CHETWYND, B.C. – The District of Chetwynd is flying flags at half-mast at municipal hall in honour of Yvonne Elden, who was awarded Freedom of the Municipality in 2007.

The award is bestowed by a unanimous vote of the members of council to honour a distinguished person who has made a significant contribution to the municipality.

According to the district, Elden arrived in the region after receiving a teaching degree at the University of British Columbia, accepting a position in Little Prairie.

After a year of teaching, she married and spent the next 20 years raising her family on a farm before returning to the classroom in 1972 until her retirement in 1991.

Elden was involved in several local groups such as the Little Prairie Ladies Club, raising money and focusing on building the community centre and the community’s first public library.

She was a school board trustee for nine years, was a member of the Chetwynd Civic Properties Commission, and was the chair of the Chetwynd Arts Council.

“An extremely supportive person of all peoples in whatever circumstances, Yvonne unselfishly gives her time and assistance, both emotional and financial, from ‘behind the scenes’. She acts with unreserved passion and dedication towards all that she supports, whether they are individual or group activities,” read the presentation when Elden was awarded Freedom of the Municipality.

“For many community groups, Yvonne has acted not only in an executive position but as a fundraiser by applying for and receiving government grants which have supported a diversity of projects such as the mural paintings.”

Edlen also created an art gallery in the community as a place for local artists and artisans to display and sell their works.