I have been friends with Lorna Newnham for many many years, and for all of that time she was a staunch supporter of the Brisbane Bridge Centre, and until her health started to wane, she was a regular player at our Bridge sessions. Until the tragic early death of her only daughter Tracey, also a staunch BBC supporter and Club Secretary, Team Newnham were a big part of the successful BBC operations week after week. In the eighties we were moving from rented venue to rented venue, with no place to set down roots, and Lorna started negotiating with the Brisbane Ladies Bowling Club to rent the top floor of their clubhouse adjacent to Souths Rugby Union Club at Annerley.
Just before these negotiations were completed, other club members saw a house for sale just down the road from the premises we were currently renting opposite Boggo Road Jail, and a Special General Meeting was called to decide on which option to proceed on. At the SGM it was decided to put an offer in for the house and the BLBC were notified of the decision. However, after the appropriate notices were posted, the local residents objected to the establishment of a Bridge Club in the house, and the Brisbane City Council vetoed the sale.
We subsequently moved to Souths Rugby League Club at West End, where we were very happy, and at one stage SRLC were thinking of building an extension to house our club on a permanent basis. Then out of the blue Lorna received a telephone call from the President of the BLBC who told her that the club had been losing money for months and were vacating their premises to be a co-tenant with the Mens Club a few kilometeres away, and asked if BBC were interested in taking over their clubhouse. Of course we were, and we moved in towards the end of 1990 and have been there ever since. At our welcome BBQ, attended by the President and Secretary of the BLBC, the President told Lorna that since their new arrangement with the Mens Club, for the first time in years they have been making a profit each month.
After Tracey’s death Lorna continued to work hard at making BBC a welcoming place for people to play bridge, being the occasional Club President and goodwill person, and this culminated in her being made a Life Member of BBC.
Lorna recently had her 95th birthday, and it was only this year that her failing health prevented her from regular games of Bridge at the club.
She was a great lady, a good friend and we will miss her.