Created By: SFU
Born to Irish and Scottish parents in 1856, Sara Anne Maclure is one of only a handful of Scottish female trailblazers to grace the shores of Vancouver. Her father had moved to Vancouver to become a surveyor for a massive telegraph project that sought to connect British Columbia all the way to Siberia. With a repeater station in their house, Sara learnt quickly. She would utilize this knowledge when, at the age of fifteen, Sara started work at her father’s company. Within a year’s time she would be promoted to “tester and manager of repairs from New Westminster to Yale.” She would hold this position, one rather unusual for a woman of her times, until she married in 1884.
In 1888, Sara's husband John Campbell McLagan began the Vancouver Daily World, an operation Sara would be a part of from the very start (it was Sara who managed to get a loan from famous industrialist James Dunsmuir). Her roles would be minor, telegraphing occasionally, and convincing her brother to design a new office in 1892. However, her work load would grow exponentially when her husband died in 1901, making operator of the entire newspaper. The first thing she did when she gained control of the company was to introduce a women’s page every Saturday with articles on health, childcare, and women’s clubs. For five years she would run the company as the first Canadian female publisher (although her duties also included being a managing editor, an editorial writer, and an occasional reporter) until selling it for the large sum of $65,000.
While The Vancouver World wouldn’t move its offices to The Sun Tower until 1912, the Tower provides a wonderful trace of Sara Maclure’s legacy. Upon its completion it was the tallest building in the British Empire, a worthy monument for an extraordinary woman.
Mackie, John “This Week in History: Vancouver World Launches in 1888” Retrieved from: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/this+week+history+vancouver+world+launches+1888/11390943/story.html
Hale, Linda L. “Maclure, Sara Anne.” Dictoinary of Canadian Biogrpahy, vol.15. University of Toronto. 2005. bibliographi.ca Web. June 2017
This point of interest is part of the tour: Scotland Walks Vancouver