Here are the judge anniversaries for March 2012.
Enrico Masi, Forli, Italy
Raymond Merz, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Hajime Fujii, Kusatsu-shi, Shiga-ken, Japan
Toshiaki Ogasawara, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, Japan
Juan Herraiz, Madrid, Spain
Omar Diez, Barcelona, Spain
Iago Lores, Pontevedra, Spain
Josh Smith, St Louis, Missouri, United States
Martha Lufkin, Rockville, Maryland, United States
Sinclair Yuen, Singapore, Singapore
Yuusuke Miwa, Muroran-shi, Hokkaido, Japan
Nicholas Krall, Midland, Pennsylvania, United States
Daniel Ojcius, Capital Federal, Argentina
Ute Kronenberg, Aachen, Nordrhein-Westfale, Germany
Farid Taoubi, Leipzig, Sachsen, Germany
Laurent Gadchaux, Fontenilles, Sud, France
Frederic Malaurie, Saint Cybranet, Sud, France
Gianluca Bonacchi, Porcari, Lucca, Italy
Congratulations, and thank you for your hard work!
This month’s featured judge is Daniel Ojcius from Argentina. Regional coordinator Damian Hiller writes:
“When Johanna came and said “Hey! It’s Daniel’s 5 year anniversary!” My first reaction was along the lines of “Really? How come time passed so fast?!” The truth is that Daniel was one of my firsts sons (or people I’ve certified) and as an old teacher of mine used to say, I’ve learned as much of him as, hopefully, he has learned from me and many others along the way.
From the early beginning Daniel was known for being wacky minded, an uncontrollable source of jests and laughter but few would have foreseen the judge he became to be today. Even before getting certified he was already immersed in the judge community by helping out with whatever he could (and sometimes, why not, even with things he couldn’t or even shouldn’t!) and from the time he certified ’til now, that hasn’t changed a bit. Well, yes, he’s certified now!
Nowadays Daniel is one of the most respected judges in Argentina and Latin America, bringing amazing in-event work in every position he’s appointed to, an advocate of hats and fun atmosphere at regular REL events, a major force in his efforts to certify more judges (he even started some time ago to do some presential judge classes for judgelings to go and learn the ins and outs of Magic rules before they started their weekly event!).
Daniel: you bring passion, laughter, fairness and care for others to our community, you’ve done so for 5 years, let’s make a toast for 5 more!”
This month, we have one Level 3 anniversary. At Pro Tour Osaka in March of 2002, Wearn Chong of Malaysia passed his exam. Since then, he has been a leader in Southeast Asia, so we asked a trio of judges from the region to talk about him to celebrate his 10-year anniversary.
Here is what Level 3 judge Shing Nien Fong had to say:
“The first time I get to know Wearn is the year after I went back to Malaysia, it was 2004. More than seven years has passed and I get to work with him at least once a year. Through this long period of time, I have gotten used to the case where he will always have an answer for me when I have a question (and my questions can be very corner-case most of the time). His explanations of situations are always clear and very to-the-point. Anyone who has been to Wearn’s shop will know he and his wife love cats. He enjoys playing magic. There were times when he traveled down to KL to play in PTQs. It always make me wonder how he can handle his day job, the shop, plus so many cats, not to mentioned family and magic and judging all so well. I know Wearn just ended his magic shop business. It’s a pity but I guess life has to go on. I hope that Wearn will continue judging and providing guidance to all judges in South-East Asia.”
Level 3 judge Joel Bantiles said the following:
“I first met Wearn about six years ago in Manila when he was Head Judging our Grand Prix in 2006. I was very new to the judge program back then and knew little about the world of zebra shirts and procedural rules violation majors and minor. Although he was very busy during that event, I remember him listening in on my Level 1 interview being conducted by Jacky Yang. From that point I could already sense that he cared a lot about the growth of the judge program, especially in SEA were we seem to be a bit behind. After working with him on GPs and PTs both in and outside our region, I can truly say that Wearn is without a doubt THE mentor to all the judges in SEA. He continues to be an inspiration to us all and serves to be a role model and a standard that almost all judges in our region seek to achieve. He continues to play a much larger part in our community now that he’s the RC for SEA and I can say for certainty that without the efforts exhibited by Wearn Chong and his dedication in growing our community, the SEA judge program would surely not be in the flourishing state it is today.”
Finally, Rajesh Ganesan, Level 2 judge from Malaysia, has these comments:
“Even before I was a judge, Wearn was always seen as “THE JUDGE” in the Malaysian Magic Scene. I remember tournaments where the TO had to call up Wearn regularly just to get proper ruling since Wearn does not live in Kuala Lumpur. When I became a judge, although Wearn was not my mentor, he was always willing to answer question and give advice. During Nationals he always makes it a point to have a chat with all his judges and he is always very approachable. He is also a caring Regional Coordinator. I remember the email he sent out to all the judges in Thailand asking if they are ok, since the flooding that was happening at that time was really bad. When I passed my Level 2, one of the 1st people that I immediately informed was Wearn. He was very supportive of my decision to take my Level 2 exam and gave tons of advice. I just would like to say that Wearn is an asset to us judges and we would be lost without his guidance.”