Accordion Articles - Malcolm Gee Obituary


Written by: Helen Kemp
Publication: Accordions Worldwide
Date written: April 1997

Malcolm Nicholas Gee, a pharmacist by profession, first developed his interest in the accordion whilst touring Australia and New Zealand in the mid 1970's. On his return to England he founded Club Accord, the first of many clubs of its kind, and became its Chairman and later President. Here he made long lasting friendships.

Malcolm's interest in the accordion was reflected by his many innovative enterprises. The club became affiliated to the National Accordion Organisation and hence focused him to the work of the C.I.A. He supported the U.K. competitor in New Zealand, and was a British delegate in Kansas City, U.S.A. Malcolm successfully organised the Coupe Mondiale in Great Britain, on behalf of the N.A.O., in Folkestone 1984.

It was while Malcolm was in New Zealand, (1980 - 1981), that he sensed the "camaraderie" the accordion could inspire, and already in 1982, the first accordion camp began. Since then the Annual Accordion Festival at Caister has become, in Malcolm's own words, "THE undisputed leader of such festivals". At these weekends Malcolm brought to his accordion public, the memorable performances of stars such as Toralf Tollefson, Lars Ek, Danielle Pauly and many more.

The Accordion Record Club, the only one of its kind, started because Malcolm loved the music he heard and the friends he'd made at Club Accord. Using local artists, he recorded the first of the "Accordion for All Series". He went on to import and mail records and tapes all around the world.

The Club newsletter grew to be such a vital form of monthly communication that Malcolm seized the opportunity to issue the Accordion Monthly News, published regularly ever since. He was proud of its regularity and a "What's On ?" column that was news and not history. Through his magazine he supported other clubs, other festivals and a wide variety of other initiatives; assisting in bids for the Guinness Book of Records, organising British tours of European, New Zealand and American artists and introducing the accordion to audiences of various musical tastes.

Inspired by Malcolm, Club Accord organised annual festivals, the Team Challenge Trophy, club day trips, the club band, Concord, and all these made our lives, and his, full of accordion music and friendships.

Malcolm Gee will be sorely missed by the accordion world, and all his friends from the Rose Theatre, The Bewdley Motorcycle Club, The Mountaineering club, and all at Pound Green, yet he has given us all many special memories to treasure.
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