Canada:Joe Fortes Featured on Latest Stamp

\"joeVancouver’s legendary lifeguard Joe Fortes, who is well-known within the city but virtually unknown outside it, is featured on a new Canada Post stamp issued on Friday.The Fortes stamp was designed by Lara Minja of Victoria, who superimposed a tinted photo of the man they called “Old Black Joe” in front of the English Bay beachfront he patrolled for 25 years.
Fortes’ early life is a bit of a mystery, but he was probably born in Port-au-Spain, Trinidad about 1863. He arrived in Vancouver in about 1890, and spent a few years bartending in Gastown bars. But he left Gastown to live in a cottage on the English Bay waterfront, where he taught thousands of early Vancouverites how to swim.His death from pneumonia on Feb. 4, 1922 stunned the city, which had considered the stout, athletic Fortes almost invincible. Thousands of people lined the streets downtown to watch his funeral procession.

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