A passion to teach the next generation what it means to be a good citizen has earned veteran scouts volunteer Beth Franz the title of Honorary Freeman of the Shire of Denmark.
Ms Franz has volunteered with the Denmark Scouts Group for 53 years, taking on many roles, including group leader and assistant district leader of the Stirling Range District Scouts.
She has been a dedicated member of the Country Women’s Association and her local bushfire brigade for many years.
In 2001, she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her commitment to the Denmark community.
At the Shire of Denmark’s annual seniors luncheon on November 13, Ms Franz was named an Honorary Freeman of the Shire for her “exceptional service” to Denmark.
The Shire has honoured only two Freemans in its history — Percy Berridge in November 1973 and Eileen Lunan in 2006.
“It was a complete shock,” Ms Franz said.
“I had no inkling at all that that was what I was going to be honoured with.”
After her family home was destroyed in a fire more than 54 years ago, Ms Franz said she learned the importance of giving back to the community.
“I have seen what a community does for you,” she said.
“The whole community got behind us”
After seeing her children and grandchildren rise through the ranks of Scouts, Ms Franz decided to stay with the organisation.
She said she was passionate about imparting the lessons passed down by Scouts founder Robert-Baden Powell. “I believe in it and I believe in working with young people,” she said.
“I hope to teach the kids how to be good and to grow up to be a leader.”