Mah Jong Empress Society

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I was very lucky to be introduced to The Mahjong Empress Society a few weeks ago, when several Mah Jongg groups came together for a day of play and lunch.  I was thrilled to see an former student of mine Mollie Robinson and she eagerly introduced me to Dr. Ann Adderley.  I have received the background on the society from Dr. Adderley and I thought to share with you…


Mollie Robinson

Mollie Robinson

Ann Adderley

Dr. Ann Adderley

The Mahjong Empress Society was started in my home in November, 2011. I gathered an interested group of ladies and Mollie agreed to join the group as we have had long years of association from other groups. Mollie had more background than any of us as she had been a prior player and was taking classes at various centers.

We developed a folder for each player with documents from Mollie’s classes and duplicated pages from our text, American Mahjong. We developed our skills by moving from concrete to abstract learning curves. Mollie designed short quizzes and awarded prizes to the first Empress who could answer the greatest amount correctly. This process continued, bi-weekly, for about a year.

I designed the Mahjong Empress Society T-shirts and hired a vendor to do the silk screening design with the requested colors, and print the shirts. Our shirts are copyrighted. We were in the process of obtaining a Charter for our group, but the Empress who volunteered her expertise for that task died very suddenly. Perhaps in the Fall we will be able to move forward with that.

As more ladies joined our group, one of them decided she wanted to a second group closer to her home and invite people from her area to attend. Therein lies the beginning of our outreach. Additionally, I send out a monthly calendar with the MES sites and any Empress can play at any, or all of the sites whenever her schedule permits. I will put your name into my email blast so that you can see when and where we play.

We now have 5 sites, each with a Royal Empress in charge. She is responsible for making sure there is a game and current card for each player. We accept new players at all sites when they are invited by one of our Empresses. I have developed a pedagogically sound teaching method which hopefully takes the angst of acquiring the requisite skills for playing the game. One of our Empresses relocated to VA and is starting the Mahjong Empress Society of VA!

We have a Face Book page-Mahjong Empress Society. I post photos, announcements, articles about us from newsletters from some of our sites and photos of winning hands. Our main objective is NEUROPLASTICITY – keeping brain cells learning and functioning by acquiring new skills! Immediately following that objective is just to have FUN! We don’t play for money or points. However, I’ve found that winners like to have their photos and winning hands posted on our email or Facebook page.

I, as founder, am the Supreme Empress. Mollie is the Empress of Ceremonies. She will design the ‘induction’ of our Royal Empresses’ ceremony when expedient sometime after summer has gone.


These ladies have developed their own grass roots campaign for Mah Jongg spreading the game throughout the Philly area.  Kudos!

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