George Anthony Barber, cricketer and educator (born 1802 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England; died 20 October 1874 in Toronto, ON).
George Barber immigrated to Canada in 1826 and brought his love for cricket from England to his new country. Serving as an assistant teacher in a York grammar school, Barber was in a position to expand the popularity of cricket beyond the military cricket games played between British soldiers. He founded the first cricket club in Canada in 1827, called the York Cricket Club, which was renamed the Toronto Cricket Club in 1834. Barber became the writing master at the new Upper Canada College in 1829 and formed the Upper Canada College Cricket Club in 1836, ensuring cricket was part of the curriculum. Barber was subsequently hired as an editor of the Commercial Herald (later known as the Toronto Herald), in which he published articles about cricket to help popularize the game.
Barber was appointed the first superintendent of common (public) schools for Toronto in 1844. In that same year, he took part in the first international sporting match of the modern era when Canada defeated the US in a cricket match. This match started an international series of cricket matches between Canada and the US that would continue until 1912, when the First World War interrupted numerous sporting events. Like the international series, Barber enjoyed longevity, playing in organized cricket matches until 1860 at age 58. In addition to playing on the field, Barber also worked as a cricket umpire with appointments in the international series between Canada and the US in 1846 and 1853. For his role in the development of the game, Barber is often referred to as the "Father of Canadian Cricket."