André Boekhorst, che è nato in Indonesia nel 1934 e si è spento il 24 giugno del 1995 pochi giorni dopo la sua elezione a presidente della EBL, è stato una delle maggiori personalità del bridge olandese tanto che la sua notorietà ha largamente varcato i confini nazionali.
Insegnante di chimica, ha fatto dell'insegnamento e della diffusione del bridge le grandi passioni della sua vita.
Segretario prima e Presidente poi della Federazione Olandese, André si è particolarmente distinto nella diffusione della pratica del bridge agonistico giovanile, facendo levitare il numero dei giovani tulipani iscritti alla Dutch Bridge Federation da 20.000 a 100.000!
André volle fortemente fino a riuscire ad organizzarlo, il primo Campionato Europeo Juniores che si svolse a Praga nel 1968 e che è anche ricordato per l'invasione russa che si verificò dopo soli tre giorni dal termine della competizione.
Qualche anno più tardi, André riuscì nell'impresa di organizzare il primo Junior Bridge Camp che si svolse a Warmensteinach in Germania nel 1976.
Ottimo giocatore è anche stato editore di riviste specializzate e traduttore di diversi testi tanto da essere premiato dalla International Bridge Press Association come personalità dell'anno 1991.
André Boekhorst was born in 1934 in Indonesia. He studied chemistry and became a school teacher. Teaching at school and administering bridge were his two great loves.
Boekhorst was the kind of person who was liked by everybody. His pupils at the school in Rotterdam just loved him - and so did thousands of bridge players both in Netherlands and the rest of Europe.
A keen player, Boekhorst once made it to the Dutch national team, but he mainly concentrated on bridge administration.
He was elected member of the Executive Committee of the Nederland's Bridge Bond (NBB) for the first time in 1965, when he was only 31 years old.This marked the beginning of a brilliant career to the great benefit of the g ame.He served as a member until 1978, when he was elected Secretary, a position he held until 1990 when he was called upon to become President. He finally left NBB administration in 1994. In his 31 years of service, NBB membership rose from 20,000 to nearly 100,000!
Internationally, Boekhorst became known as the godfather of Junior bridge. On his initiative, the first European Junior Teams Championship was staged in 1968 in Prague, just one week before the Soviet invasion.
This continued in 1970, in Dublin and 1972, in Delft (Holland) every two years thereafter.
He jointed the Executive Committee of the European Bridge League in 1973, and was re-elected in 1977 and 1981. In 1983 he became Second Vice President and in 1987 First Vice President.
He was re-elected to the same post in 1991. Last week, André Boekhorst was unanimously elected President of the European Bridge League.
After giving up the Youth Committee in 1985, André Boekhorst concentrated on bridge promotion and tried to show other countries how bridge can be developed and flourish.
For this reason, he organized the first EBL Promotion Week in 1989 in Amsterdam which met with great success. The second such seminar followed in 1993, again in Amsterdam.
His last trip abroad was to Italy. He went there in April in order to discuss details for the third EBL Promotion Week which will be held in January 1996 in Milan. On his return home, he had to go to hospital. While he was still conscious, he used his time for writing the announcement leaflet for this seminar.
NCBO's have already received this leaflet, and the seminar will take place as planned - even though the man behind it will be missing.
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