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Our Friend Joe: The Untold Story of Vancouver's First Lifeguard

Join us as author Lisa Anne Smith shares an untold story (or two!) of the West Indian sailor who became a local legend, preventing numerous drownings and teaching three generations of Vancouver children how to swim.

Vancouver’s first official lifeguard Seraphim “Joe” Fortes remains one of the city's most memorable and beloved historical figures.

He was so greatly loved by the citizens of Vancouver that his memory was honoured with a monument in Alexandra Park in 1927. In 1976, almost fifty years later, the Joe Fortes Branch of Vancouver Public Library was dedicated to his name.

His legacy lives on today, and this year in honour of Black History Month, Joe Fortes is featured on Canadian postage stamps.

This one-hour presentation, featuring vintage and contemporary photographs, provides a unique and informative look at Joe's lifetime of adventure from his Caribbean origins, to 1922 civic funeral in downtown Vancouver.


Our Friend Joe: the Untold Story of Vancouver's First Lifeguard

Tuesday February 26
7:00 p.m.
Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level
Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street

Free. All are welcome. Recommended for ages ten & up.

For more information, call 604-331-3716.