First black woman athlete to represent Canada in an International competition and the first person from a visible minority to be hired as a teacher by the Vancouver School Board.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Barbara grew up in the Grandview neighborhood with her sister and three brothers; she attended Laura Secord Elementary School, and Britannia High School. It was during high school that she demonstrated her remarkable and unprecedented speed; in 1938 was a member of the Canadian Track Team, representing Canada at the British Empire Games in Sydney Australia. In 1959 she graduated from UBC with a B.Ed, degree.
Her teaching career spanned more than 40 years, teaching at Hastings, Henry Hudson, Lord Strathcona and Trafalgar elementary schools.
Awards and Recognition
- In 2010, she received a Remarkable Woman Award from the Vancouver Park Board for "her passionate dedication to inspire others to make a positive difference in their community."
- In 2012, she was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
- In 2013, received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
- In 2015 she was named to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
- In September 2018 the City of Vancouver renamed 15 public spaces to commemorate the work of prominent local residents. The Cambie Street Plaza, located south side of the Cambie Street Bridge and north of the east off ramp was renamed the Barbara Howard Plaza.
First black woman athlete to represent Canada in an International competition.
First person from a visible minority to be hired as a teacher by the Vancouver School Board.
Barbara Catherine Howard May 8, 1920 - January 26, 2017, Vancouver, B.C.
Parents: Cassie Scurry and Samuel Howard
Siblings: Youngest of five children.
In her own words. Barbara Howard at age 94, shares her East Van memories.
B.C. Sports Hall of Fame
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
UBC Alumni Profiles