December 29, 2017
Wedmore man recognised in Queen's New Year Honours list

A Wedmore man has received a top accolade in the Queen's New Years Honours list, announced this week.

Iain Ball has received an Order of the British Empire for his services to Cathedral Choral Music and to Young People.

Iain, pictured welcoming The Countess of Wessex to Wells Cathedral School on an official visit, is the former Chairman of the Wells Cathedral Girl Chorister Trust.

Elizabeth Cairncross, Head at Wells Cathedral School, said: "The Trust had had a shaky start. It needed strong, inspired leadership, advocacy and drive. Iain brought all those qualities and more."

"He worked very hard. His meticulous preparation for trustees’ meetings, his seeking out of good people to be trustees (which continued even into the clear eyed succession plans for his own departure as chair), his thorough planning for events, and his building of a team to help him do that - all these were just the outward manifestation of hours of reflection and planning. And he worries productively. He told me that, having finished his term as chair, he could now sleep easily – and I don’t think it was an exaggeration."

"Iain had a vision for the Trust which has enabled him to lead the raising of a million pounds thus far. It meant that he steered its evolution into a trust for boy and girl choristers alike, when that became desirable, with charm and firmness, and managed to retain the support of those with a particular commitment to the girls’ cause."

"He shared that vision with countless people, including his own friend Lady Marina Hobson, who has been such a generous enabler, and including HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who became not only the Trust’s royal patron, but its friend and foremost cheerleader."

"He supported the whole choir through the opportunities for new and interesting music which Trust activities have given, and many people have had hours of quality entertainment through Trust events."

"And Iain is, above all else, generous. He shares his contacts and his friends – like Lady Marina – and he shares his hospitality. He thanks people warmly, quickly, and personally. He is trenchant, and he is kind. So he achieves things!"

"Perhaps his greatest success is that he leaves the leadership of the Trust at a point when it is both solid and developing, with clear ambition for the future, and the ability to realise that ambition. We owe Iain a great deal!"

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