HENRI GERARD ARTS
1998 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
Henri Arts devoted much of his energy and time to Aquatics and more specifically, Water Safety Instruction. Born and raised in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Henri learned to swim at the age of 6 and was enrolled in the AMVJ swim team “De Dolphin,” (The Dolphins). He advanced and was a member of the team competing at meets in the Netherlands. His strength was in the freestyle stroke. Most of the events Henri entered he either won or placed second. Henri was also an avid water polo player. In Holland, water polo was included in almost every meet. Henri played from the time he was about 8 years old and eventually became captain of the water polo team and competed nationally as captain for a year and a half. After his time in service and no longer competing, Henri did some recruiting for the AMVJ team and gave lectures regarding water safety.
After arriving in Rhode Island in December 1 956, Henri enrolled in Red Cross training for first aid, and he worked his way up through the ranks to Instructor Trainee. Henri was part of the training cadre in Rhode Island that trained lifeguards for beaches, ponds, lakes and private pools.
Henri got more and more involved with the Red Cross, training people in CPR, first aid and water safety throughout the State. As a volunteer, with the American Red Cross National Aquatic Schools, he managed the waterfront at Camp Tevya in New Hampshire. In addition, he was 1st Vice President for the Providence Chapter. His professional life seemed to. follow a similar pattern, as he became a Senior Safety Consultant for Aetna Casualty and Surety and was presenting safety lectures and training throughout the region. Henri acquired two National Certified Safety Professional accreditations from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. From the World Safety Association, he received the appointment of Certified Safety Executive. He is presently working as a private consultant in Loss Control and still giving safety lectures.
In 1971, he became a member of the Rhode Island Interscholastic Swim Officials Association and has been working as a high school official for over twenty-five years. In 1988 Henri received the Joseph L. Tracey Award for his contribution to aquatics, and in 1 991 he was presented with the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association Award for his outstanding contribution to high school swimming. From 1975 to 1 995, he officiated the college meets at the University of Rhode Island. He worked many championships, including the 1 978 Women’s World Championships at Brown University. In 1997, Henri became one of four Rhode Island officials to be certified by the Collegiate Swimming Officials Association.