Dr Donald Neill

Don Neill took an active interest in bridge while in his teens when he played at the premises of the old Brisbane Bridge Club in Adelaide Street. He first came to prominence as an administrator when, as President of the newly-formed Brisbane Bridge Club, he was chairman of the Committee of Management of the QBA in 1961 and 1962. Later he was elected President of the Association for a two year term.

He served on the QBA Council for nine years and, because of his technical knowledge and playing skill, he was always a member of Tournament and Selection committees. It was his suggestion that the QBA introduced trials to select Queensland teams.

For many years he was a State Councillor for the ABF and President of that body in 1965.

He is well remembered in Brisbane as one of those who founded the Queensland Contract Bridge Club and he was actively associated with the purchase of the property at 17 Manning Street, South Brisbane. In hindsight, this ambitious act broadened the base of bridge in Queensland, led to increased QBA membership and set an example to many clubs in Queensland to acquire their own premises. He had faith in the growth of the game when there was a mere handful of members {one hundred odd) in the Association. He was President of BBC for four years and the QCBC for one year.

In 1954 he was selected to represent Queensland at the Australian National Championships and he held his position in the Open Team almost continuously to 1969, three times as captain. Queensland’s first national success, as far as the Open Team was concerned, came under his captaincy in 1967 when Queensland won the Victor Champion Cup.

In 1966, with Tom Landy, he won the Gold Coast Pairs Championship – at the time of writing, the only Queensland pair to have this honour, He was also successful in many State Pairs and Teams Championships.

He left Queensland for overseas in 1969 and, on his return to Australia, it was Queensland’s loss when he took up residence in Sydney and commenced practice there. He is always assured of a warm welcome on his too infrequent visits to Brisbane.