Fortes, Seraphim "Joe"

FORTES, Seraphim "Joe," lifeguard (b 1865, Barbados; d 4 Feb 1922, Vancouver). He arrived in VANCOUVER as a deckhand on a sailing ship in 1885 and found work as a porter and bartender at the Sunnyside Hotel in GASTOWN. By the 1890s he was a familiar figure on the beach at ENGLISH BAY, where he swam daily and taught children to swim. The city appointed him its first official lifeguard and special constable for the beach in 1901. Originally his squatter's shack stood on the beach opposite the...

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