It is interesting to record this important question has been taken up by the public of the Dominion. The writer was present at the first meeting held in Toronto, Nov. 10th, 1908, when a committee of organization was appointed, consisting of promi nent'citizens. It was very difficult to make sound progress with the general public, prior to the advent of public swimming baths, although a cer tain amount of good work has been done in the lakes; progress being naturally retarded owing to the shortness of the season. However, the public and press of Canada are taking a keener interest in the objects of the Society, and it is safe to predict that in a short time the far-reaching benefits and noble work in the art of life saving will become general throughout the Dominion. In this connection it is pleasing to record the first publicly organized branch of the Society in Can ada was founded by the writer in Hamilton, Ontario, which was enthusiastically supported by Government, military, city and public authorities, many, membersof the class passing the tests and receiving the Proficiency Certificate and Medal lion of the Society.
This subject forms a complete treatise in itself, and the author would strongly advise everyone to secure a copy of the Society's handbood, in which is published full information regarding the formation of classes. These books are supplied at 25c. each to individuals and members of unat tached clubs, and 12c. to affiliated clubs. The subscription for the latter, or associations, is $2.50 per annum. The affiliation fee for unattached schools, etc., is $1.50 per annum. Further infor mation may be obtained from any of the Society's branches in Hamilton, Toronto, or the head _ quarters of The Royal Life Saving Society, 8 Bayley Street, London, England. The handbook alluded to is now translated into Swedish, Italian, German and Finnish, and is also in course of preparation for publication in India.
The Society has the direct patronage of His Most Gracious Majesty the King, H. R. H. the Prince of Wales being Honorary President, with Lord Desborough, of Olympia fame, as President, which support has greatly encouraged and assist ed the Society to make swimming and life saving more popular with the people and schools throughout the Empire and the world.
It is interesting to record the founder of the Society was Mr. William Henry, its present Hon. Secretary, whose records in the swimming world and life-long devotion to the cause has brought him signal recognition from H. M. the King, Con tinental Europe and educational authorities throughout the world. The writer has had many pleasant times in this gentleman's company, and was fortunate enough in securing his strong co operation in the organization of the Society's branches in Canada, and can assure all interested parties they will receive every courteous consid eration when desiring his advice or any informa tion on the subject.
Extract from the writer's article on the subject, taken from several leading newspapers through out the Dominion and the United States : In view of the public recognition of the objects and aims of the Royal Life Saving Society, the following brief review of Canada's progress will no doubt be interesting at the present time. The great interest taken in the Society's work at Lind say in the early part of 1908 bids fair to eventu ally make it a progresseive centre for extending the work of the Society. Several demonstrations were given by the writer to members of the Y. M. C. A., and judging from the enthusiasm aroused it is reasonable to predict strong support will be given to the cause, which will no doubt be closely followed by Kingston, as the late instructor, who subsequently removed to take over the Y. M. C. A. in that city, was certain there would be some good life savers come up for examination from that quarter. The public and followers of the sport in Lindsay were the first in Canada to witness the demonstrations of the Schafer method of resusci tation for restoring the apparently drowned, which was carried out on the shores of Sturgeon Lake under the auspices of the Sturgeon Point Yacht Club. It was the general and enthusiastic
support of the public and press in the art of swimming and life saving that convinced the writer Canada would not be long in emulating the lead of Australia if the Society's methods were better known. With a view to bringing the question more prominently before the public, the writer wrote several articles on the subject, which were published in the Toronto Globe, Toronto World, Lindsay Free Press and other leading newspapers, which have always assisted this good cause. The work carried on during the last twelve years by the Society's repre sentative, Mr. Cochrane, of Upper Canada College, Toronto, has been taken up by the students at the University and Y. M. C. A., although the sphere of influence was somewhat limited, as there was no publicly recognized branch until the formation of the Ontario Branch, which has just been so successfully organized and by Government and public officials throughout Ontario, including the Right Hon. Earl Grey, Governor of Canada, vice.patron, His Honor J. M. Gibson, Lieutenant-Government of Ontario, Lieut.-Col., the Hon. J. S. Hendrie, C. V. 0. The two latter gentlemen's close association with Hamilton lends additional interest to the work of the local branch, and speaks volumes for those gentlemen of Hamilton who have come for ward to support the cause. The honorary list of members includes many notable leaders of the. sporting and philanthropic world, the latter ex pression being used in its widest sense, as no fees are deducted out of the moneys received for the officials of the Society, the different positions be ing purely honorary. It is this that has given everyone associated with the cause confidence for its future success in Canada. This was the course strongly recommended to the officials of the To ronto Swimming Club on the writer becoming a member of that distinguished club in the early part of 1908, when it was pointed out that in travel ing about the country it was found that very few people were aware of the existence of such a society, and that it was strongly desired to form a Canadian society. This would have entailed a somewhat lengthy delay, as some arrangement would have to be arrived at with the Royal Life Saving Society of Great Britain. This has fortu nately been averted by public opinion being aroused to further the progress of the good work already accomplished. When it is considered that twenty-four representative citizens of any Prov ince of Canada can secure full powers to establish a duly constituted branch under their own admin istration, subject to certain rules of the Society, at a nominal cost of $2.50 each, it will be wondered why more sections of the community have not taken earlier opportunities of the advantages and inducements held out for extending the know ledge of life saving in the great waterways of the Dominion. It is, however, gratifying to hear that Montreal, Winnipeg and other important centers will shortly be establishing branches for further ing the noble work of the Society, as they are already in direct communication with Mr. Henry, the Secretary and founder. Hamilton is an un qualified success, many of the members being proficient, having passed the examination in life saving for the Proficiency Certificate and Bronze Medallion of the Society. This is closely followed by the interest and records established at Brant ford, where classes are being organized by Mr. Crocker, under whose management the Y. M. C. A. bids fair to produce some notable results in the near future. When the new organization of the Ontario branch of the R. L. S. S. is in full opera tion, there is no doubt several more branches will soon be added to the list of branches taking ad vantage of the Society's methods.