The CBF inducts Reus, Fergani into the Canadian Hall of Fame.
The Canadian Bridge Federation held its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony during the Canadian Bridge Championships at the end of May in Montreal. The 2018 inductees are Sharyn Reus of Summerstown ON and Kamel Fergani of Montreal.
This year’s ceremony began with a short memorial for Eric Murray, one of the original inductees into the CBF Hall of Fame, and also a member of the ACBL Hall of Fame. John Carruthers delivered a remembrance of Murray, with Allan Graves and Michael Roche providing additional remarks.
Sharyn first represented Canada at the 1972 Olympiad Teams in Miami, having played for only three years at the time, finishing a very respectable seventh place. She went on to win 10 Canadian Women’s Team Championships, and she represented Canada 16 times at team events in the world championships, finishing third on three occasions: 1988 (Venice), 1989 (Perth) and 1996 (Rhodes). Sharyn also represented Canada five times in world championship pair events and attained the rank of World Life Master.
Carruthers – who was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame in 2015 – introduced Sharyn: “I had the good fortune to captain Sharyn’s team a few times. She was the perfect partner and teammate: She never made a mistake, and she never criticized her partner, her teammates or, most importantly, her captain, for their mistakes. She and Dianna Gordon were for years the best Canadian women’s pair and one of the best in the world.”
Carruthers also shared comments from other Canadian luminaries who were unable to attend the induction ceremony. Of Sharyn, Eric Kokish wrote, “How proud I am that you always played the game the right way and tried to find the truth.”
Former partner Gordon wrote, “I had the good fortune of sitting South opposite Sharyn’s North for the better part of 40 years! I know, I know … She doesn’t look old enough to make that true, but it is. My motto was, ‘It’s better to play with her than against her,’ because she is such a tigress at he bridge table! Until screens interrupted my vision, I used to enjoy watching her intensity and her very careful craftsmanship as she fought for every single trick in a contract that was usually too optimistic. A bit of a magician is that Sharyn Reus! Her spot in the Canadian Bridge Hall of Fame is anxiously awaiting.”
Kamel Fergani of Montreal has represented Canada seven times at teams in world championship contests, several times in pairs, and served as non-playing captain for the 2011 Canadian Senior team. He has won six Canadian National Team Championships and two NABC events – the 1988 Jacoby Open Swiss Teams and the 2016 Wernher Open Pairs. Additionally, he is a well-respected and well-loved teacher.
Nicolas L’Ecuyer, who was mentored by Kamel as a young player before becoming his regular partner, introduced Kamel. L’Ecuyer described the “six levels of bridge.” “Level 1: learn how to bid. Level 2: learn how to play. Level 3: really learn how to bid. Level 4: really learn how to play. Level 5: really, really, really learn how to bid. And Level 6 – which I am now renaming in honor of Kamel – the Fergani Level – which is to really, really learn and know how to play the game.
“Kamel is a great teammate. And if there was anything complex to play, I would always leave it to Kamel to play it. It’s the best way to optimize our results.” Both recipients thanked their partners, teammates and families, attributing much of their success to them. Kamel especially thanked Francois Gauthier, an early mentor, for teaching him that (a) there were partscores and (b) the opponents were allowed to play a hand! He claimed that he had a hard time passing those lessons on to his presenter, Nicolas.
The inductees received commemorative statues engraved with West Coast Haida symbols. For Sharyn, the salmon, a symbol of persistence and determination; for Kamel, the owl, a symbol of intuition, wisdom and keen sight.