Onoway and District Historical
Guild recognized Erna Bontus-Miller's
accomplishments through a "Hometown
exhibit at the Onoway Museum.
Bontus-Miller, Onoway Museum's Hometown
Hero, is known
mostly for her contributions to
education in Onoway. She served as
principal of Onoway Elementary School
from 1969 until
1986. Her appointment as principal was
in itself memorable: she was the first
female principal in Lac Ste. Anne
She was just
settling into this role when, in 1972, the
new elementary school (what is now the
Heritage Centre) was built linking the Old
Brick School with the three-room primary
school. The elementary school was now
completely separate from the junior/senior
high school. Until then, it had been
Beaupré School; the east and west wings of
Beaupré School were removed from the
property. It was time for change and Erna
was up to the challenge.
Erna's leadership, OES was the first school in
the County to establish a central library. Prior to that,
each classroom had its own "library" (read
that as "bookshelf") therefore the selection
of reading material was very limited.
Imagine walking into a room with shelves
filled with books!
contributions to life in Onoway were not
limited to the school grounds. She was
one of the original board members of
Onoway and District Agricultural Society
was to build a hockey arena in Onoway.
The Swimarena opened with much rejoicing
in 1970. She was active in the Red Cross
Society and a faithful member of the
Onoway Order of Royal Purple. After her
retirement, her love of reading came to the
forefront and she served on the Onoway
Public Library Board until 1995,
acting as Chair for most of those
years. Erna was named Onoway and
area's Volunteer of the Year in 1996.
and District Historical Guild salutes Erna
Bontus-Miller as our Hometown