Trained as a teacher at Homerton, he was headmaster of the school for 32 years. Before taking over leadership of the school, he had been the head teacher at Saint James School Accrington.
It was May 1887 when he first took the reigns for the school, staying there until his retirement on August 17th 1919, this was two years before he needed to take retirement.
As a headmaster he was one of the stern old school, but was undoubtedly much loved by his scholars, many of whom went on to achieve positions of importance both in Rishton and elsewhere.
Mr Cormack carried out the transition at the school to obtain fully qualified staff in their profession, and during his time at the school the abolition of school fees was passed through Government, the school was passed to the County Council, and the half-time system of education was gradually brought to an end.
During the Great War the headmaster saw many of his pupils join up, some of them never to return. These were difficult times for him.
Mr Cormack was, for many years, a cutelist (one of the higher order of lay readers) and would often have given lessons in Saint Peters and Saint Paul's Church, as well as teaching the men.
Mr Cormack served on the Rishton U. D. C. several times. His first election to the board was in 1894, and this lasted for 5 years. He was elected again in 1910 and this time served for 9 years, and during his time on the council had been on every committee with the exception of the education committee.
He was also a member of the Accrington and District Gas and Water Board, and inaugurated the Rishton District Nursing Association in 1911, he remained President of this right up to his death.
His picture hung for many years in the Conservative club, where he was a trustee and frequenter.
He was married with a son and daughter, the daughter, up till marriage worked alongside her father, and his son became a priest, being based in Cumberland for some time.
In February 1914 he was asked to write a piece about Rishton, this he did, and the book was published as a souvenir, "A Brief History of Rishton". The reasons for writing at this time was to celebrate the reunion festival held on the 14th, and also use it for the programme of entertainments. The book has since become an interesting read for anyone who wishes to know what life was like in Rishton up to that period of time.
He died at 11 Agnew Street, Lytham Saint Anne's, were he had retired to some years earlier at the age of 73 in June 1928 of failing health.