Drowning has claimed far too many lives in Aotearoa. Our wild beaches and network of rivers proved so fatal in the 19th century that drowning was referred to as 'The New Zealand Death'. In the 1950s things didn't seem to be that much better, with public information campaigns reminding parents that a child died by drowning every week.
This slide was produced by the 'National Prevent Drowning Committee' which worked with the Internal Affairs Department. Their mascot was an owl called Ruru who urged the public to 'Learn Water Wisdom'. In an effort to reach Maori some of Ruru's messages were printed in Te Reo.
The presence of Ruru dates this slide to the 1950s- as does the different design of the surf lifesavers' flags. This particular slide was shown in Paraparaumu- but with Foxton being a seaside town it is almost certain that it would have been screened in Horowhenua just in time for summer.
If you are interested in reading more about Ruru's campaigns you can read a thesis here