those early Rotorua Congresses, was upstairs in the hotel loft! No flash scoring/dealing facilities there.

At National Congress, she dealt initially by hand (her house was filled throughout the year with all the boards she hand-dealt in advance) but later bought her own dealing machine which she donated to the National Congress Organisers on her retirement. She was a stalwart of bridge in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty area, dealing, directing and scoring and in 2000 was recognised as such with Life Membership of New Zealand Bridge.

In a tribute to Shirley on receiving Life Membership, New Zealand Bridge Magazine’s Editorial commented: “ Shirley has transcended the pre and post computer eras and has given immense pleasure to so many by her efforts. She never sought the limelight. For once, she has it… and deservedly so.”

Richard Solomon

Thanks to Judith Malcolm, Arie Geursen and Malcolm Smith for sharing their memories of Shirley.