The Victoria bridge community mourns the loss of Merv Adey

We are all saddened by the death of Merv Adey on August 19. Merv was a man of many talents. In addition to being a keen bridge player, director and teacher he was a respected observer of the BC political scene.

Here are some relevant articles from the blogging community:

Tribute by Charlie Smith

Goodbye from Laila Yuile

Tribute by Norman Farrell and link to KEEP A LIGHT ON – MERV ADEY MEMORIAL Fund.

Victoria players who wish to post a tribute or share memories of Merv are invited to send their text for publication on this website. Please send submissions to the webmaster. They will be added as received.


Tributes from Victoria players

What a nice man, a true gentleman!!  He will be truly missed by all who knew him.
Lainey Clark

I first met Merv when I was a fledgling duplicate bridge player over 20 years ago. He was working at Tanner’s Books in Sidney but he managed to play bridge in Victoria often.Years go by and Merv purchased the VBC on Head Street from Frank Ayers. The club quickly transitioned to a place where players of all levels were welcomed.

More years go by and I became Unit President. I saw the potential and skills Merv had to offer as a Tournament Director and with his permission I submitted a request from the Unit Board to ACBL to recommend his appointment as a TD. Eventually this came about and all players benefitted from his knowledge and gentle ways.

As well, during my tenure, ACBL’s Zero Tolerance Policy came into effect. The clubs were required to sign on, and even though the VBC under Merv practiced ZT, Merv signed on formally to ZT.

As a Club Director and a TD Merv went beyond fair. Always non-judgemental, always just to all players regardless of level, always displaying his unique sense of humour.

Merv and I had many quiet talks after games.We discovered a shared love of author John Irving, and years later we attended a film presentation where the author talked about his life and his writings. A great memory!

Merv and I shared political philosophies. His blog, his letters to the editor, his Facebook posts, all respectful, concise and passionate. He walked the walk and took actions to make this little piece of earth a better place. He was respected by all who came to know him. Premier Horgan has expressed his sorrow at hearing the sad news of Merv’s passing.

We have all lost a true friend. Very few people touch our lives in a meaningful way. Merv was one who touched the lives of all who knew him.

Van Buchanan

Merv Adey was responsible for an influx of new bridge players, including myself, when he hired Rita Beny to teach Easy Bridge at the Victoria Bridge Centre. By providing a safe and welcoming atmosphere he encouraged the newer players to get out and play against the “big guys.” He sponsored the Unit Mentor game and at our request, split the Saturday night team game into two sections to encourage novices to come out and play.

Merv was always a true gentleman whether he was playing bridge or directing a game. He was always ready to answer questions and provide advice including sending me several submissions for the Bridge Buzz. RIP Merv. You will be truly missed.

Leslie Wood

What a beautiful, wonderful, kind and humble human being our Merv was!! Victoria’s ACBL community, indeed, was fortunate with Merv taking over the helm of the Victoria Bridge Centre during the incoming 21st Century; attracting and increasing memberships. We will miss his quirky laugh, his calm flair on a director call. Could go on and on…

We cherish your memory, Merv.

Bye Dear Friend,

Sindy Patterson

The day I moved to Victoria in 1986, my friend Muriel Adey dropped by to invite my family to join her family for dinner, and that included her son Merv, so he was the first bridge player I met in Victoria. Since then I grew to respect Merv for his intelligence, consideration for others, and especially his skills at bridge. He was an excellent player, a director who always treated players with fairness and courtesy, and a teacher with a faithful following. He did most of his teaching online on BBO, where he was known as SWERVE. He could be seen on BBO right to the end, and earned over 2,100 masterpoints playing online with students and friends. I am proud to have had Merv as a friend and will miss him terribly.

Delma Murray

I had the privilege of playing with Merv in Mike Ainsley’s evening mentor game. I only knew Merv as a bridge director and was nervous at the prospect of playing with such an accomplished player. After a few boards, Merv put me totally at ease. At the end of the game it was late and Merv said to email him a few questions and he would answer them. I did that and his answers showed me not only his talent for bridge but for writing as well. He ended by saying we will do it again . . . I am so sad that I will not have that chance.

A phrase I learned that night that I often quote – remember, if you are going down “save the furniture”.

Thinking of you

Heather Cozens

As Van says, all players benefitted from Merv’s knowledge and gentle ways.
I cannot go into detail, but there were a couple of occasions when Merv showed me that it’s more than just who’s right or wrong.

Merv always answered my email questions about bidding or playing, and with great advice.
A real class guy who will be missed.

So long Merv.

Bill Birney

This poem was written by Linda Patton in honour of Merv Adey

A sweet and thoughtful man. I enjoyed playing at his club for many years and earned my highest percentage (72%) the one and only time I played with Merv. I am very saddened to hear of his passing and will miss him very much.

I used to work at Tanners where we sold lots of books,
The customers were pleasant and I got no dirty looks.
Now I own a bridge club with all that it entails,
I’m Teacher, Maid and Diplomat to many different players.

Rookies, novices and pros; Victoria has them all,
They think I should stop everything, if and when they call.
Some complain about the coffee, others about the fees,
It’s quite a challenge, catering to their idiosyncrasies.

Duncan must have table one and James and Linda four,
I’m not sure why this is because it doesn’t help their score.
Distractions there are many, each and every day,
But, woe is me if I’m not sharp and give their seats away.

With Partnerships I do my best and always try to please,
But Marylou won’t speak to Sam and Joe can’t stand Louise.
Susie plays two over one and Ben is just beginning,
I hope they have some fun because there’s no way they’ll be winning.

Mike and Marion filled in, when I’ve called and begged,

I won’t be asking them again because they both reneged.
Of course that’s something I‘ve not done in all my bridge career,
But there’s always a first time for everything, I hear.

The lessons on a Wednesday night are something less than droll
But turning rookies into experts
is my ultimate goal.
I try to make it simple by using
Grant and Root,
But one look at their faces tells me they don’t give a hoot.

The water in the kettle must be hot, you see,
For James and Ruth who cannot play without a cup of tea.
must be made for those that cannot take caffeine
And yes, it’s all done with a smile so they won’t think I’m mean.

I have better things to do, I’m sure that they would find,
Than pick up all the cups or mugs that they have left behind.
My mother taught me to pick up my things when
I was through,
I don’t employ a waitress so it’s something
I must do.

The scores I try to enter just as fast as I am able,
But it would really help a lot, if
they don’t crowd the table.
It’s very hectic at that time and can be stressful too,
will announce the winners just as soon as I am through.

It’s very hard to please each one no matter how I try,
Sometimes I get so frustrated it makes me want to cry.
if they call me for a ruling and they have no luck,
Then they can call for Mike or Tim ‘cause I don’t give a . . .darn!

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ACBL Unit 431, Victoria