Erna Bontus-Miller - Hometown Hero


Onoway and District Historical Guild recognized Erna Bontus-Miller's accomplishments through a "Hometown Hero" exhibit at the Onoway Museum.

Miss Bontus-Miller in
                            1986Erna 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 County.

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.

Under 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!

Erna's 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 whose goal 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.

The Onoway and District Historical Guild salutes Erna Bontus-Miller as our Hometown Hero!

  Photo - 1986 – Erna Bontus-Miller retired from OES.

Return to top of page

Last Updated: October 12, 2015