Lighthouses of Australia Project - OCTOBER 02 BULLETIN

VOL 5 No 10
OCTOBER 2002
Go to Main Australian Index Page
Check out past bulletins on the progress of the Project
Read the latest Bulletin with the latest news and the latest progress of the Project
How did the Lighthouses of Australia Project Come about?  What is its objectives?

Dear Friends

Features

Corrugated Lighthouses - Pt 3
Troubridge 1890 Sponge Mystery
A Caretaker's Day on Maatsuyker

Letters & Notices

Department of Scrounge

New Pages & Links

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

Australian News

Maatsuyker Meeting Seeds LoA Group
World Lighthouse Society Launched
Don't Forget the Exhibition
Lighthouse Plans Now On-line at Archives
Education Program to Accompany Archives Exhibition

Join Lighthouses of Australia Inc

Thanks To

Text Only eMail

Past Bulletins

Subscribe

Contact

Dear Friends

This Month Features

Corrugated Lighthouses Part 3The story of Jim and Margaret Hill and their experiences of lightkeeping in the 1950s continues in Corrugated Lighthouses Part 3.

Troubridge 1890 Sponge MysteryThe Troubridge 1890 Sponge Mystery is an interesting reference to the interests and problems of keepers on Troubridge Island in the Late 19th century.

Corrugated Lighthouses Part 3In a Caretaker's Day on Maatsuyker Keith and Gillian Chapman give a description of a typical day when they were volunteers on the Island from February to May 2000 and 2001 and therefore why they feel that the program should continue.

This Months News

The Maatsuyker meeting resolved to work towards a strong LoA group in Tasmania that would attempt to redress issues involving 4 or 5 lighthouses including Maatsuyker.

A series of meetings in London have seen the World Lighthouse Society launched.

Don't Forget the ExhibitionDon't Forget the National Archives Exhibition starting this month in Canberra and travelling around Australia for the new three years.

Lighthouse Plans Now On-line at ArchivesMany enthusiasts will be happy to know that original lighthouse plans are now on-line on the National Archives of Australia web site.

An education program has been developed to accompany the National Archives Exhibition as it travels around Australia.

Malcolm Macdonald is the founder and convener of Lighthouses of Australia

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


Features

Corrugated Lighthouses - Pt 3

[Margaret Hill <mhgw@netspace.net.au>, Condensed by Steve Merson <merson@bigpond.com>]

Corrugated Lighthouses - Pt 1
Corrugated Lighthouses - Pt 2

'Helpless' females were allowed to use the basket instead of the rope ladder. [Image: National Archives L43679]Arriving at Neptune Island

'Helpless' females were allowed to use the basket instead of the rope ladder.
[Image: National Archives L43679]

As we got close to Neptune Island, I could see steep cliffs at one end and grey-green vegetation covering the low rocky shoreline at the other end, which was actually another island separated by a narrow rocky channel through which the sea raced and churned.

The Yandra dropped anchor a long way out, as the weather could change in a matter of minutes, whipping up squalls that could prevent the ship from getting out for days, or worse - blow the ship against the rocks.

I could see three cottages nestled at the foot of the lighthouse, with several outbuildings dotted around. Below the houses were some small shiny white domes that looked like beehives.

The land fell steeply down to the beach where a long wooden jetty with a crane at the end jutted out into the tiny bay.

The three granite cottages were joined and had an assortment of outbuildings. Note the three white 'beehives'. [Image: Winsome Bonham]
The three granite cottages were joined and had an assortment of outbuildings. Note the three white 'beehives'
.
[Image: Winsome Bonham]

Neptune Island had been described as a small granite island, with very little vegetation, no natural wild life or natural water. It sounded ugly and I thought it would be difficult to cope with the isolation. Instead, I fell in love with the place at once.

The rough grandeur of the islands and the marvellous seascape was unexpectedly beautiful, and it soothed my fears.

"What do you think?" a crewman shouted to me. "It's beautiful!" I yelled back. Moving closer to where the crew were working, I continued: "It looks bigger than I had thought, and much greener. And don't the beehives look pretty against the dark background?" I prattled on about bee keeping being a great hobby and a source of valuable food.

There was silence. The sailors had all stopped work. Then they broke out into great gusts of laughter, taking a while to explain that the little white domes were not beehives, but dunnies (outside toilets).

Our stores were brought up on deck from the hold, and we prepared to go ashore in the motor launch, waiting below at the ship's side. The older children went down in a large basket, as it was their first time.

The Captain seemed to take pleasure in telling me, "Everyone over five goes down the ladder - reg'lar monkeys, lighthouse kids are", as if the credit for their agility was his. The baby was strapped onto Jim's back and he disappeared down the rope ladder, leaving me to fend for myself.

Very nervously, I went over the side … but froze as the ladder swayed under me, my feet slipping on the wet greasy rope. I was aware of the heaving sea below and the rusty metal of the ship's side near my face. Petrified, I clung to the ladder until I felt someone climb over me, strong hands gripping mine and a gruff voice shouting into my ear: "Stop being bloody stupid. Now when I say move, you move. I'll be with you." Shocked out of my fear, and realising what a sight I must look perched on the ladder with my skirt billowing in the breeze, I climbed down into the waiting launch.

When we reached the high jetty, the head keeper yelled down: "Better send that helpless female up in the basket with the kids." I was mortified.

The cottages sit on the barren exposed island. [Image: AMSA]The cottages sit on the barren exposed island.
[Image: AMSA]

As the men moved the stores ashore, I was handed over to the other two keepers' wives to be shown my new home and the 'beehives'. Both women gleefully informed me of every disadvantage of the buildings, and appeared to take great pleasure at my horrified reaction to the toilets. The white painted domes were built of granite blocks, and one had to step down into these dark, rock dungeons - they stank to high heaven and they were a haven for huge blowflies and spiders. How I came to hate those toilets.

Later, as I settled in to the everyday routine of island life, I realised my arrival was possibly one of the high points of their year.

Everyday Life on Neptune Island

The following morning I sat in on the daily 'galah session' on the short wave radio. Its main use was for official lighthouse business, weather reports and emergency calls, but to ease the isolation, it was also used to exchange news and gossip. As I listened to the conversations, I heard the details of my arrival being broadcast far and wide.

The original skelatal tower on South Neptune Island. [Image: Margaret Hill]The original skeletal tower on South Neptune Island.
[Image: Margaret Hill]

The lighthouse structure sits on the seaward side of the island, on the edge of a sheer drop into the ocean. The three solid granite cottages nestle close together by a low rocky ridge, to shelter from the worst of the storms and gale force winds that frequently lash the island.

The cottages were built of stone quarried on site, and the thick walls were almost sound proof. The timber flooring and doors had been brought in by ship. The windows were high and narrow, allowing for little natural light in some of the rooms, making them seem drab and uninviting.

Salt spray caused constant damp. The living room was the driest - it was where the large galvanised bins of dry goods were stored, and where the children studied at a large oak table.

All signs of study had to be cleared away when the crew of the Cape York came ashore to do maintenance and repairs, as they had to be looked after in a formal manner. This was a very sore point with the three lighthouse wives, as our task of supervising the correspondence schooling for eight children was difficult enough without interruptions.

On our first night on Neptune, we sat outside at sunset to witness the spectacle of the mutton-birds returning to their nests. The flutter of a lone mutton-bird caught my eye as it glided in, and then the sky was filled with birds, descending on the island in droves. The sound of thousands of beating wings filled the night air like a huge sigh, and with a great deal of flapping and twittering the birds slowly settled down for the night, leaving a light coating of oil and a rank, fishy smell on our clothes.

The jetty was nestled in a small bay. [Image: AMSA]The jetty was nestled in a small bay.
[Image: AMSA]

It was very rugged and beautiful out amongst the islands. The views were spectacular - smooth, misty, silver water and distant purple islands; the ever-present birds and seals; the ferocious storms sending giant waves crashing over the rocky shorelines and the wind roaring like a wild thing around the buildings.

If the weather permitted, we caught leather-jacket, barracuda (snook), grouper, shark and crayfish (rock lobsters) to feast on. Jim was always keen to fish on his afternoons off, but permission to lower the rowing boat from the jetty always had to be sought from the capricious head keeper. He had to give his approval for everything.

The author, Margaret Hill, persisting with endless chores. [Image: Margaret Hill]The author, Margaret Hill, persisting with endless chores.
[Image: Margaret Hill]

I seldom got out walking to view the scenery or study the wild life. Housework was difficult and constant, so my time seemed to be spent washing, splitting wood for kindling, cleaning out the stove, trimming wicks and refilling the lamps. The floors were covered with brown linoleum and were supposed to be kept highly polished, using a house brick inside an old woollen jumper. I could never get a shine on those floors.

The laundry was separate from the house and contained the usual wood-fired copper and concrete troughs. I never got up to date with the washing, as there was never enough water to finish a load. The baby developed large ulcers on her bottom from napkins that were either poorly rinsed or salty from the sea spray in the air.

Our weekly water ration of 150 gallons was pumped up by hand from the underground water tank each Saturday. Clean use was rinsing teacups, second use was washing hands and faces, and third use was washing floors. Once a week, the whole family bathed in an inch of water in the bottom of the bath, using the same water to soak our clothes in afterwards.

Stores being landed from the supply ship, Cape York. [Image: National Archives L43675]Stores being landed from the supply ship, Cape York.
[Image: National Archives L43675]

There had been no rain for a month - our storage tank was empty - so water was brought out from the mainland on the supply ship, Cape York. It took a dozen men several hours to manually transfer the forty-four gallon drums from the ship's hold to the launch and up to the cottages to be emptied into the water tanks. The imported water was a dark, muddy-brown colour and smelt strongly of kerosene. The head keeper moaned about the tank being contaminated by Adelaide water, and for once, we had to agree with him.

The coastal steamer, Yandra, brought supplies out every second week from Port Adelaide. Our letters, shopping lists, schoolwork and any other business was sent away on the ship to Head Office on the mainland. If we forgot to put something on a list, it was a month before we finally got it.

Each cottage had three kerosene fridges: one for a freezer, one for general storage and another in case of breakdowns. Fresh vegetables were kept in holes in the ground, but due to the damp nature of the sand they usually only kept for a week. A generator provided power for the homes and lighthouse, but it was only run at certain times.

The island's goats had run wild for generations and were nasty, vicious creatures. Jim caught one so we could have goat's milk, but it put up such a terrible fight each time he tried to milk it, he let it go. The milk tasted awful, anyway.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service provided a very comprehensive medical kit. Each item was numbered and referenced, and in the case of an illness or accident, we could radio a doctor for the appropriate treatment and medications to use. There was a small grass landing strip on the island for use in an emergency.

Jim and Margarets' children, Marilyn and Sue with their cats. [Image: Margaret Hill]Jim and Margarets' children, Marilyn and Sue with their cats.
[Image: Margaret Hill]

One of the pleasures of lighthouse life was waking up to the smell of new bread baking. The third keeper always drew the midnight to dawn watch, so Jim baked ours early in the morning. By seven o'clock, the lovely smell of fresh bread filled the house, and there would be hot rolls for breakfast.

On calm afternoons, Jim liked to take the children for walks. He showed them the seals and tried to catch goats for them to pet. They explored the mutton-bird holes for eggs, sometimes returning with pecked hands or scraped elbows and knees from slipping on the rocks.

Troubridge 1890 Sponge Mystery

Subscriber, Miss Dorothy Pyatt of Eden Hills in South Australia has found an interesting reference to the interests and problems of keepers on Troubridge Island in the Late 19th century. It was published in a newsletter put out by her local pharmacy at Yankalilla in 1972.

On Being "Stung" at the Beach

Without doubt there is something of the beachcomber in most of us, and we find it a pleasant experience to roam our nearby seashores, picking up, here and there, a pretty shell, a sea-urchin, perhaps a wine-glass-shaped sponge.

Little thought, if any, is given to possible danger in this casual garnering, But danger there is! Along our South Australian Beaches there are at least two marine stinging sponges which can cause a high incidence of dermatitis with painful lesions, usually lasting weeks or longer - sometimes as long as 9 months.

One of the sponges is considered to be potentially dangerous to the human eye E.G. - by accidental rubbing by divers or beach collectors.

Dry sponge, whether fresh or old, is non-toxic; wetting, however, activates the toxic agents.

Keepers doing maintenance at Troubridge Shoal around 1900. [Image Courtesy: Chris & Judy Johnson]Keepers doing maintenance at Troubridge Shoal around 1900.
[Image Courtesy: Chris & Judy Johnson]

For some years now reports have been coming in about these unpleasant marine creatures - some were washed up after a storm on the shore at Brighton - others were found growing on the reef at Aldinga and also on wharf piles at Outer Harbour. They all had one thing in common - they stung painfully.

As far back a s 1890 the keepers of the Troubridge Lighthouse knew about the sponge and sent these letters to the SA Museum.

Troubridge Lighthouse,
September 20th, 1890.

The Curator, S.A. Museum,

Sir -

By this post I forward two sections of a poisonous sponge found on Troubridge Island. On several occasions the keepers, or some members of their families, have had inflamed hands through touching these sponges when new and full of red juice. This sponge (part of which we forward) had been lying, for some time on the beach before being picked up, and a part of it was used for washing paintwork, soap being plentifully used. The person using it noticed a tingling sensation in the hands, and after a time desisted. Its effect has been such bad hands as to incapacitate him from work. At times his hands are swollen and purple, with intolerable itching and terrible pain. At times his hands are hot and shake as if with palsy. Four days he had suffered from its effect and is not better yet.

We send you this section in hopes of ascertaining what poison causes this inflamation and pain., Is it some irritant fluid secreted in the sponge, and which comes out through the action of the water, or is it some insect?

If the sponge is a rare variety we may be enabled to find you a sound specimen. Hoping you will solve this mystery to us.

We are, yours truly, H.W. CHRISTIE
G.A. PAYNE

P.S. I may warn you not to touch the sponge with the hands if wet. I have seen what my comrade suffered. (CHRISTIE)

Troubridge Lighthouse,
December 27th, 1890

The Secretary,
Royal Society (of South Australia)

Sir -

By this post I am forwarding you two sections of sponges which appears to be very poisonous, the smaller piece had evidently been lying, for some months on the beach and a friend of mine used it for washing paintwork. Sometime after his hand began to burn and itch, and for days he was like a. mad man; his hands became inflamed and swollen very much. Rubbing with carbolic oil gave slight ease and in about a week small black specks could be seen oozing from his hand. Not having any powerful microscopes we could not determine any particles but they looked (as one person said) like a host of barbs. The pain and the itching lasted for over a fortnight and a numbness lasted for weeks after.

The larger section is from a sponge (I think of the same specs), which I picked up this morning and while handling it some yellow juice exuded on to my hand and altho I washed it immediately, all between my fingers are swollen, inflamed and itch most irritably. It feels as if a host of small hairlike spines were in my fingers and directly the fingers come in contact there is that irritating pin and needle sensation. I may also mention that several of the keepers and their wives have had an occasional touch of the same thing.

I forwarded some specimens to the S.A. Museum some time ago, and asking for information as to whether was an acid or a minute sting, but have only received a formal acknowledgement. I have been referred to your Society for any information required, and as I have never read or heard of these sponges, I naturally feel curious. So I trust you will kindly inform me of any discoveries you may make, and if they (the sponges) are a curiousity and rare I will try to get you a perfect specimen.

I am, yours truly,
HUGH W. CHRISTIE

And whilst, as yet, no report is have been received of findings of these stinging sponges on our own immediate beaches, last April a deadly blue-ringed octopus was found (and destroyed) near Carrickalinga, all of which sounds a warning to those who walk our beaches and search for marine treasures on our shores.

(Appreciation is extended to the AMA for permission to use data from its "Medical Journal" and also to Miss Edna Christie of Delamere for making available information of her late uncle, Mr Hugh Christie (born at Cape Jervis in 1860). Mr Christie was lighthouse keeper at Troubridge, Cape Jaffa, and later at Cape Don and Point Charles in the Northern Territory. As is obvious from these two letters Mr. Christie was a keen naturalist. He had a wealth of first-hand experience in the Northern Territory, and his fishing trips and hunting expeditions when the Northern Territory literally teemed with game, would make sportsmen and naturalists green with envy.)

A Caretaker's Day on Maatsuyker

[Keith and Gillian Chapman]

In response to the Tasmanian State Governments reluctance to continue funding the volunteers caretaker scheme on Maatsuyker Island,
Keith and Gillian Chapman have given a description of a typical day when they were volunteers on the Island from February to May 2000 and 2001 and therefore why they feel that the program should continue.

Note: The names of people and companies are fictitious but the incidents did happen.

Weather Observations. were done 4 times a day. This was visual as well as with instruments and was necessary for fishing conditions, flying and search and rescue. [Image: Gill & Keith Chapman]
Weather Observations. were done 4 times a day. This was visual as well as with instruments and was necessary for fishing conditions, flying and search and rescue.
[Image: Gill & Keith Chapman]

5.40am

The alarm rings - time to wake up and do the first of six weather observations for the day. Its cold, wet, dark and the wind is gusting to 50 knots so will need full waterproofs and must hold tight to the handrail all the way up to the weather office.
6.10am Weather done so sneak back into bed to keep warm until daylight.
6.45am Phone rings (its just getting light): 'Peter from WildAir - how is the weather over towards Melaleuca? We've got a group of bushwalkers hoping to fly in this morning'.
'Just wait while I have a look out of the window'.
'Cloud is right down to about 200 feet and still SW wind of 30-40 knots, but has eased in the last hour - give us a call a little later to see if it's still improving'.
7.15am Phone: 'Mike from Air Charter - we want to land at Cox Bight as soon as we can. How does it look?'
'The wind is SW at 25-30 knots and its clearing out here but heavy cloud over the coast. The cloud is lifting a little and the base is now at about 400 feet. The beach is clear so if you can get around the coast you should be able to land on the beach.'
'Thanks I'll give you a call to check again when we are ready for take-off'
7.45am Phone: 'Peter from WildAir- is the cloud lifting yet?'
'The base is now at about 1000 feet and I can see right into Melaleuca so should be right"
'Just what I wanted to hear. Thanks'
7.55am Phone: Mike from Air Charter - how is it now?'
'Cloud has lifted and beach is clear, still about 20-25 knots of SW wind'
'Good, thanks, have a good day'
8.05am Phone: 'Doug from HeliTas - AuSAR want us to continue the search for that missing aircraft how does it look?'
'There's about five eighths of cloud cover with a base of just over 1000 feet and a SW wind of 20 knots, gusting to 35'
'That sounds fine so we should be down there by about 9.30. Can you do hourly checks again like yesterday, that whole South-West area is a radio deadspot and we couldn't search efficiently without your help?'
'We will stand by the radio every hour and relay messages to Hobart and Canberra again'
'There will be a second helicopter coming to pick up an injured bushwalker in the Cox Bight area then returning to join the search. Can you do communications for them on the half hour please?'
'Sounds like another busy day for us all '
8.15am The morning tour of inspection: Starting by checking the three cottages for storm damage, water leaks etc. We will open the windows, to air the interior and inhibit mould growth, later in the day if the wind eases and the sun shines. We carry on to look at all the other buildings, including the engine room to check the oil, fuel, batteries etc and a careful look at the exterior of the light tower. Back up the hill to see that all the communications antennae are still upright after the stormy night (marine VHF repeater, marine HF, Parks VHF repeater and radio telephone), then down past the meteorological equipment to check the the screen, rain-gauges and the cables on the anemometer tower. Can't help admiring, as we go, the spectacular views and wonderful vegetation, unspoilt by fire or vandalism.
8.45am Time for the major weather observation. Then on to change the muslin and wicks on the wet bulb thermometer and humidity probe: they need changing regularly because of the salt spray in such an exposed location.
9.10am The weekly photograph of the seal haul-out area on Seal Rock. These photographs are analysed by biologists in Hobart to determine how and when the haul-out site is used. Up to 1600 seals have been counted on the rock.
9.30am VHF radio: 'Maatsuyker Island this is helicopter Zulu 1 - over'
'Zulu 1 this is Maatsuyker Island - over'
'We are abeam Maat heading for Cox Bight to collect an injured bushwalker - over'
'We will stand by for any messages - over'
9.35am VHF radio: 'Maatsuyker Island this is helicopter Zulu 2 - over'
'Zulu 2 this is Maatsuyker Island - over'
'We are resuming the search. Will call again at 1100 hours - over'
9.50am VHF radio: 'Maatsuyker Island this is helicopter Zulu 1 - over'
'Zulu 1 this is Maatsuyker Island - over'
'We are clear of your area and returning to Hobart. Will rejoin the search at approximately 1200 hours - over'
Radio communications with the two search helicopters continued every half-hour until they returned to Hobart late in the afternoon. There were also numerous phone calls to and from AuSAR in Canberra, Tasmania Police in Hobart and the helicopter base at Hobart airport, relaying messages. One of us stood by the VHF radio for most of the day.
11.45am Time for the next weather observation.
12.40pm Phone: 'Ric from Derwent Radio - I've had a report from fishing vessel 'Shark' of a flare sighting between SE Cape and Pedra Branca. Have you seen anything?'
'No, but that's on the wrong side of the island for us'
'I can't make contact again with 'Shark' on either 2524 or Channel 82. Can you try Channel 16 for me?'
12.45pm Phone to Derwent Radio: 'Ric I've tried both Channel 16 and 2524 but no answer'
'Yes, I heard you on 2524 you've got a good signal, thanks I'll contact AuSAR and hand it over to them'
2.45pm Time for the next weather observation.
4.45pm VHF radio: 'Maatsuyker Island this is helicopter Zulu 2 - over'
'Zulu 2 this is Maatsuyker Island - over'
'Zulu 1 and Zulu 2 are now clear of your area and returning to Hobart. Thank you for your assistance - over'
5.45pm Time for the next weather observation.
6.15pm Phone: 'Richard, abalone diver from Dover - has the swell started to ease yet?'
'Its still running at about 3 metres but has eased a little since earlier in the day'
'Not much hope for tomorrow. Can I ring again tomorrow evening?'
'We'll have a report ready for you'
6.30pm Time to start cooking dinner.
8.45pm The last weather observation for the day.
9.15pm Finally relaxing, Gill reflected: 'Those jobs we were going to do today will just have to wait another day. We were going to mop up the water leaking into the tower and oil and run the Chance Brothers clockwork mechanism - its so exciting watching the First Order lens turning, one of the few (or only?) intact, working mechanisms left in Australia. That cracked window in cottage 2 will also have to wait. Tomorrow we must mow the grass around the light tower then do some pruning on the heritage track to the keepers tree near the summit, up through that beautiful forest which, like all the island, has not had a fire for at least 200 years.'

We really did have a day like this! This was just one of several search and rescue operations we were involved in during our six months at Maat.

Tracing water leaks in the old tower and mopping them up. Note how wild the weather is around The Needles. [Image: Gill & Keith Chapman]
Tracing water leaks in the old tower and mopping them up. Note how wild the weather is around The Needles.
[Image: Gill & Keith Chapman]

We could also have added such duties as: spotting fires in the remote SW National Park, reporting seals with gunshot wounds or plastic necklaces, observing boats pumping out oily bilge water right by a seal haul-out site, repairing the marine VHF radio repeater antenna, logging passing yachts and pleasure boats, removing blackberries and other weeds spreading through what is now a National Park, clearing vegetation from around the buildings for fire protection etc.

Can the heritage of Maat and the important services provided by the volunteer program be abandoned? We don't think so.


Letters & Notices

Notice of Tasmanian LoA Inc Meeting

Tasmanian LoA Inc Meeting

7.30pm
Thursday 17th October 2002

COW (a sort of pub)
112 Murray Street,
Hobart

Purpose: Set up a group to organise a Tasmanian chapter of LoA.

Contact: Dave Abbott (Interim LoA Tas Organiser) <tas@lighthouses.org.au>

Expressions of Interest for Caretaker Maatsuyker Island

Department of Tourism Parks and Heritage

Caretaker (Volunteer) & Weather Observer (Paid)
Maatsuyker Island

The parks and wildlife Service is seeking to develop a register of volunteers to undertake duties to protect the natural and cultural values of Maatsuyker island, South West Tasmania.

Expressions of interest are sought from people willing to undertake volunteer duties on Maatsuyker island. In addition volunteers will be required to enter into a separate contract with the Bureau of Meteorology to carry out weather observations for which an allowance will be paid. We are seeking a minimum of two people to stay on Maatsuyker island for at least six months at a time. Accommodation (with furniture) and transport to and from the Island is provided. People will need to be self sufficient, have a current first aid certificate and undertake weather observation training.

Duties include basic land management works, maintenance to buildings and plant and weather observations.

A volunteer raster will be established for a twelve months period-the first six month time slot is planned to begin 3rd February 2003.

Applicants are encouraged to obtain an information package before submitting an application.

Please telephone

Albert Thompson
Parks and Wildlife Service
Southern District
Huonville
Tasmania

Telephone (03) 6264 8464
Email <albert.thompson@dpiwe.tas.gov.au>

For further information please contact Albert Thompson by telephone after receiving the information package or by email

Expressions if interest close on 25/10/02

Looking for William Lee Keeper on South Head

Dear Sir,

My name is Adrian Chandler and I am researching our family history.

The Hornby (South Head) LighthouseI have part of a marriage certificate of Elizabeth Lee, daughter of William Lee who was the lighthouse keeper on South Head Lighthouse somewhere in the mid 1800's.

He was a naval Captain and is listed as a Master Mariner on another document.

I would appreciate any information about him, if there is any in your archives, or if you could direct me to where I may be able to research this background in our history. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have reached a dead end with this part of our family history

Yours sincerely
Adrian Chandler <adrian-gwen@bigpond.com>
ph (02) 6550 5800

Who Was the Drowned Keeper at Moreton Island?

Dear Malcolm,

Cape Moreton LighthouseI am looking for some information on a keeper at Moreton Island Lighthouse in Queensland. I understand that one was drowned while fishing from the rocks below the lighthouse.

I have just returned from fishing there and noticed a number of names and dates on the rocks which often refers to a disaster. I would appreciate any information that someone may have.

Thanks and regards,
Dick Cocks <dickc@totalsportstravel.com.au>

Looking for Lightkeeper McGregor

Dear Sir/Madam,

Hornby Light, South HeadI am wondering if you could please help me with some information regarding lighthouse keepers.

Point Stephens LighthouseI believe that my grand father was once a light house keeper at South Head or Port Stephens. I don't know my grand fathers given name however his family name is McGregor and his time of service would be most likely after WW2.

If you could help me with any information it would be greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely,
Scott McGregor <scottjenny@ozemail.com.au>

Where is Rofs Island Pilot Station?

Hi Malcolm,

I love the Lighthouses of Australia emails that I receive, especially the one on George Town Tasmania, my son-in-laws family had a child that was drowned off of the Tamar Heads in the shipwreck of the Portland in 1837. We visited George Town and were even able to find her grave in the cemetery. Her name was Georgina Cox, she was 6 weeks old.

I have problem with a death certificate I have of one of my husband's relatives, the details are as follows:

Glynn, Ada Australia, Domestic Servant Housewife, Female 31 years

Died 23-9-1897 supposed Heart Disease

Pilot Station Rofs Island Qld,

I have looked everywhere I can think of, but cannot find out where Rofs Island Pilot Station is, also I was hoping that you could suggest a way I might find out what she was doing there. Her husband's residence given on the death certificate was German Gardens, Townsville. She was buried in Townsville Cemetery.

Thank you

Joan Irlam <jpirl@yahoo.com>

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

<keeper@lighthouses.org.au>


Department of Scrounge:

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

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

Please eMail <Keeper>


New Pages & Links

New Pages for Australia:

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

New Links for Australia:

Volunteer needed to help with Links for Australia

Also, New Links for World:

Volunteer needed to help with Links for World

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


Australian News:

Maatsuyker Meeting Seeds LoA Group

A s
mall group gathered at the Shipwrights Arms Hotel at 6:30pm on Monday September 16 2002.

Two videos were shown, one a 6 min newsreel from 1947 and the other a TNT 9 television documentary from the early 1980s.

Malcolm gave the background of LoA, and then stated that despite its national and international success we need to develop groups such as a local Tasmanian chapter and local community based groups.

He stated that in reference to situations such as Maatsuyker the three key steps of a conducting a successful campaign (Negotiation, Alliance and Shame), and how important it was to have strong group to succeed at step one.

Christian gave an update on the current situation in Tasmania including Eddystone Point, Deal Island and Maatsuyker. He reaffirmed the importance of having a strong LoA chapter in Tasmania.

Dave Abbott informed us that a he was involved with a group of former caretakers who were looking at forming a "Friends of Maatsuyker" as they too were concerned about the funding cuts.

A healthy sign was the vigorous discussion, lead by Stephanie Calahan and Kim Shimmin, where members of the group wanted an idea of what direction was to be taken with a LoA Tasmania Chapter.

Dave Abbott volunteered to be the interim state organizer for the informal LoA Tasmania Chapter and the group made a decision to have a meeting in one month (see meeting notice in Letter & Notices).

It was decided that main objective should be to try and contact all interested parties and bring them together at the next meeting.

A welcomed suggestion was that around four events (such as picnics or re-unions) should be held by the local LoA chapter each year where those with an interest or background in Tasmania's lighthouses could come together and that these could be fundraisers as well.

All agreed that the group structure and place within LoA Inc should remain informal for the moment and should grow in an organic manner.

Anyone interested in be involved or looking for more information should contact Dave Abbott at <tas@lighthouses.org.au>, Home: (03) 6223 6330 or Work: (03) 6226 1882.

World Lighthouse Society Launched

[Rosalie Davis Gibb <rosalie@davisgibb.fslife.co.uk>]

Opening the Meeting

The inaugural meeting was held at The Moat House Hotel, Gatwick, England on Monday 2nd of September 2002, with 21 attendees between them representing 8 countries: Canada, Chile, Germany, Holland, Norway, Sweden, UK and USA. A very encouraging start indeed.

Others from several countries had expressed interest prior to the meeting, but had unfortunately not been able to attend. All agreed that the organisation should be called the World Lighthouse Society and would be an independent UK registered charity with a permanent address as a PO Box in England.

Peter Williams, opened the meeting then each attendee gave a brief personal introduction which was a most useful and illuminating exercise only a few people knew one another prior to the meeting.

Breaking with normal procedure, it was decided not to elect members of the Executive Board until the end of the meeting, by which time individual strengths and abilities would have had more chance of being aired and recognised! And those nominated would have more idea of what would be involved.

The WLS Constitution

Roger Lea, acting as Secretary, presented a Draft Constitution, which was discussed at some length. One essential need that was identified, since English would be the official language of the Society, was to ensure that all wording could be translated precisely into all other relevant languages, safeguarding against possible misinterpretation. It was also recognised that many differences across the different countries would need to be borne in mind to ensure the final Constitution would be relevant and applicable to all.

WLS Membership

Another very important aspect, membership, was also discussed in some depth. It was agreed that membership would be open to all interested parties, with different categories being provided for individuals, groups, etc.

WLS Funding

It was agreed that funding was essential to make the Society effective and therefore attractive to potential members. Initially, membership would be the only source of income. It was hoped that in due course sponsors would be found and encouraged to support the Society, so if anyone has any ideas or suggestions for possible future sponsors, their input would be welcome.

The long-term plan is to derive funds from membership fees, sponsorship, grants, gifts and donations.

Other Issues

Other issues discussed included requirements of the Charity Commission, future meeting venues, the importance of educational inclusion, local ‘satellite’ groups and the necessity of a website.

Election of an Executive

The committee for for the WLS. From left to right: Frans La Poutré, Kim Fahlen, Stein Malkenes, Danckert Monrad-Krohn, Esbjörn Hillberg, Reidar Johansen, Gerry Douglas-Sherwood, Roger Lea, Peter Williams, Michael Walter, Mark Lewis, Frank Turner, Patrick Tubby, Paul Howard (standing), Ken Trethewey, Rosalie Davis Gibb, Uta Koch and Egbert Koch. Hernan Saez and Cristian Lopez had unfortunately left by the time the photograph was taken and Vanessa Langley is also missing, as she took it!. [Image: Vanessa Langley, WLS]The committee for for the WLS. From left to right: Frans La Poutré, Kim Fahlen, Stein Malkenes, Danckert Monrad-Krohn, Esbjörn Hillberg, Reidar Johansen, Gerry Douglas-Sherwood, Roger Lea, Peter Williams, Michael Walter, Mark Lewis, Frank Turner, Patrick Tubby, Paul Howard (standing), Ken Trethewey, Rosalie Davis Gibb, Uta Koch and Egbert Koch. Hernan Saez and Cristian Lopez had unfortunately left by the time the photograph was taken and Vanessa Langley is also missing, as she took it!.
[Image: Vanessa Langley, WLS]

A formal election was held to elect the members of the Executive Board. This was a very good example of how things differ from one country to another - in the UK we would call this type of body an Executive Committee, whereas it was pointed out that in other countries, such as Norway, this would be known as the Management Board - a term used, but with a different connotation, in the UK. Since the Society will be registered in the UK, it was initially decided to use the term Executive Committee, but it has subsequently been decided to change this to Executive Board, which should be more readily recognisable by all, comprising at least 9 members, representing at least 3 different countries.

Chairman: Danckert Monrad-Krohn (Norway)
Secretary: Roger Lea (UK)
Treasurer: Peter Williams (UK)
Rosalie Davis Gibb (UK) as Publicity and Communications Officer

Committee:
Patricio Caceres (in his absence) (Chile)
Esbjörn Hillberg (Sweden)
Egbert Koch (Germany)
Frans La Poutré (Netherlands)
Malcolm Macdonald (in his absence) (Australia)
Stein Malkenes (Norway)
Gerry Douglas-Sherwood (UK)
Vanessa Langley (UK)
Ken Trethewey (UK)
Wayne Wheeler (USA)

Others who attended were:
Hernan Saez and Cristian Lopez (both Chile)
Uta Koch (Germany)
Reidar Johansen (Norway)
Kim Fahlen representing Wayne Wheeler (USA)
Michael Walter (UK)
Mark Lewis (UK)
Paul Howard (UK)
Patrick Tubby (UK) and Frank Turner (UK) also attended the meeting.

It was agreed the meeting had been a huge success, achieving all that had been hoped for, not forgetting a most enjoyable lunch and the opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones.

Subsequent Meeting

A subsequent meeting was held at The Merchant Navy Hotel in London on Monday 9th of September.

5 of us who were able to attend on this date, Danckert Monrad-Krohn, Roger Lea, Mark Lewis, Gerry Douglas-Sherwood and myself, duly presented ourselves to carry on the good work.

It was suggested subsequent meetings in the UK be held at the Union Jack Club, near Waterloo Station in London, as this would also be easily accessible and the Association of Lighthouse Keepers regularly use this venue so it’s been tried and tested. It was also hoped to hold future meetings in different countries.

Working Party

The Chairman suggested a small working party should be set up to discuss current issues, primarily consultation and research on the Constitution, and make recommendations to the Board, as this would help to speed up the process of getting the Society established. It was agreed that Mark Lewis should be co-opted onto the Board for this purpose and a Working Party was established comprising:

Danckert Monrad-Krohn
Roger Lea
Mark Lewis
Gerry Douglas-Sherwood and
Rosalie Davis Gibb

Though absent Esbjörn Hillberg and Egbert Koch have also agreed to join the working party.

The Chairman proposed, and the other members of the Working Party agreed, that since Rosalie Davis Gibb had been the only other nomination for Chairman of the WLS at the inaugural meeting she should Chair the working party and also to assume the role of Vice-Chairman of the WLS, no-one having been elected to this post at the inaugural meeting.

It was noted that Frank Turner (UK) had originally volunteered to be on the Board, which had unfortunately been overlooked at the inaugural meeting, so it was agreed that Frank should be included, as those present felt other members of the Board would be agreeable, thereby obviating unnecessary communications.

WLS Business

The Constitution, requirements of the Charity Commission, the possibility of meetings with Speakers, occasional Workshops, local groups, a European group, membership, funding, providing a more magazine style Newsletter, were all discussed at some length.

Egbert Koch has since suggested that everyone who had expressed interest in the WLS, whether at the inaugural meeting or not, should be Founder Members

WLS Logo

It was agreed a WLS logo was an immediate essential requirement and Mark Lewis offered to submit some suggested designs. However, the more designs, the more choice, so this is an invitation to submit any ideas you may have - you don’t need to be an artist or a graphic designer - just an outline of the idea will be enough - don’t be afraid to have a go!

WLS Promotion and Newsletter

Peter Williams, as Publisher, had very kindly offered to donate one page in each issue of Leading Lights magazine to the WLS. The disadvantage of this however, that only subscribers to Leading Lights would receive this. If you haven’t yet seen Leading Lights (The International Lighthouse Journal), please let me know and a sample copy will be posted to you free of charge. Then if not already a subscriber, perhaps you may consider taking out a subscription.

It became apparent during the day that we already had enough material for a Newsletter and it was agreed that the first issue should be prepared as soon as possible, which would hopefully show those approached to pay a membership fee that they would be getting something specific in exchange for their money! Early beginnings for the WLS of something better to come.

I agreed to act as Editor and produce the first Newsletter and each member of the working party offered to submit a contribution. Any contribution from other members is most welcome as well.

As yet, there is no set timescale for the Newsletter, but we hope this will become a quarterly publication.

Next Meeting for Working Party

The next meeting of the Working Party was arranged for 25th of November 2002 at a venue yet to be finalised. If you are interested in being involved with the WLS and have any points you would like raised (or suggested logo designs!), please let me have them by the end of October if possible>.

Don't Forget the Exhibition

[Memento Sept 2002]

'Mr Salchany, lighthouse keeper of Neptune Island signals a passing ship in 1963' is one of the photos to be displayed at the NAA Exhibition. [Image: National Archives of Australia L43685]'Mr Salchany, lighthouse keeper of Neptune Island signals a passing ship in 1963' is one of the photos to be displayed at the NAA Exhibition.
[Image: National Archives of Australia L43685]

The forthcoming touring exhibition Beacons by the Sea - Stories of Australian Lighthouses is full of original drawings of lighthouses and fascinating stories about the lives of lighthouse keepers and their families. Many drawings, photographs and stories in the National Archives (NAA) collection will be featured.

The exhibition is on display in the NAA Canberra gallery from 19 October 2002 to 26 January 2003, then will tour to regional galleries and museums across Australia for three years.

Lighthouse Plans Now On-line at Archives

[Memento Sept 2002]

Hundreds of original architectural drawings of lighthouses in the NAA collection have now been digitised and can be viewed on their database RecordSearch, simply by entering the name of the lighthouse and reference number.

For example the keyword of Montague with the reference number of A9568 will give you a listings of 5 plans associated with Montague Island Lighthouse.

The drawing above shows the lighthouse on Montague Island, New South Wales. Designed by colonial architect James Barnet, the lighthouse boasts a granite tower that stands 19 metres high and rises 60 metres above sea level. The lighthouse has an intriguing construction history. Building blunders, material shortages and poor management led to an eight-year delay from the time the site was chosen until the building was completed in 1881. [Image: National Archives of Australia 4957044]
The drawing above shows the lighthouse on Montague Island, New South Wales. Designed by colonial architect James Barnet, the lighthouse boasts a granite tower that stands 19 metres high and rises 60 metres above sea level. The lighthouse has an intriguing construction history. Building blunders, material shortages and poor management led to an eight-year delay from the time the site was chosen until the building was completed in 1881.

[Image: National Archives of Australia 4957044]

The digitised drawings and plans depict the lighthouses as well as the lights, lighthouse keepers' residences, storerooms, watchhouses and equipment. Some plans are so large that they had to be photographed in segments and 'stitched together' in the computer.

Plan of Montague Island showing position of lighthouse quarters. [Image: National Archives of Australia 4957048]
Plan of Montague Island showing position of lighthouse quarters.

[Image: National Archives of Australia 4957048]

Education Program to Accompany Archives Exhibition

[Memento Sept 2002]

Teachers and students can explore the intriguing subject of lighthouses through the education program that will accompany our touring exhibition.

The program caters for years 5-10, with links to the National SOSE (Studies of Society and the Environment) and HSIE (History, Society, Information and the Environment) curricula.

It explores key themes in the exhibition such as shipwrecks, lighthouse technology and life in a lightstation, and includes teachers resources and student activity sheets.

Parents and children can explore the exhibition together by following a self-guided discovery trail.

For more information on our education program, please phone (02) 6212 3933 or email <education@naa.gov.au>.

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.


Join Lighthouses of Australia Inc.

It is up to those of you who believe in the Preservation, Protection and Promotion of Australia's lighthouse heritage 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.

Or printer-friendly versions Membership Forms with card payment authorities that can be mailed:

HTML (recommended), or
Word 2002 (strictly 2000 or XP)

While we are in the process of setting up secure payments, we request that you open one of the Printer Friendly Versions above, print the form, fill in your details and post with payment.

Cheques must be in Australian Dollars.

Thankyou

To Contact Lighthouses of Australia Inc:

<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/about/Contact.htm>

Go to Main Australian Index Page
Go to the top of this Bulletin
Check out past bulletins on the progress of the Project
Comments, questions, and your experiences are most welcome.  Get the FREE monthly bulletin
How did the Lighthouses of Australia Project Come about?  What is its objectives?

The OCTOBER 02 BULLETIN was published on: 15/10/02

The Bulletin is prepared in Dreamweaver 4 and tested on Netscape Messenger 4, Outlook Express (IE 5) and Eudora 5.

Lighthouses of Australia Web Site First Published: 3/12/97

Photographs & Contributions:

Australian Maritime Safety Authority for Photographs
Christine Haynes for Keywords
Chris & Judy Johnson for Photograph
Keith and Gillian Chapman for Story & Photographs
Margaret Hill for Story and Photographs
National Archives of Australia Memento for News
National Archives of Australia for Photographs
Peter Braid for Photograph
Rosalie Davis Gibb for Report
Steve Merson for Editing
Vanessa Langley for Photograph
Winsome Bonham for Photograph

Site Constructed and Maintained by: Lighthouses of Australia Inc (LoA Inc)

Contact: Bulletin Editor

Copyright:

© 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Lighthouse Computer Training & Development
© 2002 Lighthouses of Australia Inc.
Using Material from This Page

Who are the people that make the Lighthouses of Australia Project come together?
If you have any photos, information, anecdotes etc about Australian Lighthouses you can help