Questions on Joe Fortes!

Answer the following questions of your choosing to learn more about Joe Fortes and how he impacted society!

Joe Fortes was Vancouver’s first lifeguard. He arrived in Vancouver aboard a trade ship in 1885. Fortes is credited with saving at least 29 lives and teaching many people how to swim. Fortes is estimated to have saved over 100 people’s lives as a beach manager. The Vancouver Historical Society formally declared Fortes as “Vancouver Citizen of the Century” in 1986.



1) How many lives is esteemed that Fortes has saved as a beach manager?

2) When and how did Fortes arrive in Vancouver?

3) Was Fortes the first lifeguard?


1) Why is the value of having a Black lifeguard taking care of children and families? Explain your answer.

2) Explain the significance of the title “Citizen of the Century” and what that might entail. What characteristics would you like to see in a “Citizen of the year”?