Faith Pritchard, daughter of the former Alberta Premier Harry Strom, was born in Medicine Hat. She has been happily married to Barry Pritchard for 30 years. Faith moved to Edmonton in 1960 to obtain her B.Sc. in Medical Laboratory Science. After working in Alberta for 18 months, Faith worked at a mission hospital in Zimbabwe for a further 18 months and then returned home to instruct in MLS. Faith’s hobbies outside of bridge include music (she has been the pipe organist at her church for many years), crafts, knitting, and traveling.
Faith’s introduction to bridge was via a plastic tablecloth containing a few helpful rules of how to bid the game. “We used this tablecloth at our lunch hour breaks to play 2 or 3 hands. One of my friends who joined us at lunch worked with Jim Lopushinsky. It wasn't long before I met Jim and was introduced to the bridge club. Lessons from Don Schopflocker increased my interest, and back in the mid- seventies the better players were eager to share their knowledge.”
Faith says: “One thing I like about bridge is that no matter where you travel, there will always be a bridge club. Barry and I have played in many clubs in our travels and have met many wonderful friends. It goes without saying that my favourite partner is Barry. Although there have been many times of riding home together and arguing (or not talking at all) we always agree that bridge is a game we both love. We strive to not talk about hands at the table and to be supportive of each other. The proof of this occurred recently when I went for 2300 (I forgot our convention) and Barry graciously said it was his fault because he should have had a better hand.”
Faith approaches the game of bridge this way: “I want to do the best I can on each hand, but bridge is not life or death. It is still just a game.” Faith’s pet peeve is the alert procedure. “I once alerted my bid and waved the alert card but lost on the board because I did not have the alert card flat on the table. Yet this way of making an alert is never announced.”
Faith recalls that her first bridge tournament was in Edmonton at the MacDonald Hotel. “But if I can play Bridge,” she says, “I'm happy anywhere.” “One of the most amusing things I remember about bridge was at a tournament where a lady laid her dummy down and said, ‘I'm not without assets - unlike my late husband’.” Faith remembers this story from her Bridge experiences: “We played against Bob Hamman and Zia at a national tournament in Orlando, Florida. Barry Shenkin was kibbitzing. After the hand was over, he asked for my name and address, and told me that Zia said he liked my defense and wanted to write about me. All I had done was to smoothly duck my QJ when the 10 was played from dummy. Hamman went up with the K and made 3 instead of 4. The story was written up in the tournament daily bulletin and the Granovetters also expanded on the play.”
Faith’s advice to beginning players is: “If possible, find a regular partner and don't start off with too many conventions. Enjoy the game and be comfortable with the system you play.”