Great Response to Lighthouses of Australia Inc.
We have had an excellent response from last month's Bulletin announcing that the Project was being thrown open for membership with broader opportunities for direct involvement.
There has been enough interest to be confident of forming a broadly based committee rich with enthusiasm and skills.
Also there has been a good response of people who are just happy to subscribe and be general "dog's bodies" which is great.
Big day coming for Ed & Deb
Out of the blue lighthouse romance has struck. Ed & Deb have announced that they will be getting married in November. I am sure that all who have been involved in the Project wish them the best.
See Royal Wedding for more details.
News from John Ibbotson
Great to get a post card from John Ibbotson who is about to leave Darwin, NT, to complete the second half of his trip around Australia to complete his ambition to photograph all of Australia's lighthouse. See Letters and Notices
Linc Castle shares some of his childhood memories
Again we have a terrific feature. This time it is Linc Castle with some humorous and informative tails of growing up on Eclipse Island off the coast of Albany, WA. See Growing Up on Eclipse Island.
In the 1977 Valmai Phillips wrote the first serious book on Australian Lighthouses called the "Romance of Australian Lighthouses".
Maybe she knew something an old cynic like me doesn't know.
They announced several weeks ago that they were bringing their wedding forward to mid-November so I could attend before I leave for South America.
Well, I was stunned and honoured that they would do this for me. The other reason I was stunned is because I hadn't an inkling that they were even thinking about getting married.
They told me that they had actually decided a long time ago but kept putting it off, but realised it would be the same if I wasn't there.
Ed & Deb have chosen the area in front of Point Lonsdale Lighthouse to get married at for several reasons. This was where the Project started. They have often gone down ever there since and enjoy the space with the light overlooking the Heads. They even celebrated the coming of year 2000 watching the fireworks from there.
After enquiring as to whether they could be married at the lighthouse they found there though there were a few formalities but most people were really helpful and keen to see the ceremony mark a special day in Ed & Deb's lives.
Ed and Deb finished by saying they have enjoyed their adventures with the project and that getting married won't distract them from their involvement in the Project, but see it as a bit of a challenge and would like to see the Project maintain it's impetus.
[PRISM, Winter 2000 Issue]
Readers of the Autumn issue of Prism will know that two international lighthouse preservation and alternative use meetings were held earlier this year, one in Norway, and other in Nova Scotia. A paper was presented on behalf of the ALA at the former and two ALA members attended the latter. They were historian and architect Donald Walker and Bob Adams, manager of the Cape Otway Lightstation. The meetings had a number of important outcomes, both formal and informal. One of these was the Proposal, which has been around for some time to, form all international association of non-government bodies dedicated to lighthouse preservation.
The Norwegian workshop was held by International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) at Kristiansand, in May to discuss the Preservation of Lighthouses. 55 people drawn from 22 countries attended this meeting. Delegates represented the operating authorities, tourist associations, lighthouse enthusiast groups and national heritage groups.
The Canadian conference of international lighthouse preservation enthusiasts was also held during June at Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, to discuss a similar agenda. One outcome of both conferences was an expression of interest in the formation of an International Association for Lighthouse Preservation.
The aim of the Association would be to further the cause of preservation, the linking of lighthouse operators to those interested in the alternative use of Lighthouses and those with expertise in preservation and lighthouse technology.
The Association Membership would be open to Lighthouse Preservation Societies, Lighthouse Authorities, Lighthouse Operators, Heritage Trusts, Tourism Promoters and Contributing Individuals or Organisations.
The latter would be companies or individuals whose work can be shown to be of value to the Association and the preservation and conservation of the worlds lighthouse heritage.
It is proposed that the Association be governed by a management board of seven people drawn from each sector of interest. A small secretariat is envisaged to look after day to day administration.
Meetings would normally be by electronic means (E-mail or Fax). An interactive Web site should be established and a Journal would be published. The publishers of Leading Lights, the International Lighthouse Journal have indicated that they would be willing to allocate space in the journal to promote the Association and provide members with the opportunity to broadcast details of their own preservation work.
An annual conference would be held by the Association
Any interested groups or individual should contact Peter Williams <email@example.com>.
[PRISM, Winter 2000 Issue]
Donald Walker and Bob Adams returned from the Nova Scotia conference brimming with ideas, which we hope to share with you in the next issue of Prism.
The most important message from the international meetings is that we are all in the game of Protection, Preservation and Promotion of Lighthouse Heritage.
In the Australian context, protection means ensuring that our lightstations are protected from inappropriate development. For example, in populated areas, they often occupy prime sea front real estate and we must make sure that local planning schemes have amendments to prevent the views of and from lighthouses from being built out.
Preservation means more than just maintaining the fabric of the buildings. It also means that vital records of the past are not lost. In some cases, this may mean collecting oral histories, in others simply competent archiving of documents. For example elsewhere in this Prism, you will see an appeal for the whereabouts of the pre-1919 logbooks of the Wilsons Promontory lighthouse. They are not in the Australian Archives or the Victorian Public Records Office. Where are they?
Having protected and preserved our lights, we need to promote them. They are an important part of Australia's short history of European settlement and its has often been said that we need to know where we come from before we can know where we are going.
Promotion is also important for building a constituency for protection and preservation of our heritage. Economically, promotion is important as a source of revenue for preservation and interpretation and because it can contribute to our tourism industry, which already employs about 12% of our workforce.
It is not clear whether the present structure of the Australian lighthouse preservation movement can really serve the three Ps as well as it should. As far as the ALA is concerned, in the coming months we intend to look carefully at its structure and its relations, both existing and possible, with local lighthouse preservation groups, tourism bodies, government heritage authorities, the state National Trusts, maritime museums and relevant commercial organisations. We would welcome input From all our readers. It would be great to have a new structure in place by the beginning of 2002, before the IALA-AISM meeting in Sydney from 10-19 March.
[PRISM, Winter 2000 Issue]
Further to the Kristiansand meeting Roger Lea informs us that the IALA Preservation Group will meet as part of the XIVth IALA Conference and Workshop in Sydney from March 10-19, 2002 so it should ,be possible to get all preservation groups involved in that meeting and can then extend it for a couple of days to have a further discussion and technical tour to expand the role of this group within the IALA framework.
Currently we are
trying to expand the distribution of Leading Lights and we can discuss
links to other preservation organisations within the editorial to widen
the scope of knowledge available to a wider public with commercial partners
for important projects within the Maritime Heritage movement which seems
keen in many countries to encompass Preservation of Lighthouses.
Last month I announced my intention of leaving the Project and the intention of forming a incorporated body to take over. The response so far has been quite positive with interest from people with all sorts of backgrounds and skills.
There is a little bit of "red tape" to go though with a period of 3-4 weeks to actually form the body. Once this is done we can officially receive the new members and start to function as a group.
There is still time to throw your hat into the ring, whether it just be a financial member or direct involvement on the committee, web pages, the bulletin or some other aspect that could enrich the site.
The suggested memberships and costs are as follows:
To join, visit the Membership page.
[Linc Castle <firstname.lastname@example.org>]
Some of my earliest memories of Eclipse were arriving in the lighthouse tender ship The Cape Otway after sailing down from Fremantle and being taken ashore in one of the big wooden long boats along with assorted stores and material. It has only been in later years that I have realised the fear and trepidation our poor mother would have experienced when we were let loose on the island with the only warning given being "don't go near the edge". Despite many adventurous exploits over the years spent on the island I can only say that we must have listened very well that day as we all survived our time without falling in.
Probably the most enjoyable day for those on the island and certainly for us kids was "boat day" which was every fortnight and I think on a Saturday. For us it was always a competition to spot the boat first as it made its way around Bald Head and headed for the island. The trick was to spot a recurring whitecap as opposed to the hundreds of others that seemed to be ever present. For the adults it was a day to catch up on news and local issues while for us it was always what goodies were coming ashore and in what box were the comics or any special item that had been ordered. This of course all took on monumental proportions come Christmas.
My fondest memories of the island mainly concern the things that my brothers and I would get up to to keep ourselves amused, not that we saw it like that. It was just having fun and we needed little or no encouragement from our parents, it just seemed the thing to do. The numerous fishing expeditions were some of the most memorable, usually under the friendly and informative tutelage of Colin "Chief" Bishop to such wonderful spots with names such as West End, Southeast Corner, Flat Rock and Groper Gorge. On most occasions the fishing was bountiful and we would fight and argue about who had to carry the bag back up to the houses.
The Dug Out Canoe: Being surrounded by water and not having any sort of boat seemed wrong so on one occasion we decided to build a dug out canoe. Now there weren't many suitable trees on the island and the only ones that we thought would suit were on the north side of the island and the proposed place to sail it was a big rock pool on the south side. Undeterred we chopped the tree down did our best to fashion a canoe (very basic) and then spent three days with rope and crowbars dragging it to the other side of the island. The great moment of launch arrived and we slid it into the pool only to see it disappear beneath the water never to be seen again. The first wooden submarine!.
Paper Planes: Despite the often wild and windy weather experienced on Eclipse on most days there were days when there would not be a breath air and on one such evening we took some paper planes we had made (which we had got down to quite an art) and took them up the light and out on the balcony when dad was lighting the light and let them go and were most chuffed when one of them which we watched through the binoculars actually reached the sea. Lead soldiers with a handkerchief as a parachute were another form of entertainment I remember from the balcony.
Catching Rabbits: The island had quite a few rabbits and apart from having one as a pet which we got from a burrow when it was very young and I became very attached to we used to enjoy catching them. This was done from our kitchen window usually on dusk when mum was preparing the evening meal. Our house was the one on the west end of the group and had fairly open ground across to the shed (old thousand gallon tank on it's side where the chook feed was kept) and we would use an old apple crate with a stick holding up one end with a bit of fishing line running to the kitchen window. A handful of wheat under the box and the trap was set. We caught quite a few and let most go, however I do remember this was our first encounter with earning money when we sold some to the other families.
Rolling Rocks: This was probably one of the more dangerous exploits we used to get up to and involved roaming around the island equipped with the two big crowbars out of the oil shed looking for suitable size boulders that we thought we could manage to get moving. After a bit levering and arguing we'd get the rock rolling and of course there was only one way for it to go, towards the ocean, usually demolishing anything in its path and bouncing over the rough ground with us in hot pursuit pulling up breathless and in awe as it would go over the edge usually to smash to bits on the rocks below before ending in the sea. I always remembered the smell (like flint or gunpowder) of the smashed rock as it wafted up from below.
Watching The Whalechasers: During the whale season we would spend some afternoons watching the whalechaser at work around the island through the big telescope which was mounted on a wheeled tripod in the oil shed and we could wheel it from one side to the other depending whether they were on the south side or between the island and the mainland. We would see them sneak up on the whales and then see the skipper run down the suspension bridge between the wheelhouse and the gun. Then you would see the puff of smoke and the harpoon strike the whale quickly followed by the sound of the canon going of as the sound reached us. Then sometimes if they were working really close to the island we could hear the grenade on the end of the harpoon explode to kill the whale. Pretty gory stuff really but quite an education for young minds
The Hill Trolley: Being "Normal" young boys it had to be that sooner or later we would want to build a hill trolley. The fact that there were no roads or even paths of suitable structure for such a project mattered not. One apple box (these were plentiful as our granny smiths, each individually wrapped in tissue were delivered in them each fortnight) two axles and four wheels were all we needed. Steering was beyond our technical abilities at this stage. Wheels were a real problem as we didn't have any and it wasn't as if we could scrounge them from anywhere so it was a case of making them out of wood (after "chief" showed us how to draw a circle with a piece of string and a pencil). Axles weren't quite such a problem as mum's broom handle cut in half made two just the right length. Nail it all together, find a rocky slope with bushes at the bottom and away you go. We had a lot of fun until dad found out about the broom handle.
The Ging or Shanghai: We all had gings which were quite well made and powerful but we weren't very accurate. Enter "chief" the expert who was quite accurate. How do you do that we asked?? hanging on every word. Easy he said "hold your thumb up and use it as a sight, pull it right back and let go. I can't remember which one of us ended up with the blue thumb but I remember "chief" doubled up with laughter and tears streaming down his face.
Linc Castle lived on Eclipse Island from the age of 4 to 10 years during the early 1950's.
A letter from John Ibbotson
Feel free to post any request, letters, notices here regarding research, events etc for any Australian Lighthouse on this notice board.
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:
Please eMail <Keeper>
Anyone with any articles or stories effecting Australian Lighthouse are welcome to contribute them.
Thanks to all the people who have put links to the site
Thanks to those who let me use their photos for thumbnails.
the Oct 2000 Bulletin
SEPTEMBER 00 BULLETIN was published on: 12/09/00
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