Even with the upward surge in popularity of digitally generated computer games, the simple, old-fashioned pleasure of sitting down at a card table with a partner for a game of cards cannot be duplicated.
For Rick Cookson Hills, bridge is the card game of choice and he enjoys nothing better than to face his opponent across a bridge table and challenge him or her to a competition.
Cookson Hills wants others to experience the pleasure of playing the game and he would be delighted to see a bridge club formed in Rimbey.
“To my knowledge it (bridge) is the largest competitive game in the world,” he said. “It’s absolutely international in scope.”
Cookson Hills, a retired teacher from the Bentley area, has played the game since he was a teenager.
He was first introduced to bridge when he was being treated for a serious head injury by Dr. Bill Parsons from Red Deer.
“I had a fractured skull after being run over,” he said. “Dr. Parsons thought playing bridge would help me recover from my injuries faster as it was a new skill to be acquired. He also encouraged me to write with my left hand.”
The teenage boy found he enjoyed the game and it wasn’t long before he became proficient enough to pit his skills against other accomplished players.
Now, many years later, Cookson Hills is happy to spend time playing and teaching bridge.
“It is an intelligent use of leisure time and it’s a wonderfully ethical, moral game. When I’m playing bridge I can forget what time it is.”
The long-time bridge player organized a club in Rimbey in the late ’70s. Players came from Edmonton and Calgary to take part in tournaments hosted by the club.
Cookson Hills would like to see a similar club running again. Any proceeds the club generate would go toward Rimbey Municipal Library, he said.
Anyone interested in taking part in a bridge club may contact Cookson Hills at 403-748-2407.
Bridge is a trick-taking game using a standard 52-card deck. It is played by four players in two competing partnerships with partners sitting opposite each other around a table.
Millions of people play bridge worldwide in clubs, tournaments, online and with friends at home making it one of the world’s most popular card games.