Senior Games sweethearts

Decades of practice keeps Oak Bay couple going for the gold

Betty Emery and husband Gerry serve up some table tennis at Monterey Recreation Centre. Betty scored three gold medals in the Senior Games in Burnaby.

Betty Emery and husband Gerry serve up some table tennis at Monterey Recreation Centre. Betty scored three gold medals in the Senior Games in Burnaby.

Five decades together doesn’t dampen a partnership according to one Oak Bay couple. Betty and Gerry Emery started their table tennis pairing as high school sweethearts at Mount Douglas secondary.

“We play really well together. We’ve been married 57 years so we should have those things worked out now. We’ve had a lot of practice,” Betty said.

She, however, has more gold medals from the 2012 B.C. Senior Games than Gerry does. Betty scored three golds, one alongside her husband, during the Games in Burnaby. Gerry earned a gold and a silver.

Betty’s played table tennis since her childhood days of rumpus room ping pong, right through to three previous Games. Now she’s among the 140 members in the Monterey 55-plus club.

“I think there’s a waiting list to get in,” she said.

The husband-wife team had a fan club at the games, with kids and grandkids gathering in the stands for the mixed pairs finals that went to five matches.

“Two of our games we had to go right to five games,” she said. “They weren’t easy games, they were really challenging.”

The Monterey team brought home 31 medals.

“There would have been about 200 playing table tennis in all our age groups,” she said. “There were two people that were 91 and could play a good game.”

Other Monterey table tennis club winners were Heide Dobbie (silver, bronze), Chris Fox (gold), Sue Jian (gold, bronze), Fred Kong (silver, two bronze), Uschi Leslie (gold, silver), Emi Nakagawa (silver, bronze), Yuji Nakagawa (gold, silver), Kathleen Quilter (gold, silver), Les Quilter (two silver), Bruce Roger (two silver), Mike Sampson (bronze), Norma Sanby (two gold, silver) David Smylie (bronze) and Dick Stone (silver).

Senior’s drama at Games

The Monterey Senior Players scored a ‘gold hat trick’ at the B.C. Senior Games. In the one-act play competition the Monterey Senior Players won three gold medals, one silver and a bronze.

The Players topped the podium in best play. Greg Finnegan, the group’s current playwright-in-residence, won gold for best original script for his one-act play In the Mood. Roger Walker scored gold for best actor. Silver went to Dana Baecker and Rita Humphreys for best direction and long-time club member Peggie Freeman earned bronze in the best actress category.

Can’t snooker her

Joy Hughes, 89, a resident  of Carlton House in Oak Bay, received a gold medal for Snooker at the B.C. Senior Games.