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Bulletin - Vol 8 No. 4
July/August 2005


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International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend 2005
Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 August 2005

Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse & Point Perpendicular Lighthouse, New South Wales

Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse alight
Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse alight for International Lighthouse Day 2004

Photograph: Barry Whitelaw

LoA Inc Committee member Ian Clifford hopes to relight both the Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse and the Point Perpendicular Lighthouses in New South Wales over the weekend.

The Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse was lit for International Lighthouse Day in 2004, and again in April 2005 to mark Heritage Week. There have been, on average, about two light-ups per year since its first light-up following restoration in 2001.

Point Perpendicular Lighthouse alight

Photograph: Ian Clifford

Ian has almost finalised arrangements and seeking permission from both the Department of Defence and AMSA to turn off the solar light and operate the old light at Point Perpendicular on Saturday night, 20 August. The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse is located within the Jervis Bay Military Reserve on the NSW south coast.

The Department of Defence is preparing to carryout considerable repair and restoration work to the old Point Perpendicular tower. The Department, being aware of the reactivation of the old tower to celebrate its hundredth year in September 1999, approached me to see if this could be done for international lighthouse day on Saturday 20 August 2005.

An assessment of the old light confirmed that with some minor maintenance it was capable of operating. This work will be completed this week with the hope of receiving final permission from AMSA to operate the light.

Pt Perpendicular Lighthouse alight in 1999
The massive first order lens alight at Pt Perpendicular's centenary celebrations in 1999

Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas

It is hoped that this will generate public interest in the preservation of lighthouses generally and provide a focus within the local community on the Point Perpendicular lighthouse and it's on going preservation.

Replaced by a solar light and decommissioned in December 1993, the old light has only operated once since being decommissioned. The light was lit on the 16 October 1999 in conjunction with the Currarong Seaside Festival to celebrate its hundredth year.

Point Perpendicular was the first of three similar lights constructed using concrete blocks cast on site, greatly reducing construction time and costs. Built to replace the misplaced Cape St George lighthouse which had restricted visibility at sea due to its construction in the wrong location. The two other similar lights are Cape Byron and Norah Head which used the same construction technique and similar design but house very different optics.

Point Perpendicular Lighthouse alight in 1999

Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas

With its massive Chance Bros. 920mm focal radius (1st order) 9 panel group 3 catadioptric lens and 1,000 watt Tunstan Halogen lamp producing a blinding 1.2 million candelas it should be visible for 43km.

For the mariners the light will be visible as:

Flashing (3) 20 00 secs.
Short Eclipse 3.20 sec.
Long Eclipse: 13.40 secs.

Colour: White

In contrast the solar light is visible as:

Flashing (1) in 10.00 sec
Flash 0.08 sec
Eclipse 9.92 sec

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