Incorporated At Last.
We are incorporated at last!
We will start processing membership applications soon and invoicing applicants for the annual fee.
The interim committee is already meeting
Remember, to get involved join up. Fill out the membership application below.
Full report and more details next month.
Not Another Bumper Issue*@#!!
Believe it or not we have actually held over a few stories and bits of news as this has already become a bumper issue.
We are attempting to put a limitation on the size of the Bulletin but unfortunately some stories go stale if they don't go in the current issue.
Heaps of letters with information and looking for help as well. The feed back is that people get quite a good response. If you get a satisfactory and informative response we would be grateful if you would forward them onto us. Often the response is just as valuable if not more than the request.
The news is a bit wordy this month. A few issues that will really effect the preservation of our lights rather than pretty stories. The changes concerning the Register of the National Estate is addressed in even more detail this month. There is an update on the Low Head Foghorn. Roger Todd give us an further update with the old Caloundra Lighthouse open day. Finally, some exciting restoration works being undertaken on the Vlaming Head Lighthouse.
Our inbox corrupted so when rebuilt we lost most of the inward from 10th April to 13th April. If you email us in that period and haven't had a response then please resend your email and we will attend to it.
All Mail is Virus Scanned
We are now running AVG virus scanning software that checks all outgoing emails for viruses. We also ran a complete scan of our system as part of the set up and the system was clean.
It is quite a nice little virus scanner and it can be found at <http://www.grisoft.com/html/us_index.cfm>.
Also note that we run QuickHead-E <http://www.danere.com> which allows us to delete any unwanted or suspicious email of the ISP's server before we download. We are pretty brutal with what we delete so please make sure you include a Subject and that is clear about the content.
As you can see we are making every effort to protect our subscribers by protecting our own system.
Robert Grace Christorfen had a colourful background. Born at Dandenong, Victoria in 1901, he first worked as a horse-driver before joining the Victoria Police in 1924 as a part of the post police strike intake of recruits in that year. Initially he was a mounted trooper at Swan Hill and Dartmoor and then later did service as a foot constable at Mentone, Collingwood and Prahran.
Apparently, as was not unusual for that time, he was charged with discipline offences and fined for unlawful assault and disobeying the instructions of his supervisor, for 'improperly working his beat', (he could not be found). He also lost his helmet! In 1933, he was asked to resign from the force because it was alleged that he was living with a woman that was not his wife!
Christoferson then spent much of the depression years doing relief work, until April 1940, when he enlisted as a private in the 16th Australian Infantry Training Battalion. He embarked for Palestine on 14 September 1940 and within months was reported as missing in action in Crete. On 30 October 1941 he was officially registered as a German prisoner-of-war and was interned in the infamous Stalag 13 prisoner-of-war camp for the duration of the war.
After being discharged from the Army in September 1945, Christoferson sought sanctuary and seclusion as an assistant lighthouse-keeper at the Cape Everard (Point Hicks) Lightstation on the Wilderness Coast in Far East Gippsland. After his mysterious disappearance, numerous residents and visitors at the light station attest that the ghost of Christoferson occupies his former cottage: his hobnail boots are heard around the tower at night and his apparition polishes brass doorknobs and moves tools and other objects about the light station.
In March of 2001, Robert and Margaret Christopher, the descendants of Robert Grace Christorfen, decided to visit Point Hicks with their daughter, Terri Gayed and her husband Nader and their children, Michael, Daniel and Chelsea on the occasion of the 100th Birthday of Robert Grace Christorfen.
Margaret recalls that;
Margaret reflects on the anniversary with the following observations;
[by Denise Shultz]
History is repeating itself, at least in case of old Caloundra lighthouse. Regular readers of the Bulletin will be familiar with the few facts from its history. This little lighthouse originally built in 1896 is the oldest surviving building in Caloundra. Its original position was the hill on what is today called Canberra Terrace.
Seventy-two years later the lighthouse was rendered obsolete by a new tower, with a light and signal station, which became operational in 1968. When the old lighthouse was threatened with demolition, Caloundra residents relocated it to a park at Golden Beach in 1970. It only took a few years before the new lighthouse and signal station also encountered trouble; the reason, development! There were just too many new tall buildings springing up all around and obstructing the signals.
A completely new lighthouse was build at Point Cartwright in Mooloolaba north of Caloundra in 1978. The second Caloundra light was downgraded to a harbour light. The signal station continued functioning until 1992 when it was replaced by an automatic one on the roof of units at Wickham Point. This light was relocated in 1998. The facility now has standby capabilities.
After the first lighthouse was moved it barely escaped total deterioration and thanks to a few determined people was moved back to its original location. Even then, there was a bit of a drama when, while moving the body of the lighthouse it was nearly smashed to pieces, when the fragile structure broke. It was repaired soon after and proudly erected next to it's younger brother back at Canberra Terrace, where it still stands today.
I decided to see the Caloundra lighthouse on the second last day of our Queensland trip. The trouble was the others wanted to go as well, though not particularly because of the lighthouse. How do you move nine people 60 km south from Noosa and back when you have only one car taking a maximum of five passengers? With great difficulties!
I had no idea where to find the lighthouses. We had plenty of time to find out since I had an appointment there with Roger Todd in about two hours. Luckily, we were not very far away and after asking the locals we soon found them.
When we walked up to them, the sight awaiting us there was a little unexpected.
Both lighthouses are very close together, probably less than 10m apart. That would not matter if it were not for an overpowering presence of a close by brand new apartment building. This rectangular block, which the architects with great audacity called "The Lighthouses", definitely beat both real lighthouses in height by a good 5 metres. It is also on the side facing the sea.
We were still shaking our heads in amazement when Roger arrived accompanied by a young friend, Richard. Roger has been living in Caloundra for 16 years and obviously loves the town. He was so full of knowledge that I had trouble remembering everything he said.
He showed us some historical pictures and also photographs of the near tragedy, when the lighthouse was broken during the transport. I must say though, that today you can barely pick up the place where the breakage happened. The inside timber frame has been repaired and the corrugated cladding outside partially replaced with new one, which is only very slightly different.
As much as possible of the original structure was kept in place to keep the lighthouse's authenticity. Two flights of stepladder lead up to the lantern room 11.5m above ground level. There is a pedestal all ready for the lens to be placed on it. Roger confirmed that the bull's eye of the original lens has been located and might be soon installed back at its proper place.
The most interesting part of the tour came when we climbed out onto the balcony. It is very narrow and is not a place for overweight people who suffer with vertigo. The view is still spectacular though. Apart from two ladies sitting in their lounge room having coffee only 20m away slightly above our eye level, we could see the Pumicestone Passage, the town and the northern tip of Bribie Island. Opposite the lounging ladies we could see inside the newer lighthouse.
According to Roger this second tower is even more valuable than the old lighthouse because only two of this type were ever built and the other one has been since demolished.
Roger told us about future possibilities for the lighthouse reserve. After it is made safe for visitors and insurance is obtained, the old and maybe even the newer tower would be open to the public and guided tours could be conducted.
There is an old house on a neighbouring block of land that so far escaped the high rise development. The ambition is to buy the whole package and convert the house to a visitors centre. I do hope the City Council and Roger will succeed with their plans and so create a very unusual tourist attraction.
After Roger and his friend departed, we were left to wait to be picked up. It started to rain and we took a refuge under the new lighthouse. I looked up and thought about the future of this little oasis of bygone era. I hoped that people who are going to decide it would learn from mistakes that were made in the past and will not let the history to repeat itself for the third time.
Response to Looking for Horace Parker
Looking for Oswald Ives, Keeper Booby Island
Cape Du Couedic Poem by John James Duthie
The Pleasure Of Viewing Your Site
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South Australian Keepers Listing: 1852 to 1916
Hi From Wonglepong QLD
Your Health Etc
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>
[PRISM - Autumn 2001]
Are our Lighthouses Threatened?
Amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) have been introduced into Federal Parliament. If passed, they will constitute the most comprehensive overhaul of heritage legislation since 1975.
Key changes include the creation of a National Heritage List, a Commonwealth Heritage List and an Australian Heritage Council.
The two lists will replace the existing Register of the National Estate, which at present contains nearly all Australia's historic lights. It is generally believed that the two lists will only contain sites that are national icons. The remainder will be entrusted to the existing patchwork of state and local government heritage laws. Where will our lights fit in?
The Fraser Government, acting on the community belief that valuable parts of the nation's heritage were being lost as a result of neglect, ignorance or inappropriate development, set up The Australian Heritage Commission in 1976.
The Australian Heritage Commission Act was established as a vehicle for conserving all significant places, not just those of national importance. In those days, there was very little effective environmental or heritage legislation in Australia. Since then, all the states have passed heritage legislation of varying quality and the best local government planning schemes take heritage protection very seriously in so far as they are permitted by state planning policies.
Understandably, the increasing profile of heritage at state and local planning level has led those who are philosophically inclined to "small government" at the national level to wish to devolve Australian Government responsibility in this area as far down as possible.
This was made clear by the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Senator Robert Hill, who told the ninth International National Trust Conference in Alice Springs in August, that just as the Howard Government has made reforms to the tax system and "similar advances in the areas of industrial relations, health insurance and higher education", so it will reform the national heritage regime.
"The new heritage legislation will allow for a true national scheme of heritage protection in cooperation with the states and territories," Senator Hill continued. "Places of national significance will be properly protected for the first time (and) ... for industry, there will be certainty in that Commonwealth involvement in the assessment and approval process will be triggered only when a place of national significance is involved."
Senator Hill said the Register of the National Estate had served its purpose for 25 years and had provided national leadership in heritage issues.
But the register, while widely recognised, had no legislative power, he said.
The minister's comments follow closely the arguments advanced in a discussion paper A National Future for Australia's Heritage, released by his department late in 1999. The key issues identified in this paper revealed the need for a more integrated, rational and coherent approach to managing Australia's heritage and to delivering protection at Local, Regional, Territory, State and National levels.
The Commonwealth Government has announced its intention of working with the States to review their respective roles in environmental issues, and to review Commonwealth environmental legislation in line with this.
Heritage and conservation legislation differs substantially throughout Australia and, ideally, should be comprehensively reviewed to achieve consistent national policies and processes.
Lack Of National Policy
At present, there is no national policy that unites Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments in an agreed heritage protection regime. This has led to significant gaps and duplications.
Within the Commonwealth itself, responsibility for cultural and natural heritage policies is spread between a range of portfolios and laws. This becomes a problem when there is a lack of an overarching policy framework and of communication between relevant agencies.
Duplication and Disparity
All State heritage bodies have developed, or are working on, comprehensive lists of cultural heritage places and are implementing heritage protection regimes. That said, there are major differences in the coverage and comprehensiveness of State approaches to legislation and heritage listing within and between the natural, indigenous and historic environments.
Most States do not have statutory registers covering all three heritage environments - natural, indigenous and historic. There are State lists for historic places; there are State registers for indigenous heritage places but there tends to be nothing similar for natural places.
This leads to the existence of many omissions and overlaps in assessment, listing and management processes. Some types of places are not listed by States at all. Others, especially historic places, are subject to both Commonwealth and State protection regimes - and may receive two assessments.
In its final conclusions the paper noted that:
So far so good. However, many people in the heritage game are doubtful about the processes being used to bring about the proposed rationalization of our responsibilities towards the nation's heritage. The general feeling at the Alice Springs meeting was of suspicion of the government's motives. More generously, it can be argued that the Australian Government is expecting too much of the states.
The transition period referred to in the Discussion Paper will of necessity be prolonged since, throughout the history of Federation, the states have never agreed quickly to any uniform measures. Because of this experience, the haste in dismantling the Heritage Commission and truncating the National Estate Register seems to smack of reform for its own sake - adding to the list of changes wrought in various institutions by the present government. In fact, a more gradual approach would still give it credit for initiating the reform and lead to a better long-term outcome. Of course, this is what may happen after the proposed legislation reaches the Senate.
What of our Lighthouses?
There is no doubt that our lighthouses are kept in mind by the existing Australian Heritage Commission, as shown by the following message posted on the Lighthouses of Australia online bulletin for March this year:
As most of you are aware, our lighthouse reserves have been handed over to the state governments, with the towers, where they are still in use, being leased back to AMSA.
A significant feature of Australian Lightstations is that, because of their isolation, many were little communities, complete with a school and extensive storehouses. With demanning, all of these structures became redundant and have suffered various fates, ranging from total neglect to painstaking preservation.
What they all have in common is that they are hostage to the laws, resources and priorities of the state where they are situated. Under the proposed heritage legislation, the towers should be on the list of Australian government properties because they are leased back from the states and, since the new Act will have "teeth", they will have more solid statutory protection than they have now.
This, of course, supposes, that AMSA would raise no objection to their inclusion on the list. On the other hand, maintenance of old structures is expensive. AMSA has already privatised its maintenance to cut costs. Can we expect it to shoulder the burden of heritage conservation?
For Further Information
[by Roger Todd: Chair Sunshine Coast Branch National Trust]
Restoring the old Caloundra lighthouse to its original site has been a long and sometimes difficult project. The public open day on March 31st 2001 was an important milestone and was greatly satisfying for all those involved.
The gaining of a final certification for the building works was dependent on a number of strategies being put in place to limit risks to the public. These included the necessity for trained guides to assist during public visitation, minor modifications to the original building fabric, safety signage, an acceptable operating procedure, and inclusion in Councils insurance arrangements.
Lions Club members acted as guides and put on a BBQ for the occasion.
Formalities consisted of a few words from the Caloundra City Mayor Don Aldous, and Roger Todd, architect for the project and chair of the Sunshine Coast Branch of the National Trust.
Recognition was given to the Council for its role in the project, and to the large number of individuals and organizations who generously donated their time, expertise, materials and labour.
The old Lighthouse is an icon of Caloundra, and its restoration to its original site enables meaningful interpretation of its history. The 1896 lighthouse and its 1967 replacement now stand together as they did for about three years in the late 1960s.
Although buildings in the vicinity have altered the original context, this process is also a part of history. Development along the ridge line resulted in a new lighthouse being built at nearby Point Cartwright in 1978, and the 1967 lighthouse being downgraded to a harbour light.
Further to the article regarding the Low Head Fog Alarm which was featured in the March Bulletin, all minor, but bureaucratically important repairs to the air receivers. The installation has now been passed as safe for operation.
Now that there is air the Low Head Progress & Heritage Association are ready to carry out the installation sequence required for the type "G" diaphone. It is already been stripped down, cleaned and fitted with new gaskets and diaphragms and ready to place in position. This unit would now appear to be as in good condition as when it was manufactured.
If all goes well it is anticipated that the installation will be operating within 2 weeks. During testing for the certification the air receivers were run to maximum pressure and the relief valves operated perfectly. All is now GO.
While The Association has been waiting for the authorities to give them the green light they have started to refurbish one of the Gardner Model 2 D.C.R. engines which were initially installed in 1929 to provide power for the compressors.
After removing multi layers of paint which had been spread over absolutely everything they have revealed a magnificently preserved engine. Lighthouse keepers Log records show that this engine has only operated approx. 1000 hours. The rocker assemblies and valves have been removed and will need regrinding but that is all.
Inspection of items such as cam shafts and cam followers have revealed machinery of such massiveness and perfection that it is nearly impossible to believe.
The completion of this project may take a month or so but the Association assures us that this engine and the second compressor will be operational this year.
With the air receivers cleared for operation and the compressor with the electric motor working they have been advised by Trinity House that this will be the only operational installation of it's type left in the world.
Bruce Findlay of the Low Head Progress & Heritage Association Inc. wonders whether one of the readers of the bulletin may be able to confirm this.
Magnificent assistance for this project has been offered and supplied by Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife and the voluntary help from large and small manufacturing and engineering organizations of Georgetown.
Bruce Findlay <email@example.com>
Re-release of Landmark Inquiry into Lighthouses on the Australian Coast.
The Marine and Coastal Community Network in Tasmania has digitized an important 1856 inquiry into the needs for lighthouses on the southeast Australian coast.
The inquiry was convened by the Parliament of Victoria with commissioners appointed from Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania. The Network obtained the report from the State Library of Tasmania.
To date it has only been available to a limited number of people because of its fragile condition and only relatively few copies would have been printed originally. The Tasmanian Parliament, for example, no longer has a copy.
The Network published this report because of the story of the building of these lights was an important step towards Federation.
In many ways this was Australia's first big infrastructure project. A further significance was that it was undertaken while our States were still colonies and Federation was still to come 45 years later.
These lights were so important as in 19th century Australia nothing was more significant than the safe passage of ships to and from the continent. All migrants arrived this way. For most of the century the majority of manufactured goods arrived by sea and of course all exports had to go by ship.
Stated Christian Bell, Tasmanian Coordinator for the Network:
For further information contact Christian Bell on +61 (0)3 6234 3665 or eMail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Copies are available on 31/2 inch IBM format disks. Cost six dollars (GST included).
Please order from the:
The Marine & Coastal Community Network would like to thank:
Vlaming Head Lighthouse As A Private Enterprise
Local businessman Wayne Britton and photographer Ron Campbell have taken over the 90-year-old Vlaming Head Lighthouse as a private enterprise.
You may already be aware the light sustained damage late last year during Cyclone Vance added to the ravages of time. Public access into the lighthouse was closed about three years ago because of much needed maintenance.
It since has undergone some extensive renovations, which encompassed the re-rendering of the exterior walls sandblasting the upper deck and repainting also re-roofing and repairing the walls and interior of the adjacent storage shed.
Wayne and Ron decided to step up to the plate and submit a proposal to the Shire in November last year after volunteering to polish the Prism. It was covered in mud etc after the cyclone.
They felt it was important for it to be reopened properly to the public and in doing so add an historic attraction to the town, embracing their history, something they felt was badly needed.
The trip helped them to formulate their plan and gather as much info on the history of the light to get an idea on what would be available to display etc.
They moved in on Friday 16th February. Unfortunately the interior was in a poor state they are working hard to completely renovate.
The walls in the pedestal room were badly rusted right around. Ron and Wayne had to cut sections away and replace them.
The paint on the walls of the lantern room was badly cracked (LEAD BASED) exposing rusting steel. They took them all right back to bare metal, rust converted and repainted them which took many hours of stripping back.
Occupational safety was a prime concern here. They were able to acquire some excellent stripper that basically sweats the old paint off the walls.
Also included is the repair of the clock mechanism and polishing the crystal lens and brass.
Ron and Wayne were not paid for their work but the Shire did provide paint and brushes. They indicated that they didn't mind though they got frustrated at the attitude of the committee's involved.
Ron in expressing their aspirations said:
The interior of the tower will become a mini museum displaying photographs and historical information while the adjoining storage shed will become a kiosk and souvenir shop.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy the excellent views.
Update on the Restoration and Opening.
Anyone with any articles or stories effecting Australian Lighthouse are welcome to contribute them.
In August 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.
The incorporation is now complete. We have an interim committee, 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:
Other groups/bodies with an interest in Lighthouses:
To join, visit the Membership page.
Thanks to all the people who have put links to the site
Thanks to those who let us use their photos for thumbnails.
the May 2001 Bulletin
|The APRIL 01 BULLETIN was published on: 15/04/01
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