Counting 30: Days to months to years

We had an incredible 30th Anniversary Spellebration on International Scrabble Day, featuring a light dinner and 4-game unrated tourney.


Place Prizes

A small prize was given to First and Second place (named here) in each division.
Click on the division title to see the final standings in that division.

NWL A: Shauna, Steve

NWL B: Mark, Sid

NWL C: Sophia, Valeria

NWL D: Jonathan, Noah

CSW A: Prashanth, Rodney

CSW B: Chukwuma, Abdul

Best K or X word

(because Alfred Mosher Butts invented Lexiko, the game that would eventually become Scrabble.)


Best word describing our Club


Longest word scoring 30


On planning

Planning this event was challenging for a few reasons. I knew we wanted to make it very special–I felt in my heart that I hadn’t done enough for the 25th anniversary celebration and that weighed on me. But being Ramadan, it is a busy time for me personally, so I decided to try to use that aspect to enhance the event rather than see it as a hindrance.

The City was implementing a fee hike, however, and so I had to wait until that was done before making any April bookings, and this meant that the room and timing of the event was determined only about 2 weeks before the event. It seemed like a great fit to plan for April 13th, however the option of planning an event on the 15th or 16th was considered at one point. Good, affordable venues are still hard to come by.

Once the basic details were locked in, it was a race to complete the necessary promotional material and get the word out. Having not organized a tournament in some years, this required some consideration of what would be optimal. With the wider Scrabble ecosystem fragmented and somewhat dissatisfying, I made a judgment call to try getting it rated by WGPO. A few players were not comfortable with this, to say the least. I will save that topic for another day, but I do thank everyone for their input and I am glad that the event was ultimately just a for-fun unrated affair. I spent the 48-hours prior updating my software and trying to learn and relearn some skills–I didn’t make it the whole way, but just enough to get things working. I had fallen sick the week prior, and was fortunate to have recovered just in time.

The schedule was ambitious, and not mathematically realistic, but I felt I had to try to be optimistic with the timing. We could not book additional time beyond 11pm due to the community centre’s new hours (it’s not been active enough for the City to keep it open until midnight). In order to make it worthwhile for out-of-towners, I still wanted the duration and number of games on offer to be attractive. The idea of booking the room a bit earlier to make it easier to set up and also to give those people who like to come early a chance to play an extra game made sense in a number of ways. We may have to do that more often because it really helped to ensure more people were there on time and it’s easier to have a punctual program when a high percentage of players are there and already set up. I just hope the late finish and rushed ending didn’t cause too much consternation or a fatigued Friday for you.

Special thanks

Great appreciation to all the folks who helped with and/or brought food. Among them, Valeria, Sophia and Steve, Jean, Jonathan, John, and a few other people who made spontaneous contributions. My wife Maryam made a run to pick up the catering (and advised me on viable options, which is a knowledge gap area for me). She also made a tres-leches cake with edible lettering to celebrate it.

Huge thanks to Gene Tyszka for donating the last GeneBoard to our club. Also, thanks to all who bid on it in the silent auction. Allen was more generous than he needed to be with his winning bid and the added funds made this event solvent.

Thanks to players who came from a distance to play and also show support for this club.

Thanks to Jason and Sue for supplying a couple laptops for word challenges.

Thank you to the past Directors of the club; Shaun Goatcher, Gene Tyszka, Craig Rowland, and Jean Barinque. During dinner, Shaun made an appearance via Zoom and a number of old friends came up to the screen to say hello.

Thank you to Valeria for her longtime service as Club Treasurer and also helping us remember our club’s history with the scrapbook.

I want to acknowledge the players who played in their first Scrabble tournament: Doreen, Jonathan, Noah, Divya, Cindy, and Vivina. While this was only a glimpse into the essence of Scrabble tournaments, it always takes a bit of courage and grace. Well done.


All of our players, young and old, new and experienced, beginners and experts, have made this club what it is. For now, I am carrying a torch lit by Shaun Goatcher when he founded the club, but I am only playing my role and it is everyone together who is making it flourish. Alfred invented a little crossword game and counted the letters on the front page of the New York Times to figure out the distribution. If there’s a lesson here, it’s that if you start something good, you never know how much more good can come out of it.

Thirty years! 30 years of friendships and different faces. We have lost some people and we have gone through challenges (and some outrageous phoneys), but in the end, we’re still rising, still on the upswing. So, believe in the good action you can take in any dimension. Be it personally or professionally, believe that if you bring something positive into this world it can change the world. Shaun planted a seed three decades ago, and today we have a tree bearing fruit. The keen eye might have noticed the oak and river in our new logo (in the website header), representing the character of Mississauga and its natural beauty. The Credit River keeps flowing and the Credit Valley is home to numerous types of wildlife, including us! So, call an old friend and say hello, or reach out to somebody you never talked to before. Find a volunteer position. Read a good book. Drop off a box of dates at your neighbour’s doorstep. Plant a seed. You never know what will grow.

Thanks to Roger and Allen for helping take our annual group photo. Thank you Jean and others for taking most of the other photos. Jean is now managing our photo album(s) and has written some captions. Click on the photo to view the gallery and scroll through.

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