Thanks to Amber Masefield for the photographs and Heather Masefield for the video.


Report by CAA Vice-President Kim Waddell

After many months of planning the Canterbury Accordion Association (CAA) celebrated their 60th Birthday in Christchurch, New Zealand on July 23rd, 2022.

The busy day started with a Meet and Greet at the Salvation Army City Corps in Christchurch with representatives from Auckland from the New Zealand Accordion Association, Anthony Schultz from Melbourne, Australia (Vice-President of the Australian Society of Accordionists), past members and current members from Wellington and around the South Island.

This was a relaxed time to catch up with each other and to also view the memorabilia that was on display (picture above left). The memorabilia had been put together by members of the CAA committee and included information and photographs on past concerts, competitions, the CAA's involvement in the Christchurch Santa Parade, the Christchurch Accordion Orchestra and a brief history of the CAA.

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Concert Program

Print pdf Program

Due to extreme stormy weather on Thursday and Friday, many flights from Wellington to Christchurch were cancelled. June Stratton unfortunately, could not arrange another flight until the event was over. Gary Stratton was fortunate enough to have flown one day earlier and could enjoy attending the event, however, the extreme weather made their duet performance impossible.

Maurice Jones, one of New Zealands better known accordionists, was also attending the event and made a surprise performance in place of June and Gary Stratton in the program. He is included in the videos below.

Concert Pictures

Continued ....... Report by CAA Vice-President Kim Waddell

A large audience attended the afternoon concert, which featured the Christchurch Accordion Orchestra (conducted by David Thorne - pictured below) who opened the show and provided segments of entertainment throughout the whole concert.

The audience was also treated to a solo performance by Maurice Jones (Auckland) who played some popular accordion numbers. The St. Alban's Community Choir (conducted by Heather Gladstone QSM) performed, followed by a musical tribute for Meg (Margaret) Fidler who passed away in May 2022.

Merle Kershaw and Kim Waddell spoke of some special memories they had of Meg - an emotional moment. Meg was the former conductor of the Christchurch Accordion Orchestra, a past President and CAA committee member and had been instrumental in the forming of the CAA in 1962.

Pipers and drummers added to the variety in the second half of the program by joining in with the Orchestra and Choir for Amazing Grace and Highland Cathedral. The concert concluded with three massed orchestra items which were very well received by the appreciative audience.

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Concert Videos

CAA President David Thorne welcomes dignatories and audience.

Happy Birthday to celebrate 60 years.

Maurice Jones performs Americana medley.

Maurice Jones performs a French medley.

St Albans Community Choir, Director Heather Gladstone QSM performing Aux Champs Elysees

St Albans Community Choir perform Kufsteiner

Christchurch Accordion Orchestra tribute to Meg Fidler - One Moment in Time

Eulogy to Meg Fidler by Kim Waddell.

Canterbury Accordion Association commissioned this arrangment of Chiquitita by Gary Daverne to honor Meg Fidler.

Eulogy to Meg Fidler by Merle Kershaw.

Christchurch Accordion Orchestra performs The Holy City

Christchurch Accordion Orchestra performs Who Is He

Trumpet Lullaby, Soloist Kim Waddell

St Albans Community Choir, Pipers and the Christchurch Accordion Orchestra perform Amazing Grace

Dixeland Rag

Christchurch Community Orchestra and the St Albans Community Choir perform Dambusters March

Christchurch Accordion Massed Orchestra perform:
Invercargill March
Beer Barrel Polka


Continued ...... Report by CAA Vice-President Kim Waddell

The final event was a catered dinner held at St Paul's church hall in Papanui, Christchurch. To start the formalities for the evening the birthday cake was cut by two current, long-standing, life members of the CAA - Heather Gladstone QSM and Mary Cooper. This was toasted with some bubbly and Happy Birthday was sung accompanied by Merle Kershaw (another life member) on her accordion.

A celebration dinner included entertainment by Wenting and Roger, Maurice Jones and Theo Redepenning.

As the evening came to a close there was an overall feeling that the Canterbury Accordion Association's 60th Anniversary Celebrations had been a great success!

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