Timeline

  • On April 19, 1911, over forty participants attended a meeting in Winnipeg with the objective of forming a Manitoba Branch of the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS). Many of them held lifesaving awards from other countries and had been teaching classes in Winnipeg for some years. Five months later, the Branch was officially inaugurated on September 6th, 1911 with a full slate of officers elected under the leadership of President J. A. Aikens, Esq., M.P.
  • 1911 Despite the fact that there was only one “swimming bath” in the City of Winnipeg, the Branch was very active in its early years.
  • 1929 Exhibitions were given to various rural areas to spread interest in the Society outside its Winnipeg base.
  • Early 1930s A great deal of progress was enjoyed as the number of awards issued increased until the effects of the depression were heavily felt.
  • Late 1930s The number of awards issued was erratic because of the depression.
  • 1943 Awards were at an all-time low of three because of the effects of the war.
  • 1947 The Branch was back on track with the authorization of the newly formed Canadian Council of Branches, as a number of clubs became affiliated with the lifesaving program.
  • 1950 Manitoba issued 166 awards, the third highest total in the history of the Branch, which was especially gratifying because it was achieved despite the Winnipeg spring flood disaster.
  • 1956 The Branch received the prestigious William Henry Memorial Cup with an outstanding 140% increase in the number of awards issued.
  • 1970s The Manitoba Branch witnessed the opening of many new aquatic facilities, with three in major northern communities.
  • 1976 The first Branch office opened in Winnipeg.
  • 1977 The Manitoba Branch hosted the RLSS of Canada National Annual Conference featuring the Alcohol & Aquatics Symposium and the inaugural National Lifeguard Championship in Winnipeg in May 1977.
  • 1986 The Branch celebrated its 75th Anniversary with a new and revised Constitution, incorporation, and a new lifesaving program to carry them into the 1990s.
  • 1990s The Branch was certifying close to 7000 award holders per year in the province of Manitoba. The Water Smart® initiatives mark a large step in the challenge of making all residents and visitors to Manitoba water smart through various public education projects.
  • 1991 The 100th Anniversary of the Commonwealth RLSS.
  • 1992 The Canadian Life Saving Program is revised.
  • 1994 The Society hosted the national conference, Exposure: 94 and the Canadian Lifesaving Championships.
  • 1995 The Jim McDiarmid award, a special Manitoba Branch recognition award, was developed in the memory of Jim McDiarmid; a long time dedicated member of the Society who – among his many citations for recognition of service to the Society – was made a Honourary Life Member of the RLSS.
  • 1996 The Centennial of the Bronze Medallion award in Canada.
  • 1999 The New Canadian Swim Patrol and Bronze Star awards are launched.
  • 2001 The Society participated as an expert witness in a provincial inquest.
  • 2003 New Lifesaving First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation awards are introduced. Revisions year for Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross. The Society participated as an expert witness in a provincial Inquest.
  • 2004 Revised National Lifeguard Service (NLS) award released. The 40th anniversary of NLS.
  • 2005 The Manitoba Branch launches the Swim-for-Life programs and renews its involvement with a Northern Communities Water Smart® Program featuring Swim to Survive, BOAT & EFA/CPR Training.
  • 2006 First Manitoba agency instructing CPR 30-2, based on the 2005 ILCOR CPR changes
  • 2007 Branch releases First Aid Instructor Resource CD, everything needed to teach in Power Point.
  • 2008 Churchill Manitoba becomes and affiliate and chooses to run the Swim for Life Program.
  • 2011 The Manitoba Branch celebrates its 100th year in Manitoba
  • 2012 The Manitoba Branch host the National Annual Meetings and the Canadian Lifeguard Emergency Response Championships. The new National Lifeguard program is launched at these meetings.

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