Navigating an age-old game
By JULIA ILES
THE ANCIENT tradition of Mah-jong continues in South Grafton, thousands of years after its invention by a Ming Dynasty official during a rather mundane sailing voyage.
As the story goes he used the storage drums and ropes as pieces, while the four sides of the board represented each navigational direction.
Now Jean Felton and her friends get together every Wednesday morning at the South Grafton Emporium to play, have a chat and sometimes take home a win.
The group started meeting regularly after taking a course three years ago at the local U3A and haven't stopped since.
"Along the way we have taught a few extra people, and basically it is not for money or very serious just nice to get out and be social," she said.
"We get together and enjoy the morning, it is just so relaxing and playing it is addictive."
Mah-jong has experienced a timeless popularity in Chinese and pan-Chinese circles and will often be played over a coffee, chat or even facilitate the basis of a business partnership.
The main goal of the game is to use the tiles to 'make a hand' using numerical sequences and ending on matching pairs.