Sue Boman was a 2004 recipient of a Ponoka Centennial Women of the Year Award. Photo courtesy of the Fort Ostell Museum

A tribute to the Pioneer women of Ponoka town and county

By Mike Rainone for the News

One of the greatest celebrations for our community and districts came in the summer of 2004 when hundreds of families, individuals, friends, and special guests from near and far gathered together to mark the 100th birthday of the town of Ponoka. Among the countless highlights of this gala weekend of festivities was the presentation of special Centennial Awards to a fine group of pioneer ladies from our town and county whose longstanding dedication and contributions to countless causes have helped to promote the growth and successes of our community in so many ways. These ladies and their families have come from all walks of life and nationalities and along the way they would cherish the opportunity to serve their favourite town and districts in so many ways, at home, at church, at school, at work, at play, and around every exciting corner of each and every day.

Sue Boman

Sue Boman, who was nominated for one of the Centennial Women of the Year Awards in 2004 by the Anglican Church Women would arrive in Ponoka in 1972 and began to teach at the elementary school. During the 19 years that she served in her very active teaching career she taught hundreds of children from grades one to six in the local community system. Sue was always recognized as a very strong and dedicated teacher who always strove to provide a high moral standing for her students.

It was while teaching in this community that Sue met Lyle Boman, the second son of Clifford and Tina Boman of Ponoka, and they were married in 1976. Lyle also enjoyed a long career as a teacher and later principal of the Ponoka Elementary School and the happy couple will always fondly look back at their wedding day when they invited all of their students from both of their Grade 6 classes to join family and friends at the celebration. Lyle and Sue would welcome two children, and together as a family they loved joining in on countless activities in and around their community, including dance, swimming, piano lessons, music, and a whole lot more.

Mrs. Boman has been very active in her participation at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Ponoka for many years. She taught Sunday school and served as the Superintendent for many years, as well as leading the Church youth group for 12 years, and took an active role in the women’s group, to which she would faithfully serve as the president for 18 busy years. Sue Boman was also elected to the church vestry for two years, served as the rector’s warden, and while serving on countless committees she could always be counted on to uphold her responsibilities, while encouraging many others to get involved as active members of the St. Mary’s Anglican Church congregation.

In 1986 Sue Boman bravely faced the challenges of vision loss and has been a registered and very active client of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to this day. Her valuable contributions to these vital programs over the years have included the writing of three books as well as speaking and sharing about the challenges of vision loss with numerous groups in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. Sue has served as the facilitator of the Ponoka White Cane Support Group, and as such represents our community and districts in a Provincial network of facilitators. As well as so willingly assisting and reaching out to others this congenial lady has always been a life-long learner, which included enrolling with Athabasca University to take a Master’s program in adult education, as well as accessing her distance education course work by utilizing an audible screen reading program on her home computer. Her ongoing project work is a continuous study of the learning challenges of adults who are facing vision loss.

Many people, when faced with a disability tend to become withdrawn and reclusive, but definitely not Sue Boman. She has always passionately continued to lead a very active life, has remained a faithful member of the Anglican Church, and strives to take a very active leadership role among the disabled and elderly in and around Ponoka. Over the years countless seniors have relied on Sue and her husband Lyle Boman, both for strong spiritual and physical support over the years. The amazing lifestyle that Sue has chosen and continues to lead is a shining example to anyone, not only as a positive role model, but also as an inspiration to all who have had the pleasure of knowing her.

How you can help us out with Reflections and Remember When?

For the past 15 years the Reflections and Remember When features in your Ponoka News have been paying tribute to long and colourful history and progress of our town and county. These stories and photos pay tribute to the generations of hardy families and individuals who have helped to build this urban and rural area over the past 120 years, as well as highlighting the ongoing businesses, employees, professional services, schools, churches, clubs, organizations, and annual events, attractions, recreation facilities, amenities, and so much more that we enjoy so much each and every day. Thanks for all your ongoing contributions to Page A5, and if you have any more ideas, fond memories, or photos for future history editions please phone or drop in to the Ponoka News on Chipman Avenue, or contact Mike Rainone at 403-341-5750 or email jrainone@telus.net.

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