One of archbishop's passions: A good bridge game

Friday, Feb. 03, 2006
One of archbishop's passions: A good bridge game + Enlarge
A special get-together at the Embassy Suites in Salt Lake City brought a number of Bishop Niederauer's ?bridge buddies? together. Front row from left: Maxine Giovachini, Toni Carter, Mary Ravarino, Elma Uzelac, Bea Carlquist, Dom Motta. Back row from left: Joe Giovachini, Emery Carter, Msgr. George Davich, Ric Trentman, Bishop Niederauer, and Sue McCord. Missing from the photo are Cam Harmston and Gigi Trentman. photo courtesy of Toni and Joe Carter

by Emery and Toni Carter

SALT LAKE CITY — Time flies when you’re having fun! It has been 10 years since Msgr. George Davich organized "Bishop’s Bridge." We were truly honored to be included, but at the same time a little nervous. However, after the first meeting the nervousness retreated.

Bishop Niederauer has a way of putting everyone at ease. He tells great stories and really funny jokes. He can be serious, too, giving each of us "food for thought." Besides that, he is an attentive listener. And oh, yes, he is a very good bridge player. He is patient, too. For this we give him thanks.

Our original group included, besides the bishop and Msgr. Davich, Jack and Bea Carlquist, Gordon and Cam Harmston, and Emery and Toni Carter. During the course of these 10 years we were saddened to lose two of our dear members – Jack Carlquist and Gordon Harmston. Over the years, vacancies have been filled by Sue McCord, Dominic Motta, Ric and Gigi Trentman, and Elma Uzelac.

We have treasured memories of times past – the "whens" in the life of our club – when we were at the bishop’s home; when we were at Msgr. Davich’s home; when the Harmstons invited us to be weekend guests in Roosevelt, where we played non-stop bridge. Well, we did stop for delicious meals and always started with a hearty breakfast. A stroll or two during the course of the day encouraged circulation and a chance to admire the beautiful garden at the Harmston’s son’s and daughter-in-law’s home. At other times, we met at the Alta Club, Cottonwood Club, or Embassy Suites Hotel. We rejoiced at the latest – when Bishop Niederauer was appointed Archbishop-designate of San Francisco. It is not without sadness that we heard the news because we will miss him – his presence, his laughter, his wisdom. But how can we not be happy for our friend at receiving such an honor!

His accomplishments here in the Diocese of Salt Lake City never cease to amaze – taking care of his flock; encouraging us; teaching us; visiting every parish and mission, large and small. He is a builder of bridges. He reached out to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as other religions. He entered wholeheartedly into the affairs of the community. The list could go on and on. God blessed Utah with Bishop Niederauer, whose presence and abilities will be greatly missed by all.

Congratulations, Bishop! We cherish your friendship and ask God’s blessings upon your spiritual journey. Surely, God is at work through you as you share his love with mankind, who is so in need of people like you.

Your life truly reflects your ecclesial motto: "To Serve and to Give."


Dear Bishop Niederauer;

We in Utah have been blessed having you in our state. Gordon and I were especially blessed having you for our friend and bridge partner.

With your superior diplomacy and understanding you have managed to bring all our religions together. The San Franciscans’ gain is our loss.

Please remember me in your prayers and a phone call will get you an instant bridge game.

Warmest regards,

Cam Harmston

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