MIT/DL Bridge Club - A Brief History

The club started at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, now the Draper Laboratory, in the mid-1960s. The first constitution for the club was drawn in 1966. I first played at the club soon after, with my father.

Arthur Boyce was the club manager from the 1960s through the early 1980s. However, the power behind the scenes was Sam Smith, who made things work. At one point, Sam told my father and several other stalwarts of the club that they were life members of the club. In the early days, people tended to rotate through the various duties, but toward the end of his tenure, Arthur was doing almost everything. Then he passed away suddenly.

Gary Schwartz, my good friend and predecessor as Club Manager, said that Sam came around and started handing out the jobs: President, Secretary, ... he told Gary, Arthur died; you're the Club Manager. That excellent choice stuck for the next 22 years. I took over as Club Manager in 2006.

My father gave me a packet of papers that he had from Sam, with a note in Sam's writing, dated 1/21/95. The papers were not so readable, so I have entered them using BridgeComposer, but I scanned the note. [Neither Pete nor I remember the parallel happening Sam mentions. The starred name in the Bermuda Regional Bulletin of January 30, 1982, was Bob Felicetti, earning points for a 6-16 places Swiss Teams tie (clearly decided by matches, not the modern victory points).] Sam apparently passed away later in 1995, because the annual charity game in November took on the name "Sam Smith Memorial Charity Club Championship" for five years.

- Pete Matthews, Jr.


  A Tribute to Sam Smith
PDF Note from Sam Smith to Peter Matthews
PDF A Fine Feeling of Triumph When It's Least Expected, by Alan Truscott, New York Times - 1982 article about Sam
PDF Never Give Up Hope - 1982 Bermuda Regional Bulletin article by Sam Smith
PDF The President Is Outdone - 1982 Bermuda Regional Bulletin article about Sam


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