Former Whanganui community stalwart and local body politician Lysbeth Noble has died.

Lysbeth, known as Lys, died in Wellington on November 25, aged 93.

Born and raised in England, Lys served in the Women's Royal Naval Service during World War II. She and husband Charles, a surgeon, arrived in Whanganui in the early 1950s with their two children. They later had four more children and the family lived at Mt Desert in Bedford Ave, one of Whanganui's oldest homes that is known for its resident ghost.

Lys became heavily involved in the community, serving on numerous organisations including the Four Season Theatre, Regional Museum and Sarjeant Gallery boards.


She was elected to the Wanganui Hospital Board in 1974 and was its deputy chairwoman from 1983 to 1986.

In 1986 Lys was elected to the Wanganui District Council. She was deputy mayor from 1992 until she stepped down from the council at the 1995 election and chaired the regulatory committee for six years.

One of Lys' great passions was the welfare of older people and she founded Age Concern Wanganui, chairing the organisation from 1977 to 1998. She was Age Concern's national president in 1989-1991 and was a member of the Super 2000 Taskforce 1999 and the Minister for Senior Citizens Advisory Council (1992-1997).

Lys was awarded the Queen's Service Medal (QSM) for public service in the 1991 Queen's Birthday Honours and a Suffrage Centennial Medal in 1993.

"Everything can be fun – the essence is that it is enjoyable and community work gives such a point to life," she said after receiving the QSM.

In 1995 when she stepped down from the council, Lys said she would have liked to see the council sell its Powerco shares and use that money to upgrade heritage buildings.

"The money would have attracted a like contribution from the community and led to retention and upgrading of the heart of the city's history."

In 1998, following Charles' death the previous year, Lys left Whanganui for Wellington to be closer to family. She told the Chronicle at the time that she considered her biggest achievement had been the introduction of granny flats in the late 1970s and believed her work with Age Concern was the most rewarding.


A memorial service for Lys will be held in Wellington on Tuesday, December 3.