Above, Three of the 12 recipients: 1. For achievements to the British bird world, Bob Partridge (right), pictured with IOA president Richard Lumley, is one of the few people still alive to have helped draft the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 2. Expert in Irish fancy canaries, Maurice O’Connor (right) has dedicated 50 years to the hobby, winning multiple COM gold medals at the World Show. 3. Peter Finn (right) is known as ‘Mr Stafford’ for all his work with the Stafford canary. He has judged all over the world during his 50 years in the fancy.


THE INTERNATIONAL ORNITHOLOGICAL Association (IOA) has created an Order of Merit Shield that recognises the contributions that distinguished past and present IOA members have  made to the fancy.

For 2019, 12 members were put forward and their work and achievements were discussed by the committee. Every nominated member was considered worthy of being honoured. Many of them have been in the hobby for more than 60 years and have been IOA members since its inauguration in 1955.

Some of the 12 fanciers was presented with a bespoke glassware award at the Stafford Spring Bird Show on March 3.Stan Bolton, who started with Lizards in 1970 and is now a respected judge of the breed, was one of the award recipients. He told Cage & Aviary Birds he was “touched” when he opened a package from the IOA with a letter from Richard Lumley stating he been awarded a shield. He said: “It is a cracking glass shield that will take centre stage in my wall cabinet that is full of cups and shields I’ve won over the years.

“I also think some IOA officials should be awarded something similar for their hard work, especially looking after more than 200 members’ birds for more than two weeks when at the World Show.”

Other fanciers who were honoured included C&AB contributor Bernard Howlett; British hardbill breeder Jack Fletcher; Jack Lloyd, who is famous for his greenfinches and linnets; Norwich canary man Ken Grigg; foreign bird breeder Jim Jerrard; OMJ judge and frill canary expert Simon Tammam; and Canary Colour Breeders Association stalwart Geoff Walker.

Richard Lumley, IOA- COM president, said: “The IOA’s executive committee has decided that the time is right for the IOA members who have put a lifetime work into the IOA and the hobby should be duly rewarded.

“The committee is very proud to recognise all their lifelong dedication. We hope by setting up this award scheme it is the start of things to come.”

  • For more information on the IOA, visit: www.ioa-com-uk.org or tel: 01653 697 565

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