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News of the death of Charlie Schwabegger in early April saddened many people in south-east and central Queensland.
For many years Charlie, most often with his partner Kerrin Daws, came up from Victoria and competed at congresses in Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Rockhampton etc, and invariably did very well. He had much more experience in the game than almost all of us and had accrued what was to us a huge number of masterpoints. In 2010 my sometimes partner (Sylvia Dwarshuis) and I were thrilled to be invited to join him in a team (with Dorothy Gehrke) for the Bundaberg congress in July and even more thrilled when we won. Our delight was heightened when he told us he would be happy to team up with us 'any time'. I last saw Charlie at the Summer Festival of Bridge in Canberra in mid January when his team was very early on pitted against ours. When he sat down at our table, such was the change in his appearance that I at first didn't recognise him. But he beat us, and we were nothing less than relieved that we didn't cop a thrashing. He will be missed not only in Australian Bridge as a whole but in our patch of it in particular.
Les and Audrey Bonnick remember Charlie
Twenty plus years ago Charlie and Kerrin came into our lives, for three months each year they wintered in Hervey Bay. They played Bridge each day and also travelled to Maryborough to play. In those early days Charlie and Kerrin played some Congresses with us even though Audrey had a mere 2+ Masterpoints, Charlie also played with Wayne Choy Show and we almost won a Congress except for two little old ladies we met in the last round who cleaned us up, hence I tell people never trust the dear little old ladies in Bridge Clubs. Kerrin wanted to travel, but Charlie being Charlie always said he had travelled to a Bridge game so that was that. The four of us won the Wide Bay Shield in the early days and it took some convincing to get a photo of Charlie to go in the local paper. Charlie was a gentleman at the Bridge table and away from the Bridge table and never wanted a fuss made, he would play with anyone who asked him, rank meant nothing. Two winters ago a thinner Charlie arrived and even then he said nothing was wrong, last winter he came and he said he was going to overcome this, but now as we are approaching winter, Charlie will not be coming again and we are left with the wonderful memories of happier times. R.I.P. our friend.
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