Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Joe Fortes

On our way home from Whistler we spent a night in Vancouver.  The concierge at our hotel directed us to Joe Fortes Restaurant, where we had possibly the best salmon I've ever tasted.  Just proves why people from Vancouver don't fly east to eat salmon, or to ski for that matter.  The restaurant parks a restored 1940's taxi cab on the street as a classy billboard.  I went back the next morning to sketch it.  Too bad I smudged the ink.

A couple of days later back at home, going  through my mail, a stamp caught my eye. Joe Fortes, in recognition of Black History Month.  I had assumed Joe owned the restaurant. Not so - Joe Fortes is a local legend who is fondly remembered for teaching children to swim in English Bay and as the beach's self-appointed lifeguard. He is credited with saving at least 29 lives, although the real number is thought to be much higher.   A monument to commemorate him was erected a few years after his death in 1922, with the inscription "children loved him" and a local library is also named after him.  In 1986 Joe Fortes was selected as the Vancouver Citizen of the Century.

The Wikipedia description is worth having a look at -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Fortes


  1. It's a wonderful story John. And a great sketch with a smudge that may only be apparent to you. Love it!