Walter Safety Mascot Flag

Date / Period
1963
Place
Ottawa, Ontario
Object Type
Textiles and Uniforms
Credit
Canadian Red Cross / Alan Fujiwara
Topics
Swimming and Water Safety
Created by Alan Fujiwara in 1963, Walter Safety was once the face of the Canadian Red Cross swimming program, appearing in community centres and pools across the country.
 
Walter Safety posters became commonplace, with the enthusiastic mascot offering safety messages for swimmers, such as: “Head for shore when a storm threatens. HANG ON if upset and signal for help,” and “Learn from a Red Cross trained instructor. Be a good safe swimmer. Help others to be safe too.”
 
Walter was even immortalized with his own jingle ‘The Walter Safety Song’ written, published and recorded by Boris Mischenko in 1964.
 
Over the years the Red Cross swimming program has adapted, with new initiatives like the annual Water Safety Week educating Canadians on how to stay safe around water and prevent drowning incidents.
 
Every year, approximately 520 Canadians die needlessly in unintentional water-related fatalities. A high percentage of these preventable water-related fatalities consist of young children, almost always due to lack of or adequate supervision.
 
While the ability to swim is important, swimming skills alone aren’t always enough to save a life. Learning water safety is key to preventing an emergency in or on the water, and also teaches what to do if you find yourself in an emergency situation. Walter Safety may no longer be the public face of the Red Cross swimming program, but the important safety messages he stood for still ring true today.

Walter Safety Mascot Flag

Walter Safety Flag
Walter Safety was once the face of the Canadian Red Cross swimming program, appearing in community centres and pools across the country.
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Water Safety Programme Personal Record Card