Canadian Aviatrix #59 – Cora Stock (1910-2001)

Cora Ellen Stock was born on 22 February 1910 to George Burrill Stock (a farmer) and Annie Cyrilla Sheppard.

1911 census

1921 census

1931 census

Wentworth ON

Wentworth ON

Wentworth ON




























Died 1921


Cora was a stenographer for the County of Wentworth. In May 1938, she took a week’s vacation to get her pilot’s license. She flew solo for the first time after only one lesson – 36 hours after her first lesson. She’d hoped to do it even sooner, but the weather had been unfavourable during the week.

Cora set a Canadian record for the shortest period of instruction before going solo. Newspapers were amazed by her achievement, although one was more surprised by the fact that she corrected them about her age (from 22 to 28). Cora threw a party to celebrate and invited her flying instructors, Ernest Taylor and Tony Shelfoon (with his wife, Daphne – the seventh woman to get her PPL in Canada).

On 2 August 1938, Cora passed her flying test and received her PPL, making her the 59th female pilot in Canada. She was 28 years old.

Canadian Aviatrix #59 – Cora Stock (1910-2011)

Photo: The Hamilton Spectator (May 23, 1938)

(It was the same day Daphne became the first woman in Canada to get her public transport license.)

In February 1939, Cora resigned from her job – “forsaking stenography for marriage”, as the newspapers put it. She was presented with a silver tray on behalf of the courthouse staff and officials. She married James Dysart Tenison, a salesman who was also a pilot. The couple honeymooned in New York.

(James had been married before, to Madeline Penton in 1931, and the couple had a baby boy, James Benjamin. Sadly, he died in 1934, just before his second birthday. Cause of death was given as “edema of lungs” and two weeks before, he had undergone an operation for “removal of foreign body”. In 1937, Madeline served James his breakfast, saw him off to work, then shot herself with a rifle.)

In August 1939, Cora was injured at an air show when a rocket swerved off course and into the stands. Six people suffered burns, but were sent over home after receiving first aid. Cora was pregnant at the time and gave birth to a healthy baby girl in January 1940, followed by a boy in 1942.

By 1984, Cora and James were divorced and he had remarried.

Cora died in 2001, aged 91.

Note: Cora was listed with an asterisk in No Place for a Lady – meaning the author hadn’t been able to find her. I just had “C.E. Stock” and the date of her PPL.

The First 100 Canadian Women Pilots

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