Cora McFarland, Public School Teacher

CVA – SGN 80. Cora McFarland, at right, sitting on a bench with an unidentified girl in a wooded area. Dated by CVA as 189-, but more likely ca1908.

Very little is known today about Cora Helen McFarland (1878-1966). She was born and raised in New Brunswick by John and Isabella McFarland and attended the University of New Brunswick (UNB). She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the UNB with a concentration in mathematics. Indeed, she was awarded the Brydone Jack Scholarship (1907) in that area of specialization.1 She never married.

Class of 1908 (her year of graduation, presumably). Courtesy: University of New Brunswick Archives.

Her occupation from the early years of the 20th century (ca1908) until 1944 (when she retired) was as a school teacher at Queen Alexandra school.

She identified with the Baptist church, although it isn’t known which (if any) Baptist church she attended in Vancouver.

Cora died in Vancouver in 1966; her death was marked by just a single paragraph obituary. She was living at 1915 Haro (Stanley Park Manor) at the time of her passing.

The person on the right in the photo shown above was identified only as “Miss McFarland” by CVA. By reaching out to the Archives at UNB, I was able to obtain access to a photo of Cora H. McFarland (at right), and thereby confirmed that the person shown above was, indeed, Cora.

Queen Alexandra School – Adult to the left of the image appears to be Cora McFarland. Vancouver School Board Archives & Heritage.


1 William Brydone Jack was a Scot who became professor of mathematics, astronomy, and natural philosophy at King’s College (later to become UNB) and later became the President (1861-1885) of that institution.

In 1921, a contingent of 22 UNB graduates organized a UNB alumni association in B.C. Cora McFarland was among them. And Dr. W. D. Brydone Jack (William Brydone Jack’s son and a physician in Vancouver at that time) was present, too. The first meeting of the association was held at the Picadilly Tea Rooms (732 Dunsmuir) (World 14 May 1921).

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5 Responses to Cora McFarland, Public School Teacher

  1. Peter Findlay says:

    Thanks for another interesting snippet of Vancouver history. I sure hope that’s the whole school, and not just her class – 50+ students!
    BTW … the in-house fashion historian here thinks the picture is likely pre-WW1, possibly early teens.

  2. Ken says:

    As a member of the UNB class of 1966 I was very interested to read this.

    • mdm says:

      I’m pleased to hear it, Ken. Odd coincidence that her death year was the same year as you graduated from UNB!

  3. Nice to get more coverage of the women in early Vancouver. Thanks!

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