Museum/Archives has been gifted with a wide
assortment of documents, photos,
etc. that provide interesting insights into
local history. One of these gifts
came from the town of Onoway. The formal group
photos of the village/town
council that had hung in the council chambers
were given to the museum when the
council chamber underwent a major renovation.
Looking at these photos and
linking them to the recent election comes almost
simultaneously. First, some
almost 100 years since the Village of Onoway
gained legal status (it had
previously been just a part of the Municipal
District of Woodford) and the
first election of a council was held on July 9,
1923. Syd Yeoman Sr., T. J.
Meeklem and Bert Evans were elected (Syd was
chosen as mayor).
almost 50 years and there's another first – Mary
Mathewson was the first woman
elected to the Village of Onoway council in
1971. Councillor Mathewson served
one term. (Until 2017, councillors were elected
for a three-year term; from
2017, the term was four years.)
years later, the village council had increased
to five members and Onoway's
second woman councillor was elected in 1980. Nat
Lewandowski was one of three
first-time councillors elected, along with Terry
Slemko and Chuck Thoreson. There
were 10 candidates in this election where 239 of
350 possible voters marked
their ballots. Nat served until 1989 under three
different mayors and some
changes in councillors; she worked with seven
councillors all told.
years went by with an all-male council until
1993 when a young woman won a seat
on the Onoway council. Connie Hickey served one
1971 – Henry Struve, Mayor Roy
Nerdahl, Mary Mathewson
1980 – Seated: Bert Galliford,
Nat Lewandowski. Standing: Chuck
Mayor Terry Slemko
1992 – Mayor Lorne Olsvik seated
Len Kwasny and Terry Slemko;
Al Watson to his right. Ron Leaf
was the town administrator.
turn of the century, there were more changes
ahead. Hazel Bourke was elected to
council in 2003 and in 2004 was chosen as mayor.
From that time on, there has
been at least one woman elected to Onoway's
council – Maureen Medori and
Corinne Feth were the sole women on council
during their terms then in 2013,
both Corinne Feth and Judy Tracy joined the team
under Mayor Dale Krasnow. When
Dale left Onoway, Judy assumed the mayor's
position and the number of women on
council upped to three of the five and, most
recently, four of five.
Museum/Archives town council photo collection
unfortunately does not continue
beyond 2005. It is good to see that way back 50
years ago, there were local
women willing to stand up for office and local
residents supportive of these
women. Onoway keeps moving ahead!
2002 – Mayor George Jendyk seated
between Hazel Bourke and Cathy
(administrator). Behind them
are Fred Savoie, Karl Umstatter
and Tony Williams.
Hazel took over as mayor and
served until October 2005.
2005 - Mayor Pat Yuill between
and Gordie Vaughan. Behind him
Joseph Trapani (administrator),
Len Kwasny and Maureen Medori.