Talk:Joe Fortes

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References of New Stamp[edit]

I removed the stamp and added the public domain photo that was used in creation of the Canada Post Stamp. This should appease the license requirements of Wikipedia. The photo is public domain and is from the Vancouver Archives. I also referenced the archives in the documentation / caption information of the page. I hope that solves everything. Coffeerob (talk) 03:11, 4 March 2013 (UTC)


Where is the monument? -- TheMightyQuill 07:25, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Date of birth can't be 1865[edit]

Fortes was bartending at the Sunnyside Hotel on Water Street (where Brother Jon's is now) by the mid-1870s or earlier; he was that hotel's first bartender (other than its owner George Black, the butcher who also owned New Brighton, or one of the hotels there rather). Now, while he could have been bartending at age 10, in 1875, he also was the bouncer and known for his rough handling of drunks and those who stiffed the bar.....coulda been a real tough ten-year-old I guess, but not very likely. There's a lot on him in Matthews' Early Vancouver, though I don't recall that any account in there says when he came to Granville/Gastown or on which ship or why...probably gold rush reasons, but that's pretty much the case with anyone who showed up in BC in those days....Skookum1 (talk) 13:49, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Don't know what sources the Black Historical & Cultural Society were using, but there's some holes in what appears to be their account; if he was born in '65, he was 20 in '85 and had alerady been a competitive swimmer in England. Now, in those days, it still took at least six months to get to Vancouver from the UK, and taht was if you could afford passage via Panama or the US; many still had to come via Cape Horn - an eighteen-month journey; so he would have had to be a competitive swimmer in his late teens, and have gotten to the UK from Barbados before that....Anyway I'm very sure he was a lot older than 57 years old when he died, and also that he was a fixture in Gastownalready by 1885; he didn't arrive in Vancouver then but definitely earlier; I think 1885 was when he moved to English Bay from his old quarters in the Sunnyside; he had to move as part of teh consequences of the Winter Riots of 1885, which had the effect of making Gastown uncomfortble for non-whites due to the influx of Candians and otheres not used to the mix-ed race nature of inlet society (a common misperception about BC is that BCers in the old days were racist; no, new arrivals were, particularly those from Ontario and the Maritimes...). Fortes had already been a popular and established local at the time of his relocation; and while he may have been twenty in 1885 I don't recall anything in Matthews about that and I think the source is just wrong....Skookum1 (talk) 14:11, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Just read the source article, it makes no mention of 1865, but it does say he arrived on the Robert Kerr in 1885....this isn't waht I remember at all, as Matthe4ws says he was the first bartender at the Sunnyside, and the Sunnyside is older than that......Skookum1 (talk) 14:14, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

This suggests he was 57 when he died. This says he was around 20 when he arrived. I don't know how reputable this vancouverhistory website is, but all the references I've seen suggest he arrive in Canada in 1885. - TheMightyQuill (talk) 18:50, 9 November 2008 (UTC) Here is another reference, still without his actual birthday. And here is another interesting article that probably deserves a wikipedia article, if you have the time. - TheMightyQuill (talk) 18:55, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

The problem with a lot of "modern" histories written in Vancouver is that they keep on repeating or re-interpreting each other's "facts". One such I know of is the claim, which surfaced in a Strathcona walking tour reviewed in the papers, that "the bay window came here from San Francisco with the gold rush", i.e. as opposed to "true Canadian styles"; the case is actually that BC itself came from San Francisco, and the brick-and-colonial styles which appeared after the railway are the "foreign" styles, not the bay window and "West Coast Queen Anne" and arts&crafts style and such, all of which I've seen misconstrued as "American influences" as if they didn't belong here. Similarly some book out there on class realities on transit in Vancouver (it's amaazing the trash you can get published if you have a degree and the right letters from the right profs) blathered on about how "probably the Chinese were made to sit at the back of the trolley cars" when the opposite was the case, or rather they sat at the front and weren't made to, it was by choice; but the "probably" thing gets repeated with all the zeal of "well since we know white British Columbians were racist this must have been the case" if the treatement of Chinese here were exactly like the treatment of blacks in the American South; the truth is never an obstacle to getting published in BC, that's for certain. Even the bit about "he was about 20 when he arrived" or him being "about 57" when he died is probably a pastiche off the 1865 birth date, not a report on him stepping off the barque or his getting hired by George Black....the problem with Early Vancouver (Maj. Matthews) is t hat it's unindexed and without any real chapters, so it's a pain in the ass to go look for stuff in, and I don't own a copy anymore anyway. But I'm pretty certain that Joe was a fixture at the Sunnyside for a number of years before the Winter Riots, and "first bartendere at the Sunnyside" sticks in my head as a phrase....though granted it may be my own from long ago :-D. George Black, his boss, deserves an article, too (actually quite a bit more interesting guy, though less celebrated), but then the same is true of all old "Gastown hands".....Maybe I'm wrong in remembering the Sunnyside as being around since the '70s, maybe it was freshly built, but I don't think so; it was the first building on the harbour side of Water Street btw, built on pilings out into the water with the offal from Black's butchering thrown straight into the water...nice big "false front", no colour pics but I'd bet it was yellow just looking at 'em; maybe whitewashed though....seems to me he was quite aged-looking in the last pictures of him; granted, life expectancies then aren't what they are now, but.....I'd rely on Matthews as a source more than anything written by pediegreed pooh-bahs in the years since, given the overall trashy standard of non-fact in a lot of "modern" historiography; also there may be a mention of his age in Georgina Keddell's The Newspapering Murrays, in which she talks about her parents' campaign that engendered teh near-state funeral (anything a Murray says I tend to take with a grain of salt...she also claims her Dad was responsible for getting the Boy Scouts of Canada started on behalf of the editor of the Ottawa peper he worked for so as to kiss-up to the Gov Gen, who was a big fan of Baden Powell, and she also claims they instigated the campaign to build the Peace Arch, even though history says that was Joe (Jim?) Hill's doing.....Skookum1 (talk) 19:14, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
As for the Victoria Rifles, yes, of course they need an article; likewise the Victoria Voltigeurs with their nifty Metis-style and oh-so-flashy blue-and-red-and-white outfits with "turbans" and sashes and mitasse (leggings), also article on the Royal Marines detachment in BC, and an expansion of Royal Engineers, Columbia detachment all need doing. I don't ahve the sources, I'm afraid; I'm around the corner, or within a stone's throw in fact, of a major public archive; but it's Nova Scotia's, not British Columbia's.....Skookum1 (talk) 19:16, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

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