YCBA President and former chairman
PHILIP MASON (14.04.38 – 05.06 21)
It is with profound sadness to have to report that the YCBA President and former Chairman has passed away in hospital following an accident on 10 May 2021.
Philip was born in Lincolnshire and attended Alford Grammar School before graduating at Hull University where he met his wife Janet. On taking up his first teaching post at Malton School (where he taught until his retirement in 1993), he was taught to play bridge by Alan Martindale (a fellow teacher and life- long friend) quickly developing a passion for the game. Whilst combining successful teaching careers and raising their daughter Julia, Philip and his wife played bridge at the highest level particularly enjoying many successes in team events with other couples. Such was his love of bridge that when his daughter announced she was getting married he provided a set of dates that he and Janet were available so as not to clash with any bridge commitments.
He was a leading member of Malton Bridge Club for more than fifty years and details of his accomplishments can be found on the Malton Bridge Club website. Philp also introduced many new players to the game and taught many beginners and improvers and one of his recent students quoted ‘he was also an excellent and patient teacher with a delightful sense of humour’ and adding that the sessions were often the highlight of the week.
Not only was Philip an excellent bridge player and teacher he was also and will be best remembered for his contribution as an outstanding administrator for the game. He was elected to the YCBA Management Committee serving as Vice-Chairman to the then chairman Hubert Castle who he succeeded as Chairman in a contested election in 1990. During that time he continued the development of the Yorkshire League the county’s teams of eight event to the envy of other counties with as many as 100 teams taking part on seven Sunday afternoons over the winter months. Other competitions including the annual Yorkshire Congress flourished under his leadership.
His leadership ability along with a flair for organising tournaments saw him elected to the EBU Board of Directors in 1996 serving as Vice-Chairman during the years 2002 – 2006 and elected to the Tournament Committee in 1994 until 2016 serving as Chairman between 1997 and 2002 where he brought the EBU Northern Summer Congress to Scarborough. This became a hugely popular event and for many of the earliest years always coincided with glorious weather and Philip could always start his welcoming speech with a reference to this.
In 2014 Philip announced he would be stepping down as YCBA Chairman in 2015 after completing 25 years’ service and subsequently received a prestigious EBU Silver Award for his services to bridge and was unanimously proposed as YCBA President.
YCBA has lost one of its most dedicated and committed leaders and our deepest sympathy is extended to his daughter Julia, son-in-law Christopher, grandchildren Emma and Stephen and great grandsons Charlie and Oscar, along with his many friends in both the world and outside of bridge. Other interests included sport for which in his younger days he was a qualified football referee and often was a linesman at football league matches and once having to stand in for an injured referee in a top flight match. He also travelled extensively and named the house that he had built ‘Amboy House’ after a town on route 66 one of his favourite travel destinations.
He will be very sadly missed and long remembered in YCBA for being for so long at the forefront of bridge provision for the county.