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North Coast bridge and canasta players rally for St Luke’s Home of Healing

Salt Rock resident Vanessa Armstrong will be representing South Africa at the 46th World Bridge Team Championships in Morocco in August.

More than 140 women rallied to the cause of St Luke’s Home of Healing, playing bridge and canasta to raise funds for the non-profit on Tuesday at Christ Church North Coast in Umhlali.

The aim of the fundraiser is to enable St Luke’s to install alternative power sources, such as solar panels, to help keep the lights on when loadshedding strikes.

The non-profit organisation, based at Kearsney inland from KwaDukuza, sees to the needs of the mentally and physically handicapped and is home to 26 children and three assisted-living people.

Di Paterson, Sandra Moodie and Ray Thompson.

So far donations linked to this initiative have reached R25 000. The target is R50 000.

St Luke’s monthly power bill averages R26 000, with St Luke’s Sue Rowland explaining running costs were high and an alternative power source would help bring these down.

Part of the fundraiser crew was North Coast Bridge Club member Vanessa Armstrong, who will be representing South Africa at the 46th World Bridge Team Championships (WBTC), known as The Venice Cup, in Marrakech, Morocco in August.

Vanessa Armstrong will represent South Africa at the world championships in August.

Armstrong is the daughter of late Margie Hulett, who was the last North Coaster to represent the country at the WBTC in 2007. Armstrong represented the country in 2019, but failed to make it to the finals.

“We hope to do better than the quarter-finals,” said the Salt Rock resident.

She will compete alongside five other South Africans from Cape Town and Johannesburg against the world’s finest bridge players.

She and the team secured their spot at the WBTC after online South African trials earlier this year, followed by the Africa zonal tournament where they claimed silver and the Morocco team claimed gold.

Frances Tremearne, Nicky Labuschagne, Caz Lambie and Janet Downes.

Armstrong said unlike other countries competing, South Africa is completely self-funded and self-taught, with herself having learned bridge from her mother and honing her skills over the years.

“We might not have had access to the same training as the others, but we will give it all we’ve got,” Armstrong said.

Should you wish to assist St Luke’s Home of Healing, contact Sue Rowland at 079 696 3782.

The North Coast Bridge Club meets every Friday from 8am at Yami’s in Salt Rock, and welcomes other players at R40.

Members pay an annual R100 membership fee, and R30 thereafter per meet. Contact Kitty Phillips at 083 455 6275 for more information.

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