Fairbridge School on Vancouver Island

Posted by Daniel on Jun 7, 2012

The June-July issue of Canada's History magazine is on the newsstands and it contains an interesting article about the Fairbridge Schools, one of which operated near Duncan on Vancouver Island from 1935 to the end of World War II.

Kingsley Fairbridge was a British colonial from Rhodesia who was appalled by the miserable conditions being endured by many children in the cities of England when he visited there in 1903. With the help of supporters he established the Child Emigration Society to open farm schools in the colonies: Australia, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and on Vancouver Island.

The BC school was quite an operation while it lasted, a small village really. But like so many of these well-intentioned enterprises, it was plagued by unqualified staff and charges of abuse.

The article, by Steve Turnbull, tells the whole story. Unfortunately it is not online so you'll have to track down a copy of the magazine.