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Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA)
Honored Friend of the Accordion Award
for John Statham


When John Statham’s father gave his eight year old son an accordion for Christmas, he could not have known the significant part the instrument was to play in his life. John subsequently took lessons from Victor Johnson, Eddie McCullough, Peter Torckler and Allan Jones, culminating in him winning the New Zealand Solo Accordion Championship in the 1967 NZ Accordion Competitions.

He began to take a strong role in accordion activities, joining the committee of the newly formed New Zealand Accordion Association (NZAA) in 1971. His part in the organising committee for the 1980 Coupe Mondiale also included successfully breaking the World Marathon Accordion Record with 81 hours of playing, drawing much media attention to this event. He also compered the entire 1980 Coupe Mondiale and has compered almost every NZAA Competitions and many other accordion functions since then.

The accordion has also formed part of John’s life - as a professional entertainer, performing on national radio and recording an EP in 1985, and as a teacher. He has had the pleasure of seeing two of his students, Lance Lincoln and Judith Lincoln, become New Zealand Solo Accordion Champions.

In 1982 John was elected the President of the NZAA and has steered his hard working committee on a steady course during his 27 years in this position. John has served on the Board of the Accordion Examination Board of New Zealand (AEBNZ) for 28 years in various positions, currently holding the Vice Chairman role.

John Statham was a committee member for the 1980 Coupe Mondiale held in Auckland, was the compere for that superbly run event and was instrumental in:
- Leading the NZAA through the start of the South Pacific Accordion Championships competitions and making the NZAA competitions an international event;
- The publishing of the History of the Accordion in New Zealand book;
- Inviting the Coupe Mondiale Piano Accordion competitors to NZ for the last 9 years;
- Development program for players culminating in highly placed NZ 2009 Coupe Mondiale competitors;
- The huge success of the 2009 Coupe Mondiale in Takapuna,
- and to now, the NZAA 40th Anniversary Celebration.

It is with pleasure the NZAA thanks John Statham for his years of dedication and commitment to the NZAA and to promoting and advancing the accordion in New Zealand for national and international events and hereby nominates him for the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) Honored Friend of the Accordion Award.

Kevin Friedrich & John Stathma
Presentation Speech by Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA)
Ambassador Kevin Friedrich in 2011. Picture above.
John Statham and Jillienne Statham
Retirement as NZAA President 04 June 2011: John Statham with wife Jillienne after being presented with a plaque.

"The New Zealand Accordion Association Inc. honours your profound contribution toward the 
advancement of the accordion in New Zealand and thanks you for 28 years of dedicated
leadership as NZAA President from 1982-2011"
Harley Jones & John Statham
2017 South Pacific Accorfdion Championships Final Concert: Harley Jones, Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) Public Relations Manager, told the audience of how the CIA Award presentation for past NZAA President John Statham had not been fully completed because the award certificate had gone missing at the presentation venue.

Another certificate was promised and when this had arrived in New Zealand, Harley Jones had made the error of carefully putting the certificate in a "very safe place" before going to European accordion competitions and festivals for two months. Upon his return, this certificate could not be found!!!! Luckily, the certificate was finally found this morning so it could be presented to John Statham.
Harley Jones & John Statham
John spoke to the audience of his years with the NZAA as President, the two times as compere for the Coupe Mondiale in Auckland in 1980 and in Takapuna in 2009 and warmly thanked all the volunteers who had made all the NZAA events for the last 45 years a success. He wanted them to know, that this CIA International award was also their award.

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