Meet the Officers

HENRY G. IRWIN,JR.


HENRY G. IRWIN, JR. 
President
Staff Development Chair
Austin, TX
ABA Member – xx Years
Former: Section Vice President, Unit President, Club President



 




ERIC SHELTON 
Vice President
Atlanta. GA
ABA Member – xx Years
Former: Mentor/Mentee Chair



 




Willetta Phipps 
National Secretary
Atlanta. GA
ABA Member – 30 Years
Former: Section Vice President, Unit President, Chair, Atlanta Summer National Tournament




 




MARY M. YOUNG 
Treasurer
Durham, NC
ABA Member – xx Years
Former: ABA Vice President


A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ABA

The desire to compete in the sport of tennis despite the racial barriers of the time resulted in the creation of the American Tennis Association in 1916. The Association often held its matches on college campuses such as Hampton Institute, now Hampton University, and Lincoln University, where adequate facilities were available. One such championship event was held at Hampton in the year, 1932. At the conclusion of the tournament, a group of tennis players, who were also bridge enthusiasts, suggested having a duplicate bridge match in the evening as a form of relaxation. This event, coupled with impetus from the Cromwell School of Contract Bridge in New York City, marked the beginning of the American Bridge Association. Dr. M.E. Dubissette became the first president of the ABA and the first National Bridge Tournament was held in Buckroe Beach, Virginia in 1933.

Growth was eminent for the newly formed ABA. In 1936, the ABA merged with the Eastern Bridge League, a group of New York City bridge clubs. Since this time the ABA has evolved into eight sections:

Eastern, Great Lakes, Midwestern, Mid-Atlantic, Northwestern, Southern, Southwestern,  and Western.

As the ABA continued to grow, attention focused on the need for a permanent home. The ideal of a permanent location was accomplished when a building, which now houses the ABA National Office and ABA memorabilia, was purchased in Atlanta, Georgia in 1994.

Since its inception, the ABA seeks to recognize its achievers and high ranking players. The Merit Award is given yearly to either an ABA or non-ABA member who has rendered meritorious service to the ABA within the previous year. Life memberships are awarded yearly to individuals who have been ABA members for at least twenty years and who have a record of outstanding service at the local sectional and national levels. Other prestigious awards are granted to those players amassing the most points within a calendar year.

Although highlighting the achievements of its own, the ABA also identifies with the larger social arena in which it functions. In 1963, the ABA established the F. Alberta Peterson Scholarship Award. This program has now been incorporated into a broader arm of the American Bridge Association Education and Charitable Foundation, established in 2002. The Foundation mission is to engage in educational and charitable activities, provide scholarships, and facilitate learning opportunities for young and adult citizens.

The vast history of the American Bridge Association is recorded and preserved in several ways. In the 1980s, the American Bridge Association selected the Schomburg Center in New York City to officially house its memorabilia. The ABA National Headquarters showcases artifacts and catalogs ABA documents. In 2005, the American Bridge Association published Defining Moments, a historical package which includes a written chronicle, DVD of oral history, and playing cards. These components depict the movements, forces, and people who helped shape the history of the ABA. The entire package or its components may be obtained from the ABA National Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia

The ABA Mission

ABA MISSION STATEMENT

The members of the American Bridge Association are committed to fostering an environment that stimulates competitive card play, while respecting the basic worth of each participant at every level of performance.

WE ARE COMMITTED TO

  • Recruiting and retaining members of the ABA through a diverse agenda of educational programs and a comprehensive slate of games.
  • Encouraging individual members to upgrade their playing skills and to perform at maximum potential.
  • Providing challenging bridge games in an atmosphere of respect, tolerance, courtesy, kindness and friendship.
  • Promoting, protecting and advocating a spirit of goodwill and positive interaction with local communities.

We recognize that our efforts will never be ending and therefore pledge our commitment to the ongoing task of an optimum setting for the play of duplicate bridge.