Errol Laurence Miller is the son of Percy and Joyce Miller. Born in Kingston, Jamaica he has five brothers and five sisters: Lloyd, Ralph, Keith, Percy Jr, and Noel and Audrey, Marjorie, Faith, Gail, and Jacqueline. He is married to Sharon, has three children: Garth, Yekengale and Catherine and four grandchildren: Phillip, Jheanelle, Gabrielle, and Chantel.
Brought up in the Anglican Church, as a teenager he became a member of the Bethel Baptist Church, Half Way Tree, Jamaica in July 1956. He has been a Sunday School Teacher, Training Union Director, deacon, and lay-preacher. In his early years, Miller was known for active involvement in sports, particularly cricket.
A close look at Miller’s career reveals that the various posts he has held are not the achievement of goals that he had set for himself or the realizations of personal ambitions. Rather, they were the result of invitations to serve mostly in circumstances of crises of different kinds. Miller insists that the only ambition he has had since the end of his first year in university has been to be a teacher. He explains his career by the following:
- During a period of severe illness at age 11 to 12 years old, when he was not expected to live, he had prayed, asked the Lord Jesus to spare his life and made a promise to serve Him. He never expected to live to an old age. He always felt he was living on borrowed time. He, therefore, felt obliged to give of his best in whatever position he was placed.
- He came to maturity at the time of Jamaican independence. The new Jamaican nation was in search of qualified nationals to be appointed to critical positions. Having completed his first degree at age 21 and Ph. D by the time he was 30 years old he was fortunate to be around during the post-independence era.
- Having benefitted from the many opportunities made available through his Jamaican schooling, especially at Calabar and the University of the West Indies, he decided to live and work in Jamaica
- Several older educators, particularly the Honorable Wesley Powell, Mrs. Fay Saunders and Professor Aubrey Phillips identified abilities of which he was unaware of and thought that he could accomplish tasks that he had never done. However, based on their judgement, his faith in God and with great trepidation, he undertook those assignments.
- As the first recipient of both the MA and Ph. D in Education of the University of the West Indies, he felt obliged to live up to the highest academic and professional standards so as to demonstrate that excellence is resident in Jamaica and the Commonwealth Caribbean.
Miller has had a rather unique professional and public service career which has given him almost a three hundred and sixty-degree exposure within the education enterprise. He has been a high school science teacher; university lecturer in science education; college principal; university professor, chancellor of a university college, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education; independent senator in the Parliament of Jamaica; a president of the teachers’ association; a chairman of the board of the state broadcasting corporation; chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica; a researcher; an author; an international consultant; chairman or member of several school and college boards.
By oscillating between activism and reflection, certainty and doubt, advocacy and introspection he developed great respect for colleagues; came to recognize that even modest change requires enormous effort over a longer time than is usually estimated; realized that the best that one can do is to try to make a difference for good in one’s time, to know that the greatest pitfall to avoid is to think that you are indispensable and to give God the glory for whatever was achieved.