Today Colin Porch is leaving the EBU after over 15 years of service. We asked him a few questions:
- What have you done at the EBU? Your various jobs, etc! Before coming to work full time at the EBU, I ran the "beginners" events at the Brighton meeting each weekend. I was also heavily involved in writing a computer program for "Current Assignment" Swiss Pairs which was used for the "Great Northern" event for many years. My first job as a full time employee was as Bridge Shop Manager. After some stressful years in that job, I moved on to the Master Points department in 2001.
- How long have you worked at the EBU? I joined the full time staff in May 1994.
- Any funny stories of your time here? During the first of my "Beginner's Weekends" at the Brighton meeting, a few expected players had failed to arrive by the appointed time, and my assistant went off to see if she could find them. We were not in the most accessible part of the Grand Hotel, and it was quite likely that they had gone astray. She eventually found a gentleman who appeared to be lost, and enquired if he was, in fact, looking for the beginner's event. Upon being told that he was, and sensing a certain nervousness, she attempted to put him at his ease and assured him that he would enjoy the experience. I was suitably embarrassed when she brought him in, and asked where he should sit. It was actually Gerard Faulkner, the then EBU Chairman, who had simply wanted to see the beginners settled in and enjoying themselves, although, bless him, he laughed along with everybody else.
- Do you play bridge? Whilst not the total addict that I used to be, I still play regularly, and thoroughly enjoy it.
- What do you do outside the EBU? I play golf (badly) and have just accepted the vice-captaincy of my local club. I still keep my hand in writing computer programs, usually on behalf of the same golf club to score events like their Charity Day, etc.
- What are you going to do once you retire? Former colleagues have pressed me to complete a computer game that I started nearly 20 years ago, and, if I can still remember how to use the equipment, (currently gathering dust in the attic) I shall give that a go.
- How would you encourage more people to take up bridge?
It has always been a mystery to me why those who take up bridge don’t make the effort to become really good players. Most are quite happy with whatever standard they happen to be, and display little interest in improving themselves. Trying to explain the "buzz" they would get if they planned, and executed, a double squeeze seems to fall on deaf ears. I have always equated Bridge with Chess. If you like Chess then you will like Bridge. Both are easy games to play, but both are extremely difficult to play WELL.
- What are your other hobbies/interests? I am a self-taught organist, and can spend hours at a time playing. Luckily, I can use ear-phones so the neighbours don’t tend to complain. I usually start practicing Christmas Carols about September of each year. I enjoy reading, (thrillers mostly) and Agatha Christie and Desmond Bagley are among my favourite authors. I tackle the Times Crossword and Sudoku every day, play Bridge usually twice a week and represent the County against other counties.
- What is your favourite CD/music/band of the moment? I’m afraid that my music tastes are fixed in the 60s and 70s. Today’s music leaves me cold. Favourites include The Hollies, Abba, Simon and Garfunkle and Queen.
- What are your favourite films? Top place has to go to The Sting with Capricorn One close behind. I enjoyed the Indiana Jones movies, but don’t feel the urge to keep watching them.
- What are you reading? The Money Changers by Arthur Hailey. I’ve read it several times before, but I do tend to re-read books that I like.