Lighthouses of Australia Project - OCTOBER 00 BULLETIN
OCTOBER 2001

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Dear Friends

Features

Lighthouses From the Air: Part 2
Cape Nelson Lighthouse - New Life for a Lightstation

Letters & Notices

Department of Scrounge

New Pages & Links

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

Australian News

Cape Jaffa - AMSA's Response
Bustard Head Lightstation to be Leased
Vlaming Head Relit for Opening
Cape Byron 100th Celebrations
Montague 120th Celebrations
New Lighthouse Book from John Ibbotson
Pete Amass Coming to Australia

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Dear Friends

Breaking all the Rules

This issue of the Bulletin has really become a bit of a monster, but with the beginning of Loyd and Winsomes' trip and heaps of news it was the only way we could do justice to it all.

A few new features. The greater use of thumbnails with links to larger photos so we can get more in for you to enjoy. Also, with Lloyd and Winsomes' trip the introduction of maps for each light. These are still basic but hope to improve them over time.

Lloyd & Winsomes' first leg of their around Australia trip by to photograph all our lights leads as the first feature.

It is followed by a second feature on the experience of the re-use of the Cape Nelson Lightstation for accommodation and dinning. This is written first hand from the experiences of several of our members visiting the lightstation recently.

Heaps of letters and queries. We are now up to date after being up the 12 months behind and having to prioritise some of them. Hopefully now we will be able to publish new letters in the following issue.

I have had some positive feedback on the letters where people say they have received some good responses.

News includes a response from David Gray of AMSA to the article last month to demolish the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse Platform.

Good things are happening in Queensland at last with the Bustard Head Lightstation to be leased.

Vlaming Head was re-lit for it opening as a fully restored operating light open for tours.

Details are given of the celebration for Cape Byron's 100th and Montague Island's 120th anniversaries.

There is a new lighthouse book on the horizon from John Ibbotson and our lighthouse friends from the United States, Pete Amass, John Armacost and Bob Knight are coming to Australia to photograph more of our Queensland and New South Wales lights. I am sure we can extend to them our Australian hospitally.

Malcolm Macdonald is the founder and convener of Lighthouses of Australia
Malcolm Macdonald, Bulletin Editor <keeper@lighthouses.org.au>
[Photograph: Marguerite Stephen]


Features

Lighthouses From the Air: Part 2

Heading South

[David Hurburgh <hurburgh@access1.com.au>]

Lighthouses From the Air: Part 1

Saturday April 28 2001. Maitland Airport (NSW)

After a year of planning, the big day had come. Flight plans had been lodged and an early morning weather check by Internet was made. There was a fair bit of fog around and it was after 9 a.m., before it finally burnt off.

Winsome and Lloyd had 20 friends at the airstrip, waving them farewell. Skywards at last.

The first lighthouse on the plan was Nobbys Head at Newcastle. There was a big coal freighter just entering the harbour. It was a great sight. It took a while to get the hang of the new window prop, which gave the cameras a clear shot, but everything was soon working fine.

One light down, only 289 to go!

They knew the coast down to Sydney very well, but this time it was something special.

Norah Head, 50 km south was the next light. After that, some fun began. Flying around Barrenjoey was a challenge. The prominent headland was creating a lot of turbulent winds, so they couldn't get below their targeted 500 feet. A 200-foot air pocket could have them at sea level very quickly!

Air Traffic Control at Sydney was not happy with low level flying manoeuvres on this particular day, so Hornby Light in the Harbour, the famous Macquarie Light at South Head and Cape Bailey, south of Botany Bay were only photographed as they flew past.

South to Wollongong. There is Flagstaff Point and the old light at the end of the breakwater to the harbour. This light was recently restored. One hazard nearby, was a construction crane on a new high rise in the city. Man-made hazards would prove to be a challenge elsewhere on the trip.

Kiama on the South Coast has a very special connection for Winsome for it was her holiday destination when she was a girl. It was her visits with her father to the light at Kiama as a youngster, where her great fascination with lighthouses began.

From the air, Crookhaven at the mouth of the Shoalhaven River looked a bit overgrown, but still functioning. The nearby cottage is maintained and used by the local Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol.

The last light on the first day was Point Perpendicular.

The Cessna landed at the large Nowra naval airstrip, part of HMAS Albatross. Winsome's mother and father live at nearby Ulladulla. So, the first night of the adventure was spent with family.

Sunday April 29

Heading off south from Nowra took them right over Ulladulla. When they flew around Warden Head, Winsome's family was on the ground to see them do their orbit.

Winsome's family was there to see them at Warden Head. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham]
Winsome's family was there to see them at Warden Head.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The keeper's cottage was reloacted to the nearby coastal village of Milton in 1922 and now serves a new life as a doctor's surgery.

The Fuji digital was having some battery problems, and with "dirty" weather closing in, Lloyd was convinced he should put down at Moruya. There were no lithium (Li) batteries in town, so at this stage they decided to overnight at the Aero Club.

Monday April 30

Next morning there were still some rain showers around; but it was good enough to fly.

First lights for the day were Brush Island and Burrewarra Point. Although they are only GRP (glass reinforced plastic) huts, they still form part of the light network.

With no Li batteries, Winsome at this point was using her old trusty film camera with an 80mm lens.

Seeing Montague Island from the air was a real treat for Winsome, since she had visited there a few years back.

It was then on to Twofold Bay and the historically, very significant Boyd's Lookout. There is a beautiful stone tower built in 1846 from Pyrmont stone by the pioneer businessman, Ben Boyd, to spot whales. It is believed that it was planned to be a light, but was apparently never commissioned due opposition from the government of the day to private lighthouses.

They were soon to pass around the south east corner of the Australian continent and then it would be Victorian airspace.

From the air, Green Cape and Gabo Island are very picturesque, with their bright red granite rocks and lush green grass.

There is an airstrip on Gabo, but it looked in poor condition, so Lloyd was not happy to land there. In fact even if Lloyd wanted to he would have needed a special licence as the strip is shorter than the minumim for light aircraft.

Ian Baker, operator of the Merrimbula Airport provides a service for people who wish to visit or stay at the lighthouse.

Refuelling at Mallacoota. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham]
Refuelling at Mallacoota.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

Next, it was a refuelling stop at Mallacoota. With enough daylight left, they then decided to push on to Yarram for the night's stopover.

Flying along the Victorian coast, they first went around Little Rame Island (another GRP hut). The next task was to find Point Hicks. The GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation system was certainly proving useful. It really helped to spot the more obscured lights from the air.

Winsome loved the spectacular scenery along this stretch of coast, with the famous Snowy River and the Lakes Entrance region.

The last lighthouse for the day was Lighthouse Point, at the northern end of Wilsons Promontory.

Lloyd checking in with SARWATCH at the end of the day. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham]
Lloyd checking in with SARWATCH at the end of the day.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

It had been a very long, tiring day. The Search and Rescue (SAR) people form CASA were on the ball. Jim Christenson's (the refueller at Yarram) phone rang just after VH-RNL had landed. They had touched down at 4 p.m. This was the hour specified in Lloyd's flight plan as the nominated start of "SARWATCH" time.

At this time, the SAR procedures would kick in. To know that CASA were monitoring their progress was very comforting.

The third day ended with a spectacular sunset. Before resting up, Winsome bought all the replacement batteries she thought might be required for the rest of the trip!

Tuesday May 1

It was an overcast morning, but the cloud-base was high. The aviators were off again. Heading towards Cliffy Island, they ran into a few rain showers. The next light was Wilsons Promontory. Winsome noted that it looks very different from the air.

This is the southernmost point on the Australian mainland. For an exposed coast sticking out into the notoriously rough Bass Strait, the sea on this day was unusually calm.

On the ground, 6 hikers were watching the Cessna circle, but Winsome only discovered this after viewing the photos that night.

Their next track had them heading northwest towards Cape Liptrap. Soon they were over Philip Island. Here they got a great view of the Grand Prix Motor Bike racing circuit.

Heading towards the Mornington Peninsula (90km south of Melbourne) Lloyd was asked to divert from his track, since he was heading over Flinders and the West Head Naval Gunnery Range, which marks the entrance to Westernport Bay.

Artillery practice and airborne Cessnas are not a good combination.

There was a bonus from this diversion since they now went straight over the Arthur's Seat Maze, a popular tourist attraction. Its intriguing patterns are of course, best seen from the air.

At the western end of the Peninsula they circled Cape Schanck before flying over Point Nepean, which marks the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. Across "The Rip" they could see that lighthouse fan's paradise - Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale (near to the home of LoA's Malcolm Macdonald)

After this long day in the air, our aviators deserved a day off from flying. But not from lighthouses!

They landed at Moorabbin Airport and were met by Peter Moss who is producing a TV documentary on Victorian lighthouses.

Lloyd and Winsome stayed that night with their friends, Jim and Dianne, at Werribee

The next day's highlight was to be a visit (at ground level) to Point Lonsdale, and an opportunity to meet with none other than Malcolm Macdonald.

Next Month - Part 3 of "Lighthouses from the Air"

Bound for South Australia.

The Nobbys Head Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Nobbys Head Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Norah Head Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Norah Head Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Barranjoey Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Barranjoey Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Hornby Lighthouse.[Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Hornby Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Macquarie Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Macquarie Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Cape Bailey Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Cape Bailey Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Flagstaff Point Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Flagstaff Point Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Kiama Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Kiama Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Crookhaven Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Crookhaven Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Point Perpendicular Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Warden Head Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Warden Head Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Burrewarra Point Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Burrewarra Point Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Montague Island Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Montague Island Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

Ben Boyd's Tower. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationBen Boyd's Tower.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Green Cape Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Green Cape Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Gabo Island Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Gabo Island Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Point Hicks Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Point Hicks Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Cliffy Island Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Cliffy Island Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Citadel Island Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Citadel Island Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Cape Liptrap Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Cape Liptrap Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Cape Schanck Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Cape Schanck Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

Cape Nelson Lighthouse - New Life for a Lightstation

[Denise Shultz <pshultz@tpgi.com.au>]

The Lighthouse Caf頡nd Cape Nelson Lighthouse. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The Lighthouse Café and Cape Nelson Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

The light has not gone out of Cape Nelson Lighthouse.

Situated 360 km west of Melbourne, this western most lighthouse in Victoria is far away but not remote. It takes about 5 hours to get there from Melbourne but despite its proximity to the busy commercial port and town of Portland, it still retains its feeling of isolation and solitude.

Approaching Portland along Princes Highway the first thing Deb, Ed, Malcolm and I saw was a maze of powerlines, all converging on the Portland Aluminium Smelter. A huge pale yellow pile of woodchips waiting to be shipped to Japan was looming next to a wharf. Some distance off shore we could see Lady Julia Percy Island a prominent large rock harbouring a colony of Australian fur seals.

The three Cape Nelson keepers cottages and old workshop and stables. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The three Cape Nelson keepers cottages and old workshop and stables.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

What we could not see was any place likely to contain a lighthouse. For that, we had to go further west and through the historic township of Portland. It has a legitimate claim to be Victoria's first European settlement, thanks to (among others) four of the seven Henty Brothers, who grazed their sheep and cattle there back in 1834.

Following the signs pointing towards Cape Nelson we soon found ourselves driving along the bush-fringed coastal road, leaving all the industrial mayhem behind. Before too long and all of a sudden a tall, white Cape Nelson Lighthouse came into view as if in the palm of our hand.

Perched on a rock cliff, there is not a beach within a sight of the lighthouse for kilometres. In fact it is pretty hard to even get down to the rocks below. The steep and slippery track is used very little and mostly by wild animals. It was not always this way though.

The old workshop has been converted to part of the Caf鮠Note the original telescope mounted above the doorway. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The old workshop has been converted to part of the Café. Note the original telescope mounted above the doorway.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

At the Lighthouse Café we were shown some old photographs dating from 1900's showing distinguished ladies in long skirts and hats sitting on the rocks below the lighthouse after they must have descended along the same path that now bears only fox footprints.

Cape Nelson Lighthouse was built in 1883 together with its adjacent buildings. The largest of them is the head lightkeeper's quarters. This house is nowadays available for holiday accommodation. The second largest house is assistants' keeper's cottage, which is actually two houses that are mirror images of one another. Behind the assistants keeper's dwelling and separated by only about two metres from it is another building a former detached kitchen. It has been converted to holiday accommodation.

The stables too have been converted to become part of the Caf鮠[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The stables too have been converted to become part of the Café.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

The smallest building is a former stable for lighthouse keepers' horses. Despite being the smallest, today is the centre of social life at Cape Nelson. The stables have been converted to a café. This is The Lighthouse Café, where you can not only get all kinds of coffee and cake but also have a meal while sitting behind stylish timber benches, at the same time enjoying a view of the lighthouse and its surroundings through the wall to wall windows. Occasionally, acclaimed musicians like Chris Wilson, Jeff Lang and lately Broderick Smith visit the café and perform for people in an intimate atmosphere.

A typical guests bedroom in on of the cottages. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
A typical guests bedroom in on of the cottages.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Like all the other buildings and the lighthouse, the former stable has been built from bluestone and later painted over. When John and Heather McNeil took over the lighthouse buildings two years ago, they wanted to return the station to as close to its original look as possible. They consulted with Donald Walker, the architect with special interest in lighthouses and their heritage, and sought approval from Heritage Victoria. It was decided, that while the lighthouse had to stay painted white, because of its function as a navigational Light that must be highly visible even during daytime, the buildings could be stripped of the thick layer of paint and restored to their original condition.

The guest lounge in the main cottage. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The guest lounge in the main cottage.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

This was no easy task because the stone underlying the many layers of paint was easily eroded and therefore no harsh abrasive or solvents such as methylene chloride could be used to strip the walls. In the end the compromise was achieved and the walls were stripped of their coatings except the chlorinated rubber. It was such a hard task that at the moment only the Lighthouse Café is free of paint and even then, remnants of it are still visible in a few hard to get places. Eventually the plan is to strip the paint off both the other buildings as well. According to the old photographs the houses and the stables were originally bare stone, the paint not being applied until much later.

The entrance hall is typical of the closed in verandas of the era. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The entrance hall is typical of the closed in verandas of the era.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

There are three other buildings around the lighthouse. The engine room, the signal cottage and the office. The engine room contains diesel engine, which used to power the lighthouse before it was converted to mains and is still functional in case of emergency. Hexagonal signal cottage made of timber still retains the shelves with folded flags of various meanings and a telescope tripod. The antique brass telescope is missing though. It is safe, displayed above the door inside the café. The office cottage is newly built but is actually a close copy of a former schoolhouse, which used to stand at the same spot.

Deb, Denise and Malcolm meet former keepers, Max and Linda Lucas in the main cottage's dinning room. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Deb, Denise and Malcolm meet former keepers, Max and Linda Lucas in the main cottage's dinning room.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Part of the reason for our visit in Mid-September is that we wanted to find out whether there is a new life for the old lighthouse. Since Cape Nelson is one of four Victorian lightstations that were leased to private citizens and are run as a business we wanted to know whether this is the way to save the lighthouse from deterioration and destruction.

A treasure from the past is still in place. The alarm to let keepers know the light has gone out. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
A treasure from the past is still in place. The alarm to let keepers know the light has gone out.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Another treasure, the hand powered telephone, still in use as an intercom. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Another treasure, the hand powered telephone, still in use as an intercom.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Like Cape Schanck and Point Hicks lighthouses, the tower itself is owned by the Victorian Government and leased and maintained by AMSA as a Category One navigation light. Cape Nelson Lightstation Pty Ltd as lessees are licensed to access the tower for tours. At Cape Nelson, the tour guides are very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about lighthouses and do not neglect to look after the tower maintenance. As a result the lighthouse is in great shape, the stairs are clean, the brass is polished and the tower is heated in winter to keep away the dew.

The chook run at the rear of the main cottage is a maze of scrub and patchwork sheds. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The chook run at the rear of the main cottage is a maze of scrub and patchwork sheds.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

The historical cottages are much harder and a lot more expensive to maintain. It is not an easy task to use them as a bed and breakfast accommodation for tourists and at the same time to maintain their authenticity.

If people come here and expect resort style luxury with room service, swimming pool, spa and an ensuite with every bedroom on top of beautiful weather each and every day, they are going to be disappointed.

A standard when you are in the country. Hot water bottles (hotties) to keep your bed warn at night. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
A standard when you are in the country. Hot water bottles (hotties) to keep your bed warn at night.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

What they are going to get instead is a touch of old times. Comfortable sleep in an old fashioned bedroom, scrumptious meals they can cook for themselves in the provided kitchen, evening tours of the lighthouse, rotating looms of light emanating eerily from the lantern room at night and either romantic or adventurous (depending on the weather) morning walks around the coastal cliffs.

Come prepared for the driving rain and the wind, which tries to blow you off the cliff, or a beautiful sunny windless day and you will love your stay at Cape Nelson.

A view of the light flashing from the main cottage. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
A view of the light flashing from the main cottage.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

So what is the final verdict?

This type of solution for re-use of a lightstation is dependant on the compromise between preservation and the need for commercial success.

Is there a new life for the old light? Only time will tell.


Letters & Notices

Memories of the Point Hicks Lighthouse

Hi Malcolm

I was just browsing on the Internet the 90 mile beach, looking at options for Christmas Holidays, and came across the 'Point Hicks Lighthouse web page'.

I have great memories of that lighthouse back around 1975 when my uncle, Don Reid, was the Keeper there.

I remember the many trips up the stairs and the vegie garden that he made and called it 'The Garden of Eden', and the cold windy days that nearly blew you off the balcony.

View from the balcony of Point HicksI remember the ship wreck we found and the rusty pennies that we found and put in tomato sauce to remove the rust. My father still has a skeleton of a sea horse that we found on the beach.

My aunty at that time was about 26 years old and my uncle was 40. I was about 11 years and my sisters where 5 & 13.

My uncle & aunty came from Shepparton, Victoria and reside back there now and still have a painting on their wall of the lighthouse that the neighbors had painted for them, I vaguely remember the other keepers but can't put a name to them.

The Point Hicks LighthouseMy father was in the police force and worked long shifts, so my mum would wake us up early, about 4am, pack up the car and off we would go to Point Hicks to stay for a few days.

There was so much to do, but really not much to do, no televsion and no computers then, so we would make our own fun, mostly exploring.

They were the really good memories of my childhood and my mother, who sadly passed away 3 years ago.

I hope I haven't bothered you with this email, I just wanted to share my memories of that beautiful place.

Thanks for listening

(Name and address withdrawn by request)

Looking for Francis William Brady

Hello,

I have just found your site and spent the last couple of hours looking through it. Congratulations to all concerned - a fantastic site.

The Fingal LighthouseI particularly found it interesting because I am told that my great Grandfather, Francis William Brady (4/4/1875 - 8/9/1910) was a lighthouse keeper at the Fingal Lighthouse from 1906 - 1910. Family stories also tell that his 2nd son, Eric Jack Grant Brady (my grandfather), was born at the lighthouse on 11/8/1908. Francis Brady's wife's name was Bertha Maud Brown.

Do you have any records you can check or lead me to where I can find such records to confirm if the dates I have are correct. I would also appreciate any other info, photos or sources anyone may have regarding this.

Regards Simone Cheadle <scheadle@yahoo.com.au>

The Opening of Cape Byron and James Gardner

The Cape Byron LighthouseThe South Solitary LighthouseDear Keeper

I have an interest in NSW lighthouses, created by my grandfather James Gardner, with whom I lived from 1923 until 1943.

You can imagine how many stories which I overheard in those years, his first light was Cape Byron until 1909, then South Solitary for 3 years, thence to Point Perpendicular,and after a few years to Green Cape.

The Green Cape LighthouseThe Point Perpendicular LighthouseCould you inform me where to look for information about the opening of Cape Byron in 1900, he was sent there from the pilot station at Harrington,about 5 months after the light was opened.

Yours Sincerely Neville Gardner <nevilleg@Oz2000.com>

Looking for Charles Duncan Lee

Dear Malcolm

The Cape Capricorn (Curtis Island) LighthouseMy Great Great Grandfather was lighthouse keeper and he was first on Bustard Head Light, then Port Curtis as well as the keeper on the Moreton Light.

The Cape Moreton LighthouseHis name was Charles Duncan Lee Please let me know if you have any more details I will also search some documents that I have on our family to find any further information.

He fell to his death while on the Cowan Cowan Lighthouse, Moreton Island.

Thanks Sharon Atwood <dash4@bigpond.com>

The Drowning of Gay Prescott at the Gellibrand Pile Light

Dear Sir

The Gellibrand Pile LightMy grandfather Gay Prescott was a lighthouse keeper on the Gellibrand Pile Light.

He drowned from it some 34 years ago.

I'm desperate for photos or anything relating to it or him.

Lorraine Kell <rainie@frog.net.au>

Looking for William Robert Saunders Griffin

Hi Malcolm

Found your informative site through Genealogy Genseek.

I have found that apparently my Great Great Great Grandfather was appointed as the lighthouse superintendant for a three year term from June 1860 at Cape St George. His name was William Robert Saunders GRIFFIN.

The Cape St George Lighthouse ruinsI am enquiring as to where/who I should approach next to find more details on this subject.

My initial info came from 'Tracks and Times - A History of the Pine Rivers District' by the Pine Rivers Shire Council (Qld) 1988 ISBN 0 7316 2062 3

Thanking you for your time

Kind Regards
Marty Gordon <hare2@optushome.com.au>
Brisbane

Looking for Captain Jarman and Jarman Island

Hello

The Jarman Island (Point Samson) LighthouseI am looking for information and/or pictures of Jarman Island (Point Samson) Lighthouse.

My interest stems from family history research (Jarman) and I was looking for information as to who the Jarman in Jarman Island was and any available info.

The ruins of the Jarman Island (Point Samson) CottagesI have found a reference to a Captain Jarman and my ancestor was a Captain Jarman - so possibly a lead to follow up that I didn't have before.

Your site looks facinating and I hope to get back for a longer look when time allows.

Thanks for your interest.

Christine Sloan <christine@australia.edu>

Feel free to post any request, letters, 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:

No new pages for Australia this month

New Links for Australia:

No new links for Australia this month

Also, New Links for World:

No new links for World this month

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 Jaffa - AMSA's Response

[David Gray <David.Gray@amsa.gov.au>
Australian Maritime Safety Authority].

The Cape Jaffa platform on Margaret Brock Reef [Photograph Courtesy: David Hurburgh]
The Cape Jaffa platform on Margaret Brock Reef
[Photograph Courtesy: David Hurburgh]

Read your Sept 01 Bulletin comments on Margaret Brock Reef platform,
Cape Jaffa, SA and would like to advise the following to put the issue in perspective:

  • The platform is in such condition it is a large insurance liability/risk for AMSA.
  • Navigational aid maintenance teams are now unable to access the platform from sea or air to undertake servicing.
  • AMSA is planning to position an alternative solar-powered aid about 50 metres from the platform on a single pile structure.
  • AMSA offered the structure to National Parks and Wildlife SA after the Department requested AMSA to consider alternatives to the removal of the structure but the offer was declined on the grounds that the maintenance costs and associated risks outweighed the conservation benefits.
  • Because the breeding season of the gannet colony in the area is about to commence, AMSA will not be proceeding to remove the structure this year.

The situation will be re-assessed in the first half of 2002.

JAFFA "HOME" LIGHTHOUSE GROUP: Adopt the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse as your "Home" lighthouse. Get involved in issues to do with the protection, preservation and promotion of this lighthouse by visiting and joining (FREE) the Cape Jaffa Home Lighthouse Group

LINKS: Cape Jaffa Platform Under Serious Threat
http://www.kingstonse.com/stand.htm

Bustard Head Lightstation to be Leased

Agreement has been reached with the National Parks and Wildlife Service of Queensland for the Bustard Head Lighthouse Association to lease the 3.1 hectare Bustard Head Lightstation reserve.

The Bustard Head Lightstation from the air when still manned [Photograph Courtesy: Stuart Buchanan]
The Bustard Head Lightstation from the air when still manned
[Photograph Courtesy: Stuart Buchanan]

The Bustard Head Lighthouse Association was formed several years ago admidst concern about the deterioration of the ancilliary buildings around the light.

Since the lightstion was demanned in 1986, the current cottages built in the 1920's, have suffered as a result of vandalism and the elements and are now down to the frames, though the roofs are still in good condition.

The Bustard Head Lighthouse Association is a non-profit community based group. Their objective of the group is to demonstrate what lighthouse life was like when the station was manned. All proceeds raised go to the restoration and maintenance the lightstation as it was when it was last operating as a manned station.

The Association will operate the site as a display of what life was actually like on a working lightstion. One cottage will be set up for a museum and the use of the Association in administering the site, whilst another will be setup for accommodation.

The tower still has the original crystal prism lens and is still operational. It is hoped to open the tower for tours.

LARCs similar to this are used to bring tourists and supplies to the station. [Photograph Courtesy: Stuart Buchanan]
LARCs similar to this are used to bring tourists and supplies to the station.
[Photograph Courtesy: Stuart Buchanan]

Tours have been operating to the lightstation reserve by 1770 Environmental Tours for several years now and this will continue. Shirley Buchanan, of the Lighthouse Historical Society Of Queensland, and also a member of the Bustard Head Lighthouse Association, said that the LARCs (lighter amphibious resupply cargo vessel) used to carry the tourists will also assist in the carrying material and supplies for the restoration of the cottages.

Shirley's partner, Stuart Buchanan, is the president of the Association. Stuart has written several books on Queensland Lights. One called "The Lighthouse Keepers" which includes a delightful description of their experiences as lightkeepers on Bustard Head. Another book, "Lighthouse of Tragedy", is devoted to the history of the Bustard Head Lightstation itself.

As part of the lease conditions the Association must construct a vehicular corduroy track to allow access to the lighthouse. This is of similar construction to the original track that laid tied timber sapplings across the sandy terrain that had to be crossed. It created a stable surface for vehicles to drive over and prevented massive erosion that can occur in these areas.

The Bustard Head cottages in good condition before demanning [Photograph Courtesy: Stuart Buchanan]
The Bustard Head cottages in good condition before demanning
[Photograph Courtesy: Stuart Buchanan]

The Association is hoping to obtain a heritage grant from the Department of Environment in the next 3 - 4 months. Shirley said that if the grant comes through the Association will be able to do a lot of the required work within a short period of time. Otherwise, they will be in for a long haul.

The take over will occur in early 2002 after the main tourist season to allow time for work to be completed before the next tourist season.

The Bustard Head Station after demanning. [Photograph Courtesy: Stuart Buchanan]
The Bustard Head Station after demanning.
[Photograph Courtesy: Stuart Buchanan]

Once the lease commences 1770 Environmental Tours will still operate the tours to the lightstation but the Bustard Head Lighthouse Association will manage the lightstation itself.

The lightstation conservation area is also being incorporated into a new expanded national park based on the Bustard Head area.

Anyone who is interested in joining the Association or supporting the group in any way can contact the Association through Stuart Buchanan on (07) 3289 1827 or write to Bustard Head Lighthouse Association PO Box 90 SAMFORD Queensland 4520

The National Parks and Wildlife Service are also in the process of completing lease arrangements for Cape Capricorn to a private operator and Double Island Point to the Noosa Parks Association.

LINKS: New Book to be Released on Bustard Head
Plight of Bustard Head Featured on TV and in New Book
Progress at Bustard Head
  Update On The Progress Of Bustard Head

Vlaming Head Relit for Opening

[Ron Campbell - Fluid Reflections <fluid_reflections@nwc.net.au>]

Well the restoration to the Vlaming Head Lighthouse near Exmouth in Western Australia was finally completed and opened to the public for guided tours on April 19 this year. After nearly 3 months of toil by myself (Ron Campbell) and Wayne Britton the only thing remaining was to try to re-light the lighthouse using its original vaporized Kerosene system.

Vlaming Head Lighthouse, fully restored and ready to re-open. [Photograph: Ron Campbell]
Vlaming Head Lighthouse, fully restored and ready to re-open.
[Photograph: Ron Campbell]

During the course of the restoration we tracked down a gentleman called Ken Baker, a retired lighthouse engineer/draftsman. He had worked for the now defunct Commonwealth Lighthouse Service of Australia.

Ken retired in 1984 and was enjoying a relaxed lifestyle living at Inglewood in rural Victoria. In the 1950's Ken worked onboard the old steamer, the SS Cape Otway which sailed up the Western Australian coast for over 30 years servicing all the lights and beacons.

Well, after many calls and letters across the continent to make sure we were not crazy! We finally managed to coax him out of retirement and flew him over to the Exmouth.

Ken Baker receiving a framed print of the brass plaque mounted inside the lighthouse. [Photograph: Ron Campbell]
Ken Baker receiving a framed print of the brass plaque mounted inside the lighthouse.
[Photograph: Ron Campbell]

The official opening was already planned with the re-lighting the culmination of the evening’s ceremony and as usual, Murphy's law dictates nothing will ever be easy! The lights character is 2 flashes in 10 secs and the clockwork mechanism and pedestal had not moved quicker than standing still in the last 34 years all the accumulated dust, dirt, dried grease and oil made any movement a challenge.

After close inspection, Ken thought the Mercury level in the pedestal itself may be too low or contaminated causing it to run too slow, He quickly decided that "We are just going to have to drop the tank and clean the mercury boys".

No sooner had he uttered those words and the counterweights had a major freefall from the top of the tower, luckily the brake was applied just before they reached the bottom. Miraculously the high speed run freed up the system and the timing was perfect! You cannot believe our disappointment, which meant we were going to miss out on dropping the mercury tank (not!).

The last time the tank at this light was cleaned was way back in 1964 and its running within 1/10 of a sec of its original character.

Burning off the new mantle in preparation for showing the light. [Photograph: Ron Campbell]
Burning off the new mantle in preparation for showing the light.
[Photograph: Ron Campbell]

So after sorting out a few Kero leaks and replacing the buckets in the air pumps the old light was fired up again the day before the opening and a couple of mantles were burnt off. I don’t know how many readers have ever had the pleasure of seeing and hearing one of these mantles burning but its a real thrill "much better than those new fangled electric lights".

The splendour of the kerosene burner going back in action and going 'full bore'. [Photograph: Ron Campbell]
The splendour of the kerosene burner going back in action and going "full bore".
[Photograph: Ron Campbell]

Notices had been posted around the town to advertise the opening, Exmouth has a population of about 2,500 people.

Finally the big night arrived, July 14th. The opening ceremony was planned for 5:00pm and Ken stipulated "The light must be established 15 mins prior to sunset!". I just love that lighthouse talk, and who are we to break with tradition.

So after a small-dignified ceremony attended by channel 7 television, the Shire of Exmouth President, and about 800 people, Ken made the fateful climb and under intense pressure relit, the lighthouse officially, curtains off, for the first time in 34 years.

Plaque dedicated to Ken, Ron and Waynes efforts to re-open the lighthouse. [Photograph: Ron Campbell]
Plaque dedicated to Ken, Ron and Waynes efforts to re-open the lighthouse.
[Photograph: Ron Campbell]

We dedicated the opening to Ken, and have placed a brass plaque in the foyer commemorating a day none of us will ever forget, without our friend Ken the re-lighting would never have been possible.

He brought over some original Chance Bros. 55mm mantles and as I'm sure you can imagine they are in short supply these days so if anyone out there has any spares their not planning on using, let us know!

We plan on re-lighting the lighthouse to mark special anniversary dates and civic events, we hope in the near future to be able to advertise these dates in tourist guides for the area, so if your in our neck of the woods you might be able to see the old light shining!

The lighthouse light beginning to show at dusk. [Photograph: Ron Campbell]
The lighthouse light beginning to show at dusk.
[Photograph: Ron Campbell]

Lastly, if any readers have any historical information or stories about our lighthouse please get in touch through Malcolm, we are currently in the next phase of our work, preparing some photographic displays with lots of old black and white pics taken years ago.

Thanks and congratulations, to Malcolm and all those involved with the lighthouse project, it is a remarkable achievement and a wonderful resource. It’s great to be able to bring together lots of passionate people with a common goal, celebrating our history and preserving these magic old lighthouses.

Cape Byron 100th Celebrations

[Ian Clifford <icliffo@tpgi.com.au>]

The Cape Byron Lighthouse will celebrate its centenary on Friday the 30th November 2001.

Officially opened on the 1st of December 1901 by the then premier of NSW John See a banquet was held at the Great Northern Hotel to celebrate its opening.

See said that the government had done as much as any in the world to make the coast as safe as possible. Australia, became more important each year and therefore it was necessary to keep the track open.

The Cape Byron Lighthouse. [Photograph: Ian Clifford]
The Cape Byron Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Ian Clifford]

Cape Byron was the first lighthouse constructed for the Navigation Department, which superseded the NSW Marine Board in 1899, and its fitted with that big first order french optic, not the usual Chance Bros system.

To celebrate the lighthouse centenary the Byron Bay Headland Trust, the present day caretakers of the lighthouse headland and precinct are organising a banquet to be held again at the Great Northern Hotel in Byron Bay on Friday the 30th of November 2001.

In Byron at least pubs are as enduring as lighthouses.

The Trust is currently finalising plans for celebrations to be held at the lighthouse over the weekend.

Enquiries about the celebrations can be directed through the trust by phoning (02) 6685 5955.

The Cape Byron keepers' cottages. [Photograph: Ian Clifford]
The Cape Byron keepers' cottages.
[Photograph: Ian Clifford]

The Byron Bay Headland Trust now has a license with AMSA to conduct tours of the lighthouse. Tours can be arranged through the shop located in the former head keepers cottage at a cost of:

  • $25.00 for families
  • $8.00 for adults and
  • $6.00 for concession holders.

Tours are conducted on Tuesdays:

  • Thursdays
  • Saturdays, and
  • Sundays.

Tours are guided and take approximately 40 minutes.

Bookings are limited to a maximum of ten people.

You have to pass a french test before the tour begins.

If lighthouse stays are on your agenda then Cape Byron would certainly be high on the list.

Accommodation is available in the attached assistant keepers cottages.

Bookings are advised and can be made by phoning (02) 6685 5955.

Montague 120th Celebrations

Thursday November 1st, 2001 marks 120 years since the Montague Lighthouse was first officially commissioned!Thursday November 1st, 2001 marks 120 years since the Montague Lighthouse was first officially commissioned!

  • 120 Years of keeping our shipping safe!
  • 120 Years of rich maritime history!

You are invited to a celebration of this event.

Come with Montague Island Tours and Narooma Charters for a half-day’s adventure, reliving the past as well as getting together with some of the characters who lived it.

The guest of honour is Mr Ian Cameron who was born in Narooma in 1922 when his father "Jock" Cameron was head keeper at Montague. Ian, now retired from the Department of Shipping and Transport is a wealth of knowledge on Montague and lighthouses.

It is also hoped to track down other people with links to Montague.

The Montague Island Lighthouse. [Photograph: Marguerite Stephen]
The Montague Island Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Marguerite Stephen]

Boats will be departing Narooma at 9am and 10:30am and returning at 1:30pm and 2:30pm

Cost is $30 per passenger

This is not the normal Montague tour and features of the day are:

  • NSW National Parks & Wildlife guides
  • explore the old keepers’ quarters
  • tours of the tower itself
  • explore the island
  • see nesting seabird colonies
  • visit the seals
  • possibly see whales on the way or the way home (not a full whale-watch tour).

This will be a relaxed and informal get-together in the spirit of 120 years of keeping shipping safe off the coast of NSW.

Unfortunately due to conservation restrictions there will be a limit of 70 passengers to the Island for the day!

The approach to the Montague Lighthouse by sea. [Photograph: Ian Clifford]
The approach to the Montague Lighthouse by sea.
[Photograph: Ian Clifford]

The celebration coincide with the centenary of the township of Narooma so back on shore there will be celebrations too.

At the Narooma Visitors Centre at 3pm visit the maritime history display and the old lens from the lighthouse. There will be a presentation by Laurelle Pacey, author of the well-known "Lure of Montague" book, currently being revised.

There will be a sausage sizzle with tea and coffee provided. Bring your own snacks, drinks and vegetarian.

Complete your day with a dinner and social get together, includng a "share your montague story" segment.

It should be noted the weather can be quite inclement and this can restrict boat access to the Island. The backup-day should this occur is Friday November 2 2001 and there will be a refund if the trip doesn’t happen.

Bookings: National Parks & Wildlife Service Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm
(02) 4476 2888
Accommodation: Narooma Visitors Centre (02) 4476 2881.

New Lighthouse Book Coming Soon

Friends will remember the 3 articles we did late last year and early this year on John Ibbitson's travels across the top of Australia.

Part of John's intention with the trip was to complete his ambition to photograph all the lighthouse in Australia.

John Ibbotson is about to publish a coffee table books featuring the lighthouses of his travels. [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
John Ibbotson is about to publish a coffee table books featuring the lighthouses of his travels.
[Photograph:
John Ibbotson]

The other reason for the trip was to assemble the last group of photographs for a coffee table book is producing that will be a snapshot of what lighthouses were like at the end of the 20th century as they passed into the period of automation and became unmanned. It is an attempt to capture the beautiful classical style lighthouses before they start to disappear into history.

We will have more details in November's Bulletin with a preview, a launch date and place and information how you can purchase the book.

Pete Amass Coming to Australia

Three American lighthouse enthusiasts (nuts?) and our supporters, Pete Amass from California, John Armacost from Ohio and Bob Knight from Florida, are coming to Australia for the sole purpose of visiting and photographing our lighthouses and to take in the beauty of our country.

Pete Amass is the creator of one of the early sites on lighthouses on the Web called "Pete's Lantern Room" now at <http://www.lanternroom.com>. His was the first site to have a comprehensive display of our lights and existed well before our own Lighthouses of Australia site.

Bob Knight. [Photograph: Bob Knight]
Bob Knight.
[Photograph: Bob Knight]

Bob Knight is one of our inaugural members. Bob almost had a brush with the World Trade Towers on September 11, but told me he was glad he was running late!

Despite these recent events in New York and the collapse of Ansett Airlines, with whom they were booked, they are still determined to make the journey here.

John Armacost. [Photograph: John Armacost]
John Armacost.
[Photograph: John Armacost]

Their trip will commence on the 9th of November and continue until the 30th.

Pete says:

"All arrangements are made except for motels which we will find along the way. We're all seasoned travellers and know how to make our way around and cover a lot of ground in 3 weeks."

"First we're landing at Sydney then heading to Cairns, now on Qantas, where we'll pick up a car and head south down the coast through Queensland and New South Wales, visiting as many lights as we can find, continuing until they run out of time whence we will head back to Sydney to fly home."

Queensland has presented problems for lighthouse adventurers in the past and Pete, Bob and John would appreciate any local help with locating lights.

They would also appreciate knowing how to access the many lights on the Queensland coast that are offshore and what peoples' experiences have been hiring local boats to get out to photograph them.

Pete said:

"I suspect we may not see many of the Queensland lights but we'll give it our best shot. The problem with heading out on boat trips is they eat up too much time though they can be an enjoyable adventure."

They would also like some feedback on which lights allow access and what are their visiting hours.

Says Pete:

"I have 'From Dusk to Dawn' which lists most of the lights but a note in the book indicates there are others under local authorities. Where can I get a list of those? If your readers have any comments or suggestions I'd sure like to hear from them."

Pete informed me that they have compiled a composite list from the Lighthouses of Australia and Grant and Tracys Lighthouse Pages sites.

They also have a copy of the Lighthouse Encyclopedia CD put out by Ken Tretheway of the British Lighthouse Society which contains a rather lengthy list of Australian lights in an MS Access file which contains some location information.

Pete Amass. [Photograph: Pete Amass]
Pete Amass.
[Photograph: Pete Amass]

Pete has also been trying to get the excellent Explorer maps which list most of our lighthouses.

They also hope to catch up with a few of their friends they made last time they were here.

Folks, I am sure we can show them some of our Australian hospitality and assist them to make their trip a more memorable one.

Their contact details are:

Bob Knight <Bob1knight@aol.com>
Pete Amass <keeper@lanternroom.com>
John Armacost <jba44@urec.net>

If you know of any news or event effecting an Australian Lighthouse please forward it to us so we can publish in the Monthly Bulletin.


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Thankyou


Thanks to the Following People for Their Help in September:

Keith Banks (Photos and Info)
Barry Wilson (Page Registrations)
Dennis Hasenfus (Page Registrations)

Thanks to all the people who have put links to the site

Thanks to those who let me use their photos for thumbnails.


Regards until the November 2001 Bulletin
Malcolm Macdonald

http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/


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