Lighthouses of Australia Project - MAY 00 BULLETIN

VOL 5 No 5
MAY 2002
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Dear Friends

Features

International Lighthouse Day
NSW South Coast Lighthouse Expedition - Gabo Island
US Lighthouse Society Tours Australia - Part 1

Letters & Notices

Department of Scrounge

New Pages & Links

New Pages for Australia
New Links for Australia
New Links for World

Australian News

Cape Willoughby 150th Celebrated with Encounter 2002
Rare Macquarie Equipment Under Review
Macquarie for Kids
Macquarie Open Day
Opening Of Table Cape Lighthouse Closer
Cape Jaffa Memorial and Book
Judgement Rock

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Dear Friends

Concern about leasing of lightstations

It is becoming increasingly obvious that certain issues must be considered before lightstations are leased or leases renewed.

Many lights in New South Wales and Victoria have been leased to private tourist operators. It has been a whole learning experience.

As mentioned last month we have concerns for some of these station. Also, submissions are being processed for the leasing of Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste to commercial tourist operators. The Tasmanian Government has again requested expressions of interest for it's lighthouse properties.

As a result of mixed experiences where this has already taken place LoA Inc would like to be assured that the following issues are adequately covered:

  • Who will be in effective control?
  • What plans are in place for ongoing maintenance?
  • Who will responsible for maintenance?
  • Are plans in place to improve visitor facilities
  • Are plans in place to protect the site from heavy visitor traffic
  • Are plans in place to remedy occupational health and safety issues
  • What is situation with the local Koori community
  • What will be the relationship with authorities such as government departments and the local shire.

Ongoing Local Actions

Perhaps Mike Broadle in his letter is setting the example for all of us. I get many cries of concern about certain lighthouse and the state of lighthouse preservation in general.

Mike has decided maybe it's time to get his hands dirty.

I have been pushing this barrow for a long time. If we are to succeed it is really up to the locals and others interested in a particular lighthouse to get involved.

Find out if there already is a group, or start one if there isn't. The Bulletin is here to be used to promote such activities. We can let you know who else subscribes in your area.

Come on, if you really do care about your lighthouses it's time to get your hands dirty too.

Join Lighthouses of Australia IncJoin Now for 2003

Join Lighthouses of Australia Inc (LoA Inc) now and your membership will be treated as a 2003 membership.

Membership in LoA inc is from July to June of each year and in early July the 2002 membership renewals for the 2003 year will be sent out.

New Improved LoA Inc Contact Details

Were have a new and improved mail server and as a result we have been able to allocate mails boxes (email addresses) for all key positions in LoA Inc. Find these with names and phone numbers at <http://www.lighthouses.org.au/about/Contact.htm>.

It may be possible for members, for an extra fee over their membership, to have their own 'aliases'. EG: billy.bloggs@lighthouses.org.au.

This Month's Features

International Lighthouse DayAn exciting opportunity to preserve, promote and protect our lighthouse heritage has been given to us with the Association of Lightkeepers announcing the first International Lighthouse Day. Lets get behind this and have as many events as possible to build it into a true annual event.

NSW South Coast Lighthouse Expedition - Gabo IslandEd and Malcolm share their recent New South Wales expedition with the story of going out to Gabo for the first time and understanding why many past residents and visitors consider this to be their favourite lightstation.

US Lighthouse Society Tours Australia - Part 143 members of the US Lighthouse Society came to our shores for the adventure of a lifetime with a trip from Sydney to Portland. Cape Willoughby 150th Celebrated with Encounter 2002This month we have part 1 of a 2 part report from Bob Adams, their host.

This Month's News

A formal celebration was held to mark Cape Willoughby's 150th anniversary where past keepers attended.

Rare Macquarie Equipment Under ReviewIt was good to learn that the historic generator set at Australia's oldest lightstation, Macquarie, was to be inspected for maintenance purposes by their owners, the Powerhouse Museum.

Macquarie Open DayAlso at Macquarie the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust held a Kid's Day earlier this year with the objective of creating the next generation of lighthouse enthusiasts.

Opening Of Table Cape Lighthouse CloserMore recently an open day at Macquarie was held for the old folks like us. Grant Maizels and Rose Eagleton attended and supplied us with a report and photos.

Bryan Green, MHA, recently announced in the Tasmanian Parliament that Table Cape is to open to public. This is a spectacular tower in an equally spectacular settingCape Jaffa Memorial and Book.

The Cape Jaffa Memorial was unveiled last month and a book to mark the occasion by John Nicholson was also released at the event.

Judgement RockNormally we would stick to facts and figures, but there's nothing like a good juicy romance novel especially when the setting is on a Bass Strait island and background is really well researched. Read about the the Author of Judgement Rock with a book review.

Malcolm Macdonald is the founder and convener of Lighthouses of Australia

Malcolm Macdonald
Bulletin Editor
<keeper@lighthouses.org.au>
[Photograph: Marguerite Stephen]


Features

International Lighthouse Day

[Malcolm Macdonald <malcolm@lighthouses.org.au>]

British Association of Lighthouse KeepersThe British Association of Lighthouse Keepers is proposing to hold an International Lighthouse Day on August 18th 2002.

The objective of the day is to raise the profile of lighthouses and their heritage both in Britain and places like Australia. It is hoped that as many lighthouses as possible will open around the World on this day.

The organizer, Elizabeth Brewerton, said:

"I am hoping that the day will provide loyal 'friends' groups with an opportunity to do much needed fundraising with the attendant amount of publicity to help them along their way. The day will also provide those lighthouses used for business purposes with an extra opportunity to boost their popularity."

The Association has full approval of Trinity House in London who has agreed to open as many of the English lighthouses under their control as possible. It is hoped that the Northern Lighthouse Board (Scotland) and the Commissioners of Irish Lights will also be participating.

LoA Inc will be approaching our Australian lighthouse agencies with hope that they will support this event too.

Elizabeth has informed us that they will be issuing press releases and radio publicity before the event and it is gaining momentum. The event has been deliberately timed to coincide with the Amateur Radio Enthusiasts' International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend as this is already and established event and we hope to make it even bigger.

Elizabeth hopes that groups such as ours in Australia an overseas will get involved and add to it's success by making the day truly international.

This is an opportunity for supporters of LoA Inc to get some local activities going with their local or favourite lighthouse.

Events you could organize could be things like:

  • A reunion of past keepers and their families
  • An ecumenical church service to remember those who served and those who were lost
  • An ecumenical church service to rededicate the light.

This could added to with

  • A plaque of dedication
  • A plaque list those who served and those who were lost
  • A plaque outlining the history or some major event
  • A community market
  • Stories told by former keepers
  • Displays of historic collection such as photographs
  • Some music and performers with associated themes
  • Collecting heritage items

Through some type of activity you could help establish a group that has an ongoing interest in preserving, promoting and protecting one of our many Australian lighthouses.

NSW South Coast Lighthouse Expedition - Gabo Island

[Malcolm Macdonald <keeper@lighthouses.org.au> with additions by Ed Kavaliunas <edkav@pipeline.com.au>]

Getting Underway

Friday afternoon the 8th March, we head off from Geelong, through Melbourne to the east, our eventual destination being Wollongong for the 2nd annual dinner of the Lighthouses of Australia Inc (LoA Inc). We travel through Warragul, Morwell, Traralgon and Sale, eventually stopping at Bairnsdale overnight.

We travel parallel to the 90 Mile Beach and the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, but as for time constraints we are traveling inland so we don't have the opportunity to enjoy much in the way of sightseeing.

We leave Bairnsdale early Saturday as we are due to meet a pilot at 12.30 in Mallacoota to fly us out to Gabo Island.>

Chad from Mallacoota Air Services with Ed. [Image: Malcolm Macdonald] Chad from Mallacoota Air Services with Ed.
[Image: Malcolm Macdonald]

Trip out to Gabo Island Lighthouse

Arrived at Mallacoota Airport to meet Chad from Mallacoota Air Services.

The day was fine and clear, with only a light breeze and very little cloud. The flight to Gabo takes about 8 minutes but there is plenty to see on the way.

We flew past the beautiful Mallacoota Inlet. [Image: Malcolm Macdonald] We flew past the beautiful Mallacoota Inlet.
[Image:
Ed Kavaliunas]

Flying along the coast we saw the beautiful creeks rivers lakes and the inlet that gives this area the reputation it has.

In the distance is Mount Howe and out on the ocean side Cape Howe, where the border between Victoria and New South Wales meets the sea.

The far point is Cape Howe. Gabo Island is just off the near point. [Image: Malcolm Macdonald] The far point is Cape Howe. Gabo Island is just off the near point.
[Image:
Ed Kavaliunas]

 

Between Mallacoota and Gabo is Tullaberga Island, scene of the wreck of the Monumental City. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas] Between Mallacoota and Gabo is Tullaberga Island, scene of the wreck of the Monumental City.
[Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

To our right is the Tullaberga Island, scene of the shipwreck, Monumental City, and the trigger that finally brought about the decision to proceed with the construction of the Gabo Lighthouse.

The remains of an iron hull ship with its boilers are embedded in sand in the shallows just off the beach. We find out later that this is the Riverina.

The wreck of the Riverina. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas] The wreck of the Riverina.
[Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

 

Approaching Gabo by air. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas] Approaching Gabo by air.
[Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

Further ahead on the right, a few hundred metres off the coast is Gabo itself and on the right side of the island is the lighthouse.

Being slightly apprehensive about landing on the short Gabo airstrip, only 600 metres, we put our trust in Chad the pilot who has been out here on many occasions.

Leo and Bob, the National Parks rangers showed us around Gabo. [Image: Malcolm Macdonald] Leo and Bob, the National Parks rangers showed us around Gabo.
[Image: Malcolm Macdonald]

Once on the ground we head down to the cottages were we are meet by Bob & Leo who are the rangers stationed on the island at the moment.

Leo shows us his office which is like mini museum with photos of past keepers, ships, wrecks and the lightstation itself.

With only an hour on the ground we have to make the most of it and head to the tower.

Leo leads us into the oil room and explains that this is one of the few towers that have the oil room in the base of the tower. He also points out the huge granite keystones in the foundation that the tower sits.

The oil from in the base of the tower and the old blacksmiths shop to the right. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas]
The oil from in the base of the tower and the old blacksmiths shop to the right.
[Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

The Gabo Island Lighthouse with ship passing in the distance.
[Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

The Gabo Island Lighthouse with ship passing in the distance. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

Gabo at 47 metres is the second tallest tower in Australia by 1 metre after the Cape Wickham light on King Island.

From here we proceed to the other door and start to ascend the tower itself. 208 steps (depends who you ask according to Leo?) and I quite wisely took several rests on the way up. These were great opportunities to talk to Leo about the light.

Finally we make it to the top.

The original crystal lens has been replaced by a modern plastic lens. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas]
The original crystal lens has been replaced by a modern plastic lens.
[Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

The original lens was removed many years ago and it leaves a huge space that has a sense of discomfort about it as a result. The original timber lining has been stripped of the layers of paint back to the natural dressed appearance that it had when first exhibited.

Scattered stone still lies where the stonemanson quarried materials for the tower. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas] Scattered stone still lies where the stonemason quarried materials for the tower.
[Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

Going out on to the balcony, Leo points out the exposed stone at the island's edge where the quarrymen excised the blocks from which the tower is made.

Before going into the tower they were dressed by skilled stonemasons. The finish is beautiful to see and touch.

About 70 men were employed on the construction and had a camp on the other side of the island next to the jetty.

Restoration work is being undertaken on the cast iron walkway. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas]
Restoration work is being undertaken on the cast iron walkway.
[Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

Employed was a blacksmith who had to keep a supply of tools up to the army of quarrymen and stonemasons.

In front of the steps leading up to the lights are mounds of discarded stone blocks and chips.

Leo continues to point out ruins and explain their significance.

Memorial plaque to the the first keeper of the current Gabo tower. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas] Memorial plaque to the the first keeper of the current Gabo tower.
[Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

Below are the two walls leading to the light between which used to be an early generator. Still there is the shed that was the blacksmiths shop.

In the distance up the hill beside the airstrip are huge concrete piers upon which once sat the fuel tanks for the generators.

Halfway down the hill is the current generator shed.

To the back is a cottage that is not at all in keeping with the aesthetic red granite of the Headkeeper's and Assistants' cottages. This was the signalman's cottage and was built after the keepers' cottages. Leo explained that it was designed by the same architect as the cottages at Green Cape, James Barnet, and at once this is apparent.

Leo points out a flat exposed area of red granite halfway between the signalman's cottage and the headkeeper's. On this cut into the stone and engrained with white paint is the marker of the highest tide on the island.

The period of the high tides lasted for three days in which the base of the tower and cottages where inundated and the keepers and family evacuated to the higher signalman's cottage. A keeper was appointed to the tower to keep the light. A flying fox was strung from the Signalman's cottage to the balcony of the tower to ferry the supplies that sustained him and the light for the whole three days.

Leo said that geological evidence shows that there may have been higher tides than this in the past.

On the right in the distance Leo points out the East Landing which though no evidence remains was used when the weather was to rough on the southwest side where the jetty and boat shed still remains.

Chad at the controls with Malcolm in the co-pilots seat. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas]
Chad at the controls with Malcolm in the co-pilots seat.
[Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

After are finishing with the tower we discuss life on the island whilst standing on Leo's Verandah and believe me, I could sit there for a week just looking out from his verandah!

Working our way back to the airstrip we go through the signalman's cottage which is in the process of being renovated and prepared for letting as accommodation.

The kitchen has one of the best aspects I have ever seen. A window to the south with views of the coast and Tullaberga, a window looking to the east and the tower itself and another window to the north taking in the sandy beaches and Cape Howe.

Ed grabbing a last shot. [Image: Malcolm Macdonald] Ed grabbing a last shot.
[Image: Malcolm Macdonald]

In many ways the cottage is as the last keeper left it and there still remains many questions as to what period the cottage should be restored.

Alas it is time to go and we make our way back with Leo, Bob and Chad to the airstrip and the Cessna 172.

But still no sign of Ed who had wandered off to get the shots he wanted. Hopefully he wasn't over the other side of the island. No, nothing to worry about, there he is resting under wing of the plane.

Gabo under wing with Mount Howe in the distance. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas] Gabo under wing with Mount Howe in the distance.
[Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

US Lighthouse Society Tours Australia - Part 1

On Friday morning, 1st March 2002 forty-three members of the US Lighthouse Society arrived from all over the United States at Sydney Airport. Included were President Wayne Wheeler and his wife Sally as tour organisers.

The tour had eventuated a result of a presentation given by Bob Adams and Donald Walker on Cape Otway and the history of Bass Strait and its relevance to sealers and whalers from North American Atlantic ports at the 1st International Lighthouse Conference in Nova Scotia in May 2000.

Day 1 [Friday 1st March] - Sydney Airport to Manly

Members meet with official host and Tour Guide (Bob Adams), Coach House Travel (Kay Reid) and Coach Captain (Neil Kilby) of Martins Albury Bus Company.

The tour settled into accommodation at the Park Royal International Hotel Manly, to relax and unwind that afternoon after lengthy flights.

Day 2 [Saturday 2nd March] - Sydney

Day was spent on Sydney Harbour using the ferry system to see the Opera House, the historic Rocks and the harbour lights.

Some undertook the exciting Harbour Bridge Climb whilst others journeyed further into the harbour and visited Darling Harbour and its popular Maritime Museum and Aquarium.

Historic Fort Denison and its light. [Image: Bob Adams]
Historic Fort Denison and its light.
[Image: Bob Adams]

A welcome dinner in the 'Gilbert' Function Room of the Manly Pacific Park Royal allowed members to get to know those on tour.

Day 3 [Sunday, 3rd March] - Sydney

Our coach journeyed to South Head to the site of Australia's first lighthouse, Macquarie built by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1818.

On to nearby Hornby Lighthouse built in 1858, right on South Head at the entrance to Sydney Harbour.

The route taken was from Camp Cove (first landing place of Governor Phillip in 1788) along a designated National Park walking trail passing Lady Bay, Sydney's famed nude beach.

Day 4 [Monday, 4th March] - Sydney to Canberra

The Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse. [Image: Bob Adams]
The Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse.
[Image: Bob Adams]

The tour journeyed south from Sydney to Wollongong and was accompanied by local Ian Clifford (Lighthouses of Australia Inc member) to the Breakwater and the Wollongong Head Lighthouses.

Inland to Canberra, the national capital, and a visit to the Operations Room of the National Rescue Centre and Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Sights seen in this small and beautiful city included Parliament House, Lake Burley Griffin and the various nations represented by traditional designed Embassy offices and accommodations.

The obvious highlight was the United States of America Embassy.

Problems were encountered with access to accommodation at the Quality Inn - Downtown - Canberra.

The evening meal was an excellent traditional Australian menu of BBQ grilled beef, pork, salads and delicious desserts at the Hill Station Heritage Homestead.

 

Sunrise from the hotel in Manly. [Image: Bob Adams]
Sunrise from the hotel in Manly.
[Image: Bob Adams]

Tour members Judy and Susan seeing Sydney from a harbour ferry. [Image: Bob Adams]
Tour members Judy and Susan seeing Sydney from a harbour ferry.
[Image: Bob Adams]

The Wedding Cake. One of the many harbour lights seen. [Image: Bob Adams]
The Wedding Cake. One of the many harbour lights seen.
[Image: Bob Adams]

A climb of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge is in order. [Image: Bob Adams]
A climb of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge is in order.
[Image: Bob Adams]

The tour group in front of Australi's first lightstation, Macquarie. [Image: Bob Adams]
The tour group in front of Australia's first lightstation, Macquarie.
[Image: Bob Adams]

The tour also visited the Hornby Lighthouse. [Image: Bob Adams]
The tour also visited the Hornby Lighthouse.
[Image: Bob Adams]

The Wollongong Head Lighthouse. [Image: Bob Adams]
The Wollongong Head Lighthouse.
[Image: Bob Adams]

The Narooma Information Centre houses the Lighthouse Museum. [Image: Bob Adams]
The Narooma Information Centre houses the Lighthouse Museum.
[Image: Bob Adams]

Day 5 [Tuesday, 5th March] Canberra - Narooma

Heading back to the coast the tour stopped at the town of Braidwood and Batemans Bay.

The Narooma Museum houses the original lens from the Montague Island Lighthouse. [Image: Bob Adams]
The Narooma Museum houses the original lens from the Montague Island Lighthouse.
[Image: Bob Adams]

Next to the fishing port of Narooma where the Information Centre contains a Lighthouse Museum as its main focus. The original Fresnel lens and other equipment from Montague Lighthouse are displayed within the specially designed building.

A boat trip took the tour members to visit the historic 1881 granite Montague Island Lighthouse.

Accommodation was in the very comfortable La Salle Motel.

Day 6 [Wednesday, 6th March] Narooma - Eden

The journey to Eden, far south of New South Wales, passed through the historic townships of Tilba Tilba and Bega with a lunch break at the famous Bega Cheese Factory.

Eden is built on and around the beautiful Twofold Bay, scene of one of the largest whaling stations during the 19th century and the ghost town named after visionary American pioneer Ben Boyd.

The National Park is named in his memory and further south is the very significant Green Cape Lighthouse. Due to adverse road conditions, a boat charter was arranged to see the Green Cape Lighthouse and Boyd's Tower.

Over night accommodation was the Halfway Motel in Eden.

Day 7 [Thursday, 7th March] Eden - Portsea

The long bus journey along Highway One had no lighthouses.

Lakes Entrance for lunch.

Day's end found the tour at Portsea, on the Mornington Peninsula, with its views of the Melbourne skyline at night.

Close by is the notorious 'Rip' at the entrance of Port Phillip Bay.

Portsea's historic township is famous for the variety of restaurants and cosy hotels.

The very long day ended accommodation and a wonderful banquet style meal at Peppers' Resort.

Day 8 [Friday, 8th March] Portsea - Apollo Bay

An early morning tour to the nearby historic Cape Schanck Lighthouse provided a special insight into this treacherous shoreline.

Back to Sorrento to catch the ferry across Port Phillip Heads to historic Queenscliff.

The coastline from this point is appropriately referred to as 'The Shipwreck Coast' where the journey followed the world renowned and spectacular Great Ocean Road.

Along the way are the famous surf beaches of Torquay and Anglesea with a stop to see the 1891 Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet.

The Great Ocean Road then carved its way along the steep coastline to Apollo Bay.

The tour based for three nights at the Best Western Motel, Apollo Bay, due to the Labour Day Weekend.

Join us next month for the final part of US Lighthouse Society Tours Australia.

Seals relaxing on the rocks around Montague Island. [Image: Bob Adams]
Seals relaxing on the rocks around Montague Island.
[Image: Bob Adams]

Theses granite torrs are typical features on Montague. [Image: Bob Adams]
Theses granite torrs are typical features on Montague.
[Image: Bob Adams]

Ben Boyd's Tower. [Image: Bob Adams]
Ben Boyd's Tower.
[Image: Bob Adams]

The Cape Schanck Lighthouse. [Image: Bob Adams]
The Cape Schanck Lighthouse.
[Image: Bob Adams]

The tour coach coming off the ferry at Queenscliff. [Image: Bob Adams]
The tour coach coming off the ferry at Queenscliff.
[Image: Bob Adams]

The life boat at the Queenscliffe Maritime Centre. [Image: Bob Adams]
The life boat at the Queenscliffe Maritime Centre.
[Image: Bob Adams]

The Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet. [Image: Bob Adams]
The Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet.
[Image: Bob Adams]


Letters & Notices

An Ongoing Local Solution for Crookhaven?

Hello Keeper,

The Crookhaven Heads LighthouseI have just accessed your excellent site on the Crookhaven Lighthouse.

I have been in the area since 1966 (when I was only 14) and have followed the ups and downs of this great place. I also have an early photo and some recollections of the old lamps which used to be housed there.

Only last weekend I was thinking that it was time that the Lighthouse was restored again. Maybe if the weeds were cleared and a picnic area created then vandalism would be reduced.

I would like to make contact and have a talk about being part of such a project. Is there anyone you can put me in touch with?

My contact details are:

2/4 Short Street Bowral
Home Phone 02 48 615886
Work Phone 02 46 400201
Mobile 0401 896 006
Email mrboadle@acenet.com.au

Thanks

Mike Boadle <mrboadle@acenet.com.au>

The Crookhaven Heads LighthouseHi Mike

The solution to Crookhaven needs to be a local one. I know the site has been cleaned up a bit and thicket around it taken away so the lighthouse site is more open and visible. I have had expression of concern from some of the locals and I am sure that they and others from the Shoalhaven area would be willing to come together to see if some sort of ongoing program can be established.

Malcolm Macdonald - Bulletin Editor <bulletin@lighthouses.org.au>

Looking for Victoria Alice Robertson of Cliffy Island

Hello Malcolm

The Cliffy Island Lighthouse from the airMy grandmother was born about 1883 and her full name was Victoria Alice Robertson. She was at Cliffy Island as a small girl so I would imagine she was there about 1890 or so. Her father was the lighthouse keeper there.

She was taught by her mother on the island and told me many years ago she remembered being hauled up the cliff by flying fox in a big wicker basket with coal in it.

Do you know of a list of the lighthouse keepers of Cliffy Island and the dates they worked there?

I thoroughly enjoyed your web site.

Thanks and regards,

Merilyn J Grey <merilyngrey@bigpond.com>
8 Martin Road
Glen Iris, Vic 3146
Phone 03 9889 6223
Fax 03 9889 0451

A Big Thankyou

Hi Malcolm

I would like to send you a big thankyou for the great work that you create in these bulletins that you so diligently send me.

I would just like to say that they give me an exciting insight to the lighthouse world.

Keep the great work going. I have started collecting model tall ships and have still got some way to go with my collection of lighthouses.

I told my wife Carol I want to live in a lighthouse and she thinks I am joking.

Many thanks and regards

Geoff Oldfield <cargeo1@bigpond.com>

George Ballard Family Tree Search

Hello

My name is Fiona. I am searching the family tree and I have been lead to Australia.

I am looking for a Mr George Ballard. He emigrated to Australia around 1953. He is rumoured to have joined the Australian Navy and then been a light house keeper.

Can you please tell me whether you have any records of Mr George Ballard being a lighthouse keeper in Australia?

I would appreciate any help you can give me regarding this. not sure where else to go thank you and have a nice day

Regards

Fiona <Hey_Piper@msn.com>

Hi

I was wondering if you could help me. I am looking for my uncle named George Ballard who was last known to be a lighthouse keeper in Australia. I lost touch with him when my Grandmother died. He emigrated from the UK in 1953.

My search led me to your site as I was wondering of there were any working lighthouses in New South Wales. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

Lucy Wilkes <Medusawilkes@aol.com>
Bromsgrove
Worcestershire
England

Is William Edwards still rattling around the old Wollongong Lighthouse?

Hello

The old Wollongong Breakwater LighthouseJust found this wonderful site and the Lighthouse, I'm very excited as my great great grandfather "William Edwards" was the first "registered shipping pilot" in Wollongong, his house in Market Street still stands.

I'm told a story which I'm not sure if true that William's ghost rattles around the old Lighthouse...

Just wanted to say hello, if you have any information on William Edwards even if what you may have read, I would greatly appreciate it.

I know it was a long time ago, however, I think from what I have read he was a great man.

Marrianne Turner <maturner4@bigpond.com>

Hi Marrianne

Interesting to hear about the Ghost story.

If you go to the April 2002 Bulletin you will find 2 stories featuring the old Wollongong Breakwater lighthouse. I was there only a month ago and was involved in the re-lighting for the first time since 1974. I'm sure that your great great grandfather would have really been rattling around the tower that night.

Malcolm Macdonald - Bulletin Editor <bulletin@lighthouses.org.au>

Dear Malcolm

Thank you so much for sending me this fabulous email it is so interesting and I will pass it onto other members of my family.

The old Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse from the airWilliam Edwards died 21 June 1867 in a raging storm. There was a ship out there in the seas and was in trouble and William and a few others including a son of William went out to try to save the people, William died in that storm.

Another son of his also died at sea through storms and I have read articles that William had been trying to get a lighthouse put there for the ships, it's all in the old Mercury newspaper's archives wonderful reading.

Thank you again and I would love to read your newspaper if you print a story of him, thank you again.

Marrianne Turner <maturner4@bigpond.com>

Feel free to post any request, letters and notices here regarding research, events etc for any Australian Lighthouse on this notice board.

<keeper@lighthouses.org.au>


Department of Scrounge:

If anybody has any of this material on any Australian lighthouses including the ones listed at the Department of Scrounge it would appreciated, especially the high priority ones:

  • Original Colour Photographs
  • Historical Photographs or Postcards
  • History, experiences and anecdotes
  • Technical History

Please eMail <Keeper>


New Pages & Links

New Pages for Australia:

Volunteers needed to research and write up text for New Pages for Australia

New Links for Australia:

Volunteer needed to help with Links for Australia

Also, New Links for World:

Volunteer needed to help with Links for World

If your e-mail does not display in HTML these pages can be accessed from the "New Listing for Month Index" at <http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/New/Index%20New.htm>


Australian News:

Cape Willoughby 150th Celebrated with Encounter 2002

[Daniel Rowley <Rowley.Daniel@saugov.sa.gov.au>]

On April 5 2002 Cape Willoughby had a past lightkeeper and descendent reunion at the lightstation. Approximately 10 National Parks and Wildlife SA (NPWSA) staff and lightkeepers and descendants came along.

The birthday cake was cut by Jean Willson and Neil Perrin who used to live at the Cape Willougby Lightstation. [Image: Daniel Rowley] The birthday cake was cut by Jean Willson and Neil Perrin who used to live at the Cape Willougby Lightstation.
[Image: Daniel Rowley]

The reunion was part of the Encounter 2002 celebrations in Penneshaw and also coincided with the 150th birthday of Cape Willoughby Lighthouse that was on 10 January 2002. It was therefore fitting that a cake shaped like the lighthouse was cut by Jean Willson and Neil Perrin who once lived at Cape Willoughby.

The afternoon provided an opportunity for NPWSA staff to talk to people who lived at the site. Staff gained an appreciation of the times and also heard some interesting stories about life at Cape Willoughby. Old photos were also exchanged with NPWSA who will copy them, return them to their owners, and develop an electronic photographic library.

If you would like more information on the reunion or have some photos for the photographic library please contact:

Daniel Rowley,
Ranger KI East
8553 2381 or mobile
0417 822 343
.

Rare Macquarie Equipment Under Review

[Sydney Harbour Federation Trust & Powerhouse Museum]

Conservation form the Powerhouse Museum experts planned to examine unique relics inside Macquarie Lighthouse on Monday 15th April.

The early electric generator set in place in Macquarie. [Image: AMSA] The early electric generator set in place in Macquarie.
[Image: AMSA]

Macquarie Lighthouse, Australia's first and longest operating navigational light, once had a brilliant arc lamp that was powered by two generators driven by two gas engines.

Although the objects were donated to the Powerhouse Museum in the 1920's, one of the generators and the switchboard remain in there original position and can still be seen by visitors to the lighthouse.

The only remaining arc lamp is held at the Museum.

Debbie Rudd, Engineering Curator of the Powerhouse Museum said:

"Together, these constitute a very rare group of early electric lighthouse equipment. Early generators exist as do many arc lamps of varying styles, but there are few set of such equipment."

The inspection is part of regular conservation inspections, to assess the condition of the objects and, where appropriate conservation treatment.

The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, who is preparing a plan for the future of Macquarie Lighthouse, is keen to ensure this historic equipment is maintained in good condition.

Macquarie for Kids

Earlier this year Sydney Harbour Federation Trust held a Kids' Day at the Macquarie Lighthouse.

The idea was to encourage as many young lighthouse enthusiasts as possible between the ages of 5 and 12 to visit and enjoy the site.

The Trust's Public Relations Program Officer, Katrina Fellas said:

"Lighthouses hold such a fascination for kids and adults alike and this is a great chance to explore some one of our most famous lighthouses which is still acts as a functioning beacon today."

Activities such as making miniature lighthouses, story telling and learning about Macquarie's history were scheduled. The days hi-light was a climb up all the 100 steps to the top.

Macquarie Open Day

[Grant Maizels <grant.maizels@cogita.com.au>]

Following an article that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, Grant Maizels called the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (02) 8969 2100, to check the details. This was a great opportunity to see Macquarie as it is rarely open and I get many inquiries to when it may be open.

Visitors arriving for the Macquarie Open Day. [Image: Rose Eagleton] Visitors arriving for the Macquarie Open Day.
[Image: Rose Eagleton]

Tracey, Lionel, my brother Andrew and I headed off to Macquarie Lighthouse Sunday afternoon, 21 April 2001 for the Macquarie Lighthouse Open Day.

Upon arrival at about 1:30 pm we asked about entering the tower and were told that the tickets ran out at 11am. They were taking 10 people up every 15 minutes from 10am to 4pm.

We still had a look around as we could enter the rooms at the base of the lighthouse and took lots of photos and listened to a lecture by John Ibbotson.

Many were disappointed as access to the tower was fully booked. [Image: Grant Maizels]
Many were disappointed as access to the tower was fully booked.
[Image: Grant Maizels]

  Grant Maizels at the bottom of the Macquarie tower . [Image: Grant Maizels]
Grant Maizels at the bottom of the Macquarie tower .
[Image: Grant Maizels]

Despite the disappointment there was still good news as we were told open days will be held every 2 months and they plan to take prior bookings in future. We put our names down to be notified of the next open day.

I will pass the information on when I get it.

Opening Of Table Cape Lighthouse Closer

[Labor Member for Braddon, Bryan Green, MHA <bryan.green@parliament.tas.gov.au> Parliamentary Secretary assisting the Deputy Premier (Tasmania)] [Labor Member for Braddon, Bryan Green, MHA <bryan.green@parliament.tas.gov.au>
Parliamentary Secretary assisting the Deputy Premier (Tasmania)]

The opening of Table Cape Lighthouse for tourist access has moved a step closer.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has given approval for the necessary steps to be undertaken to achieve public access.

AMSA have formally advised of the procedures that must be followed.

The first of these is the completion of a Building Code Assessment to be undertaken by AMSA's consulting architect David Gilbert from Adelaide.

This assessment will shortly commence with a report due within the next four to five weeks.

This assessment will establish the structure's safety and compliance with the Building Code of Australia and is being funded by the Tasmanian State Government.

It will identify the work needed to bring the lighthouse up to a standard that will allow the general public to access the tower.

A further assessment will also be carried out to establish what work needs to be done to secure the lighthouse equipment from the visitors.

This is particularly important as the lighthouse is a working light and has been identified by AMSA as being essential to maritime safety.

Once these assessments have been completed the community will be in a position to determine in what way the project is progressed.

The Table Cape Lighthouse. [Image: Brian Lord]
The Table Cape Lighthouse.
[Image: Brian Lord]

AMSA approval had come as a result of direct representations the I have made to the Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson.

I contacted the Deputy Prime Minister earlier this year and put the case to him of the tourism benefits in opening Table Cape Lighthouse to the general public.

It is a pleasing that AMSA have responded in such a positive manner and I look forward to receiving the Building Code Assessment,

Further information can be obtained by contacting the Tasmanian Government Communications Office on (03) 6233 6007.

Cape Jaffa Memorial and Book

The memorial cairn at Cape Jaffa. [Image: John Nicholson] The memorial cairn at Cape Jaffa.
[Image: John Nicholson]

Unveiling the Memorial
[John Nicholson <amandus@bigpond.com>]

On the afternoon of April 15, 2002, in perfect weather about 150 people gathered in the park in the centre of Cape Jaffa for the unveiling of the cairn, the tall ship "One and All" standing by about a kilometre or so off the Cape Jaffa jetty.

Master of ceremonies Gary Steele, president of the Kingston Professional Fishermen's Association, started the proceedings and then called John Nicholson to the microphone.

He addressed the gathering and explained how the memorial eventuated and who gave funding towards the project.

The four plaques were then unveiled, each unveiling being followed by a short speech from one of the four guest speakers.

3 of the plaques on the memorial cairn at Cape Jaffa . [Image: John Nicholson]
3 of the plaques on the memorial cairn at Cape Jaffa
.
[Image: John Nicholson]

Merchant Navy Association of SA member and Millicent RSL president Syd Pelling unveiled the final plaque, this being the seafarers' plaque. Syd then gave a short speech, touching on the loss of life from the merchant navy during wartime. Following the laying of wreaths the ceremony ended as everybody stood silently as "The Last Post" was played. Syd Pelling then recited the words: "At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them." The crowd murmured, in unison: "Lest we forget." The "One and All" then set her sails and slowly sailed away, heading north.

So ended a very moving ceremony and a very rewarding experience for me following the thanks and congratulatory words I received from those attending.

The visitor's book also recorded comments of a favourable nature and showed that people had come from as far away as Newcastle and Port Pirie.

The book's author, John Nicholson. [Image: John Nicholson]Book Launch
[Malcolm Macdonald <keeper@lighthouses.org.au>]

The book's author, John Nicholson.
[Image: John Nicholson]

Also launched on the day was the book by John Nicholson "Cape Jaffa: Its Memorial to Seafarers, Fishermen and Lightkeepers".

In keeping with the title the book is divided into three sections: Seafarers, Fishermen and Lightkeepers.

Each chapter is an account of the tragedies that occurred around Cape Jaffa that resulted in the loss of life.

It is well written and well researched. Events covered are from 1846 through to 1966. The accounts given by survivors of their fight for survival made fascinating reading.

I could see it easily being used for the basis a of television series on survival in this area of Australia or even a film.

It is a soft cover pamphlet size book of 64 pages printed by PaperWorks of Kingston. It was partly funded by a grant from the History Trust of South Australia.

It is available from:

In person at the Cape Jaffa Caravan Park for $10

Or by post,

John Nicholson <amandus@bigpond.com>
11 Watts Avenue
Millicent SA 5280

1 x Book $12
2 x Book $23
3 x Book $33

Judgement Rock

Joanna Murray-Smith's second novel, "Judgement Rock", has just been published and is set on Deal Island.

Joanna is a well known playwright whose play, "Honour", has had successful seasons in New York as well as in Europe and Australia.

Judgement Rock by Joanna Murray-Smith. [Image: Pengiun] Judgement Rock by Joanna Murray-Smith.
[Image: Penguin]

She is the daughter of Dr Stephan Murray-Smith, founder of the LoA Inc's predecessor, Australia Lighthouse Association.

When she was a child she visited Deal Island regularly when her father was one of the Erith Island Mob

It is a romantic novel with a strong factual background about life on such a lightstation.

Her two heroes, a young Botanist who is visiting the island in search of a plant species, and the island's lighthouse keeper are drawn together by their passion for the island.

All goes well until a young sailor is shipwrecked on the island.

Perhaps the novel is not as predictable as you may think, but to find out you will have to get a copy.

Here is a review by David Hurburgh:

Judgement Rock

A Lighthouse Romance by Joanna Murray-Smith

Penguin, 201 pp, RRP $22.00

A botanist called Iris, a lighthouse keeper named Noah and an island called Deal. These are the essential ingredients of a fabulous new novel by Australian writer Joanna Murray-Smith.

This impeccably researched book is set among the windswept Kent Group of islands, which are located just north of Flinders Island in Bass Strait. The story is straightforward enough - a young hunter of rare plants is on a field trip to Deal Island. She falls in (and out) of love with the solitary keeper of the light. The essential theme is a voyage of personal discovery by Iris. The parallel story is her search for the fabled Flame Orchid.

The power of the book is in the intense, almost cinematic portrayal of the island and its environment. For lovers of Tasmanian endemic flora, the author takes us into a world of macro-lensed beauty with her detailed descriptions of Bass Strait islands' plants and flowers. With the author's depth of knowledge of this region's history, she guides us on a very credible journey across both time and place.

The crisp clarity of Joanna's writing is as refreshing and stimulating as the environment she writes about. The author's specialisation as a playwright shines throughout this novel. She manages that most difficult of literary balancing acts - economy of expression combined with richness of meaning. Her ability to evoke powerful visual imagery in the reader's mind almost transports us to her island. Let's hope a screenplay is not far away.

© David Hurburgh 2002

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