We are very sorry to report the death of former NIBU international player Ken Hawtin. Tribute from Ronnie Morrow below.
‘My earliest recollection of Ken Hawtin was meeting him many years ago, as a relatively inexperienced player, in local NIBU events. At that time he played with Jimmy Paul. They were a formidable partnership on the local bridge scene which culminated in them representing Northern Ireland in the Camrose Trophy.
Some years later, after I moved to Bangor, I found myself playing in the same local bridge clubs as Ken. He approached me for a game. I accepted with no little trepidation – unsure if my level of bridge would meet the standards he set. That was 30 years ago and we have been regular partners ever since.
The onset of Covid meant that the partnership had to move online. Ken, who was a self confessed technophobe, took to it like a duck to water – although I did receive the occasional phoned Help Desk request! Ken was unfailingly polite to partners and opponents alike. I do not recall him ever admonishing me for a bad bid or bad play – though he had plenty of opportunity. In his prime, his card play was second to none – I learnt a lot of the more subtle elements of card play wh
‘en sitting opposite him at a card table. In summary, Ken was that rarity in both bridge and life – a real gentleman – spelt as either one word or two.”