|Jessel & Carol ROTHFIELD|
Nato a Dundee in Scozia nel 1918, Rothfield è stata una delle preminenti figure del Bridge australiano sia come giocatore che come amministratore.
Emigrato con la famiglia in Australia all'età di 9 anni, a 12 fu lasciato da solo a gestire la fattoria di famiglia quando i suoi genitori si trasferirono a Melbourne per cercare lavoro.
Appassionato sportivo, Jessel ha giocato a hockey con la squadra del Victoria, è stato un valido golfista ed ha completato la maratona di Melbourne quando aveva 65 anni!
Sposato in seconde nozze con Carole nel 1974, rimasero inseparabili sia nella vita che nel bridge fino alla di lei scomparsa avvenuta nel 2007.
Come bridgista, Jessel ha vinto diversi titoli nazionali e ha vinto i campionati dell'Estremo Oriente nel 1968 e nel 1970.
La sua ultima apparizione in Nazionale avvenne quando aveva 80 anni e a 87 vinse il Campionato Australiano a Squadre Open!
Con la moglie che era nata nel 1933, erano noti ovunque come "The Rothfields" ed ebbero molti successi nelle maggiori competizione australiane.
Tra gli artefici della costituzione dell'Australian Bridge Federation ne fu anche il primo Presidente e continuò a promuovere sempre il Bridge curando l'organizzazione di Tornei e istituendo periodiche conferenze che spesso teneva nella sua casa.
Alla Bermuda Bowl del 1971 guidò da capitano non giocatore la nazionale de canguri alla prima delle due uniche medaglie conquistate nella competizione: un bronzo poi replicato nel 1979.
Jessel è scomparso nel 2010 alla veneranda età di 92 anni.
Jessel was born in Dundee Scotland, and his family emigrated with him to Australia in 1925.
During the depression, Jessel, aged 12, was left to look after the family farm on his own for 18 months, as the rest of the family went to Melbourne to seek work. A keen sportsman, Jessel played hockey for Victoria, got his golf handicap down to 3, and completed the Melbourne Marathon at aged 65.
He married his second wife Carole in 1974, and for the next 33 years they were inseparable, both in life and at the bridge table. Carole passed away in 2007.
Passed away peacefully on 2010, Jessel was a colossus of bridge in Victoria and Australia, both in bridge administration and as a player.
As a bridge player, Jessel won many state and national events, too numerous to list. Most significantly, he was on the Australian team that won the Far East Championships in 1968 and 1970 ... and Australia has not won the event since. He also qualified for the Australian Open team in 1997 and 1999, in his eighties. And his most recent major event win was the 2005 National Open teams, aged 87. But Jessel’s contribution to bridge as a whole in this country extended far beyond his play at the table. He was the inaugural president of the Australian Bridge Federation, and was a key player in setting up that national body in the 1960s. He also had stints as President of the VBA, in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Jessel’s byword was “innovation” – he was totally unafraid to try new ideas, thinking outside the box. One of my enduring memories of him was being on his committee as he convened the 1985 Moomba Congress, incorporating the Victor Champion Cup. He put so much work into creating a memorable experience for the players: for example, he organized caddies to hand around chocolates during play. One of his committee, Felicity Beale, was inspired to talk her friend Jeannie Pratt into opening up the mansion Raheen on the Saturday evening for dinner. All the players were invited, and Carole cooked lasagne for 150 bridge players. They don’t make tournaments like that any more! Jessel also drove improvement of the better Victorian players.
In the late 80s, he organized a series of seminars and discussion groups, inviting a dozen or so of the leading players to his home on a weekly basis.
For one such session, he arranged to have a sports psychologist address the group. More recently, Jessel was the driving force behind the Bridge for Life fundraiser in 2006, conducted by the VBA in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Australia.
He had the idea in the first place, then ran the entire program, with assistance from the VBA. Jessel’s contribution to bridge in Victoria and Australia cannot be overstated.
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