Bernard F. Miles II remembered his father Wednesday as he and his family gathered in an empty lot along Peach Orchard Road – where the former state representative lived – for a special dedication.
The family of Bernard F. Miles unveiled the new Bernard F. Miles Memorial Highway sign, two of which were placed on a portion of Georgia Highway 25, between Lumpkin Road and Bobby Jones Expressway in Augusta. Miles died in 1995.
The dedication, began by former Augusta commissioner Jimmy Smith and sponsored by state Reps. Henry “Wayne” Howard (D-124) and Sheila Nelson (D-125), was part of a two-year initiative to honor Bernard F. Miles and his contributions to the community. The state representatives eventually helped draft House Resolution 659 in his honor.
“We didn’t have all the necessary paperwork together to do this and we worked the second year to get it done,” Howard said Wednesday. “So it’s a proud moment to know that we have done something for someone that was honorable. I personally didn’t know Mr. Miles, but I remember his name on several occasions and I only heard good things, so I had no hesitation in doing this.”
Miles’ community contributions includes his service as a former member of the state House and Richmond County Board of Education, and his early advocacy as board member for Teen Town. He is also known for his entrepreneurship, as former owner of Fleming Tractor and Equipment Corporation and Fleming Fuel Oil Company, among others.
As Wednesday’s dedication ceremony came to a close, former city officials and other guests gathered for photos and reflected on Miles’ life. His son, Miles II, said the recognition inspires him and reflects the positive impact his father had in the community.
“I’ve known him 15 years before he passed away, but I know he helped a lot of people, so this means a lot,” he said. “And I’m named after him, proud of it, so it’ll be like seeing my name going down the road.”