Who amongst us has not attended a “Trivia” night run by some local organisation or Club? But, have we ever given any thought to how the night originated or indeed why it is called this. “Trivia” was the Roman goddess of crossroads and guardian of roads. “Trivia’s” name is derived from the Latin word ‘Trivia’ meaning “three ways” – from ‘tri’ meaning three, and ‘via’ meaning way or road.

Featured image(above): Roger Platt and Gillian Parry our Markers and Mary Grant
our Quizmaster

These nights have indeed become a tradition especially in English pubs but also in other countries around the world. But what makes a good trivia night? Is it the venue, or perhaps the opportunity to have a night out with friends? Is it the prize(s) being offered? Or, maybe it’s the charismatic quizmaster? Or is it just that the questions are a challenge and that the participants have a love of facts – however small and minor.

Bribie Rotary’s trivia nights are now legendary on the Island and are considered to be a “not to be missed’ . We have been holding these nights for several years and have been at our current venue, the Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club (PHGCC) for the last three years. Many participants come early to enjoy a fine dinner before the challenge begins and/ or to discuss possible strategies. While others buy a snack and some to help them through the night.

Fifteen to eighteen teams of eight players, come together every few months, to compete for bags of chocolates (individual Round prizes) and one major prize, in what is always a fun and entertaining night. We have our regular teams such as The Gleeman, The Crusaders, French Connection, The Kookaburras, The Turtleers, The Croquet Fanatics, The Bright Sparks, etc as well as casual players. often send two teams and recently the Pickle Bugs and Childers Cane Cutters have joined us.

President John Oxenford with the winning team the Crusaders

We also have the “Clancys” – made up of those few who are casual players – some might say the “overflow”. A $10 donation per player is collected and goes towards Rotary’s main causes – eg the eradication of polio, North Flood Relief Appeal, providing assistance to local schools and communities or to the local Neighbourhood Centre. Our Quizmaster Extraordinaire was James Loy.

Recently Mary Grant, who has always set the questions, has taken over this role, displaying a winning format and style. Mary asks 8 rounds of 8 questions and the scribe from each team writes the agreed answer on the pre-prepared answer sheets. These answers are then collected and checked by our markers. Mary then reads out the correct answers as Teams clap and cheer to indicate their wins. Accumulated scores are placed on the Whiteboard so teams can see their progress. An additional Round of written Table questions is left with the teams to sort out and hand in at the break following Round 4. While arguments on answers are known to occur – with the occasional “point of order” – the Quizmasters decision is final and no correspondence is entered into. All night laughter resonates throughout the room.

Questions such as who invented scissors produced a unanimous shout of Edward Scissorhands. One question about the number of hearts an octopus has prompted a response from a Team member “well I know they have 8 ‘testicles’ but I’m not sure about hearts.” The Valentine’s Day round at our last Trivia night provided new knowledge to most teams. Did you know Christian martyrs called themselves Valentines, or that in medieval times the liver was considered the internal organ that caused love? After the scores are tallied, the eight members of the winning team on the night each receive a bottle of wine and a bag of chocolates.

The players

In the event of a draw, a simple play-off is held. So to answer my question – what makes our trivia nights so successful – it might be the Quizmaster, the venue, a fun night out, the challenge and our love of facts, or just the way people interact and come together. As for the prizes – what can I say – chocolates and wine are definitely winners. If you would like to participate in one of our trivia nights, you don’t have to get a team together, we often have vacancies in the regular teams or with the “Clancys.”

Also, if you would like dinner before playing, PHGCC are open from 5.15pm. However, for catering purposes, it is important to ring them on 3410 4001 and book a table. Remember – Dinner must be finished well before 7.30pm. We ALWAYS start on time! Our next Trivia night is on Thursday 4 April at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start. Please ring or email Heather White on 5497 5818 or mchcblanc@bigpond.com to book your spot.

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