A DEDICATED community leader is celebrating 50 years service to good causes.

Former Flintshire councillor Ken Iball began serving Hawarden Parish Council in 1961 and has become an established name in local government in the past five decades.

Although Mr Iball, who celebrates his 83rd birthday next month, ended his council duties in 2008 due to ill-health, he remains a school governor at Drury Primary School and Elfed High School, Buckley and has no intention of finishing in the roles.

“I don’t want to sit in my chair and stagnate,” he said. “I enjoy talking to people and doing things for the community where I can.

“When I was watching the local election coverage I suddenly realised it is 50 years since I started in politics.”

Mr Iball’s formative years were spent on Hawarden Parish Council, before relocating and becoming a member of Sealand Parish Council.

He represented Sealand on the original Flintshire Council, later becoming part of Clwyd County Council and Sealand Community Council after local government restructuring in the 1970s.

In recent years he became Mayor of Buckley while on Buckley Town Council and served on the current Flintshire Council.

Mr Iball, of Drury, took over as chairman of the governing body of the newly-created Theatr Clwyd in the 1970s, bringing him into contact with the Queen, who paid a rare visit to Flintshire 35 years ago this month to open the facility.

“After she’d visited I went home, grabbed my dinner suit and went to the only Royal Gala performance she has been to in North Wales at Theatr Clwyd.”

Mr Iball, who combined his community duties with working at Shotton Steelworks and later ran a hotel in Llangollen, also enjoyed a lengthy spell serving as a JP on the Connah’s Quay and Mold benches and representing them on regional committees.

National recognition came his way when he served on the Sports Council for Wales from 1974 to 1983.

This week, Lord Barry Jones, whose father was a clerk of Hawarden Community Council, paid testimony to Mr Iball describing him as having a ‘most honourable record’.

“It is a lifetime of service,” said Lord Jones. “It encapsulates both social and the economic history of Deeside local government, industry and church from our civic society.”