When Prince George, the future King George V, arrived in Halifax on Aug. 1, 1883, it was a low-key affair without media scrutiny. Queen’s Victoria grandson was serving about HMS Canada, a Royal Navy corvette that was visiting the port.
While on leave in the city, he arranged to stay at a hotel in nearby Hubbards because he wanted to go trout fishing. After some successful fishing, he saw lumberjacks rolling logs. Intrigued by their capers atop the slippery wood, he announced he intended to try it himself.
A local innkeeper rowed him out and the Prince bounded onto a log. Almost immediately, he lost his footing, falling into the water. Caught off guard, he was in immediate danger, close to drowning until the innkeeper plucked him out.
The enormity of the rescue became clear a decade later, when George’s older brother and heir to the throne Albert Victor died of pneumonia, making him the Prince of Wales and eventual king.
In 1901, he returned with his wife, Mary, Duchess of York, for an official royal visit. This time, there were no attempts at log rolling.