Lighthouses of Australia Project - JANUARY 00 BULLETIN

Lighthouses of Australia Project
JANUARY 99 BULLETIN

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Dear Friends

New Expeditions in the Planning

Over the past few months I have had many enquiries as to when we would be going on another photographic expedition.

2 expeditions are currently being discussed.

The first will be a short trip to Wilsons Promontory hopefully around the beginning of March.

The Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse
The Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse
[Photograph: Grant Maizels]
<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/VIC/Wilsons%20Prom%20gm%20TN.jpg>

This will involve a one day hike in of 18 kilometres over some pretty steep terrain.  Staying in the lighthouse accommodation.  Then hiking out the next day.

Hopefully this will give us a full afternoon and morning in which to capture the light at it's best.  One of the problems of photographing a lighthouse such as Wilsons Promontory is that the granite tower can be colourful and clear on the landscape while the sun is shining but in overcast weather can literally disappear into the background of cloud.

A bigger trip of around 2 weeks is planned for Tasmania, again in March.  It will involve visiting all land based lighthouses and hopefully some of the island lighthouses.  Some of these lights are already represented thanks to the some of our gracious supporters.

The Low Head Lighthouse in Tasmania
The Low Head Lighthouse in Tasmania
[Photograph: Chris Klep]
<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/TAS/Low%20Head%20TN.jpg>

We will travel, with my vehicle,  on the ferry, the "Spirit of Tasmania", across the 300 kilometre Bass Strait to Tasmania.   Then we will drive to most of the lights.  Even though Tasmania is a small island some of these lights are in remote and inaccessable positions so we expect to take the full 2 weeks.  Also hopefully this will give me time to chase some of the Tasmanian Lights' characters and historical backgrounds

Vale Brian Lord

The Late Brian Lord
The Late Brian Lord
[Photograph: Alison Lord]
<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/About/Brian%20Lord.jpg>

It is with deep regret that I inform supporters of the Project of the passing of Brian Lord on December 9th last.

Brian was an avid supporter of the Project and made his many photographs and research papers freely available for use in constructing these pages.

Brian was awarded an Honorary Lightkeepers Certificate on the 17/08/98 and will the featured Honorary Lightkeeper in next month's bulletin.

Rod Cairns' Animation of Queenscliff's Leading Lights

Rod Cairns has updated his Leading Lights at Port Phillip Heads site and has included an interesting series of animations showing how the triangulation of the lights works.

1 of 3 Animations of the Leading Lights
1 of 3 Animations of the Leading Lights
[Animation: Rod Cairns]
<http://users.mcmedia.com.au/~rca/lhouse/hlht.gif>


Notice Board:

Easter Kent Group Voyage

The Marine & Coastal Community Network will be chartering the sail-training vessel Windeward Bound for a field trip to the Kent Group of Islands (Bass Strait).

The Network invites the participation of management agencies, non-government organisations, and representatives of field naturalist groups, divers/photographers, media or interested individuals for the six-day field trip.

Voyage exits George Town, Saturday, April 3rd and returns Thursday April 8th 1999

For further information regarding booking and costs contact
Christian Bell on (03) 6234 3665 or (015) 872 670
[Email Christian]

The Cape Agulhas Lighthouse 150th

Immortality for sending an email:

The Cape Agulhas Lighthouse, the 2nd oldest working lighthouse in Southern Africa will be 150 years old on 1 March 1999.  Prof. Carl Lohann, a trustee of the Lighthouse museum is attempting to gather 1,000,000 email wishes for this occassion.  All greetings and names of senders, will be cut to CDROM and these CD's will be sealed into her date-stone during the official celebrations.  This means that all those who send a greeting will be put into this "time-capsule" and so become a part of the history of this famous lighthouse.

The web address, to send your greeting is at
http://www.cape-explorer.com

Thank you
Prof. Carl Lohann (Trustee, Cape Agulhas Lighthouse Museum).


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>s


New Pages for Australia:

The Cape Jaffa Lighthouse Museum The Cape Jaffa Lighthouse Museum New.gif (158 bytes)

Note the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse has been significantly updated
The Robe Lighthouse New.gif (158 bytes) The Robe Lighthouse
The Barranjoey Head Lighthouse The Barranjoey Head Lighthouse New.gif (158 bytes)

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>


New Links for Australia:

Old Iron Pot Lighthouse at the entrance to the Derwent River by Richard Bennett The Old Iron Pot Lighthouse at the entrance to the Derwent River by Richard Bennett New.gif (158 bytes)
The Eddystone Lighthouse from the Air by Jim England New.gif (158 bytes) The Eddystone Lighthouse from the Air by Jim England
The Cape Wickham Lighthouse by Grant Dixon The Cape Wickham Lighthouse by Grant Dixon New.gif (158 bytes)
The Mersey Bluff Lookout and Lighthouse by Geoffrey Lea New.gif (158 bytes) The Mersey Bluff Lookout and Lighthouse by Geoffrey Lea
Inside the Prism at Maatsuyker by Richard Bennett Inside the Prism at Maatsuyker by Richard Bennett New.gif (158 bytes)
The Bruny Island Lighthouse by Edward Gall New.gif (158 bytes) The Bruny Island Lighthouse by Edward Gall
The Low Head Lighthouse by  Geoffrey Lea The Low Head Lighthouse by  Geoffrey Lea New.gif (158 bytes)
The Eddystone Lighthouse by Geoff Murray New.gif (158 bytes) The Eddystone Lighthouse by Geoff Murray

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>


Also New Links for World:

The Hudson River Lighthouses by Mike The Hudson River Lighthouses by Mike New.gif (158 bytes)
The Long Island Lighthouses New.gif (158 bytes) The Long Island Lighthouses
Visit the Stony Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson Visit the Stony Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson New.gif (158 bytes)
The Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society New.gif (158 bytes) The Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society
The Molokai (Kalaupapa) Lighthouse in Hawaii The Molokai (Kalaupapa) Lighthouse in HawaiiNew.gif (158 bytes)
The Cape Aghulas Lighthouse MuseumNew.gif (158 bytes) The Cape Aghulas Lighthouse Museum

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:

South Channel Pile Light Restoration and Relocation
[By Rick Lloyd, Parks Victoria]

History of the Light:

For over one hundred years the South Channel Pile Light guided ships through the narrow shipping channels near the heads in Port Phillip Bay. The single story octagonal structure, about 9 metres across and standing on timber piles in the water, was built between 1872 and 1874 at a cost of 1,550 pounds which is the equivalent to $3,000.

Until the introduction of bottled acetylene gas, the building was inhabited by a lighthouse keeper and had a living room with a fireplace and chimney, a bedroom with 4 bunks and an inspector’s office, which was also used as a store room. Two water tanks stored rainwater collected from the roof and a central spiral staircase lead to the lantern, which housed the light.

Between 1905 and 1913 the lighthouse keeper painted murals of sailing ships on the interior walls of the house. These were removed in 1979 and are now on display in the Polly Woodside Melbourne Maritime Museum.

The South Channel Pile Light operated as a navigational beacon for 111 years until 1985 when it was switched off for a trial period.   It was never turned on again.  From this time the condition of the building gradually deteriorated from lack of maintenance and vandalism.  Leaking water rotted many structural beams, walls were damaged, windows broken and fittings removed.   Steel components were severely rusted and birds were nesting both on and inside the building.  Many of the timber piles were structurally unsound, and the frame supporting the three tonne lantern was deteriorating.

Parks Victoria took over the management, from the Port of Melbourne Authority, all of the public recreational piers, jetties and breakwaters in Port Phillip Bay and Westernport Bay including the South Channel Pile Light.

Restoration & Relocation:

The Light Had Deteriorated Considerably Since 1985
The Light Had Deteriorated Considerably Since 1985
[Photograph: Rick Lloyd]
<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/Bulletin/9901/South%20Channel%20Pile%20Light%20pv%2004.jpg>

In mid May 1998, the structure, the only one of its kind still intact in Australia, was lifted off the original piles and transported to a shed on South Wharf for conservation work.

The Pile Light is Lifted Onto a Barge for the Journey to Melbourne
The Pile Light is Lifted Onto a Barge for the Journey to Melbourne
[Photograph: Rick Lloyd]
<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/Bulletin/9901/South%20Channel%20Pile%20Light%20pv%2001.jpg>

The Lantern Room Being Removed
The Lantern Room Being Removed
[Photograph: Rick Lloyd]
<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/Bulletin/9901/South%20Channel%20Pile%20Light%20pv%2006.jpg>

With careful attention to detail the structural joints in the heavy timber framing supporting the lantern were replicated.

The Frame That Had Supported the Three Tonne Lantern Had Deteriorated
The Frame That Had Supported the Three Tonne Lantern Had Deteriorated
[Photograph: Rick Lloyd]
<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/Bulletin/9901/South%20Channel%20Pile%20Light%20pv%2007.jpg>

The building was painted as closely as possible to the original colour scheme.  The rotating ball vent on top of the lantern was repaired to be turned by a replica of the weathervane to vent the lantern away from the wind.  Originally this ensured the acetylene flame of the light would not be blown out.

While the building was being restored new timber piles were driven adjacent to the Rye Channel and 3 kilometres away from the original location.  After five months the South Channel Pile Light was rolled out onto the wharf, lifted onto a large barge and transported down the bay to Rye.  The tow took about seven hours and the building was carefully set down on the new timber piles.

The South Channel Pile Light At It's New Location Near Rye
The South Channel Pile Light At It's New Location Near Rye
[Photograph: Rick Lloyd]
<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/Bulletin/9901/South%20Channel%20Pile%20Light%20pv%2015.jpg>

The relocation and conservation project was managed by Parks Victoria and, after extensive consultation with a Conservation Architect and the enthusiasm of the contractors, the entire project was carried out to a very high standard and cost just over $630,000.

South Channel Pile Light Relocation Opposed by ALA and Trust
[By Cyril Curtain, The Australian Lighthouse Association]

Last July the Channels Authority removed the South Channel Pile Light from its old base close (too close) to the main channel and barged it up to the buoy depot for restoration.

New piles were driven closer inshore off Rye and it was returned late in October.  Five years ago the Australian Lighthouse Association and the National Trust opposed an application by the then Port of Melbourne Authority to remove it to the Rye foreshore, arguing that it had to be kept in context on the water.   Our preference was for it to be moved a relatively short way from the soon-to-be widened channel.

On the grounds that it was cheaper to drive and maintain a new base in shallower water it was decided to move it further inshore with some loss of context, in that it is no longer aligned with the other navigational markers which since the 19th Century have led to Melbourne.

Tours for South Channel Pile Light
[By Kate Ashely-Griffiths, Sunday Herald Sun, December 27, 1998]

Beyond the popular beaches of Port Phillip Bay lie fascinating but rarely explored marine landmarks - historic sites the State Government wants to open up to visitors.

A few kilometres offshore from Rye, Port Phillip Bay is home to two of Victoria's most significant historical relics: the state's only man- made island and the last example of a 19th-century pile light.

Parks Victoria is working on a plan for visitors to explore the rich maritime history only 50 km from Melbourne.

Guiding Light: Chief Ranger Carole Sweatman at the New Location of the Restored South Channel Marker
Guiding Light: Chief Ranger Carole Sweatman at the New Location of the Restored South Channel Marker
[Photograph: Sunday Herald Sun]
<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/Bulletin/9901/Ranger%20and%20SCPL%20shs.jpg>

Chief ranger Carole Sweatman said $630,000 had been spent to restore and relocate the 125-year-old South Channel Pile Light.

The nearby South Channel Fort, built for defence in the 1880s, will be restored at a cost of $550,000.

Conservation Minister Marie Tehan hopes small chartered tours of both relics will be viable when the projects are complete.

The sites offer a remarkable insight into a long-forgotten way of life.

The South Channel Pile Light was a strategic structure for Melbourne.

The cottage-style lighthouse was erected in the mid-1870s to guide, ships through the narrow channel towards Melbourne.

The kerosene-fired light was tended by live-in lightkeepers.

It was a lonely life for most, although at times families of up to four lived in the tiny, round cottage for months at a time.

The cottage has a sparse living room, a bedroom with four narrow bunks, a storeroom and a small, spiral staircase - all in a space only six metres in diameter.

A hole in the floor served as a toilet.

Hulking ships would dwarf the cottage as they passed within metres of the spindly structure.

Despite several close calls, none ever hit the lighthouse.

Keepers would wait for a passenger ferry to pass each morning to receive the newspaper, which was tossed to them from the deck.

The last lightkeeper left in 1925 when the introduction of bottled acetylene gas as fuel for the light made the job redundant.

The light had operated for 111 years by the time it was finally extinguished in 1985, a victim of technological advances in navigational equipment.

Today the channel remains a busy route for ships into Melboume, prompting the State Government to fimd the relocation of the pile light for its protection.

After being neglected for years, it has also been painstakingly restored and moved out of the shipping lane to safer waters.

Part of the old structure remains as a resting place for fur seals and has become a breeding site for the gannet, a large Australasian seabird that nests in only four sites in Victoria

Mrs Tehan, who toured the sites with the Sunday Herald Sun, said she hoped small chartered trips could be organised to ferry small groups to the sites.

"This is part of Melbourne's history and we want people to be able to see it," she said.

The plan hinges on ensuring safe public access to the sites.

Mrs Tehan said the restoration projects were part of the Government's conmiitment to revitalising the bay.

Maintenance Being Carried Out on Otway

The Cape Otway is being resealed and the top painted
The Cape Otway is being resealed and the top painted
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/VIC/Cape%20Otway/Cape%20Otway%20Lighthouse%20ek%203.jpg>

Andrew Mitchell informs us that the The Cape Otway which recently celebrated it's 150th anniversary is being resealed and the top painted.

McCrae's Eastern Lighthouse Gets Long Overdue Maintenance

The Eastern Lighthouse in its Heyday
The Eastern Lighthouse in its Heyday
[Postcard: Rose Stereograph Co]
<
http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/VIC/McCrae/Rosebud%20Postcard%202.jpg>

Phil Fowler of the Department of Natural Resources and Energy has informed me that the Eastern lighthouse at McCrae has been cleaned and painted.   The skeletal steel tower appeared very unloved  when Ed and myself visited it last year.

The lighthouse which was the tallest in Victorian was turned off in by the Port of Melbourne Authority 1994.  It was transferred to the McCrae Foreshore Committe via the Department of Natural Resources and Energy in 1996.

New Book Released on the Warrnambool Lighthouses

Elizabeth O'Callaghan launched her book "Leading Lights" at Flagstaff Hill
Elizabeth O'Callaghan launched her book "Leading Lights" at Flagstaff Hill
[Photograph: Warrnambool Standard]
<http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/Bulletin/9901/Warrnambool%20Book.jpg>

Elizabeth Douglas of Warrnambool has released her new book titled "LEADING LIGHTS: The Story of the Warrnambool Lighthouse Keepers"

Leading Lights contains 112 pages and includes chapters on the two Warrnambool lighthouses, the work of the lighthouse keepers, the personal details of the 29 Warrnambool keepers, the lighthouse keepers' cottage and the Warrnambool Meteorological Station.  The text is supported by over a hundred illustrations and photographs.   The book also has the short diary of the first Warrnambool lighthouse keeper (Deverell's Log), the Regulations to be Observed by Lighthouse Keepers (Victorian Government), a short autobiography of a lighthouse keeper (Samuel Smith), a Bibliography and an Index.  A unique feature of the book is the reproduction of the Victorian lighthouse keepers' badge which has been drawn up by Les O'Callaghan from a photograph of James Dandie, a Warrnambool lighthouse keeper, who is wearing a cap which shows the badge.

The story of the lighthouses and lighthouse keepers in Victoria have, for the most part, been neglected by writers of history.  Leading Lights fills a gap in Warrnambool's recorded history and has a relevance to many other areas as all the Warrnambool lighthouse keepers served in other lighthouse locations in Victoria.

At the launching of "Leading Lights" on November 28th 1998, a memorial plaque showing the names of the 29 Warrnambool lighthouse keepers, was unveiled.   It is located in a garden area at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum adjacent to the lighthouse keepers' cottage and the upper lighthouse.


This Month's Featured Honorary Lighthouse Keeper:

Greg Beck

Age 50.

Born a Yank in Lancaster County Pennsylvania (Amish Country but I'm not).  Adopted Australia 17 years ago.

Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church of Australia.

2 children, Matthew 25, Heather 24,  One grandchild, Brandon 3yrs to Matthew.

Girlfriend of 10 years is a Turkish Princess.

Hobbies: computers, muzzle loading target shooting, astronomy, bush walking, waterfalls & lighthouses, photography, coca cola, Wild Turkey Bourbon, a Turkish Princess (not necessarily in that order).

Workaholic.

Had access to computers since 1968 and love them.  Unreal, Quake II, Wing Commander series.

Current church: St James Wattle Park Uniting, 1201 Riversdale Road, Box Hill South 3128.

Studies: icongraphy, Hindu Astrology, Sanskrit.

Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology, Astronomy and Eastern Philosophy
Masters of Divinity

Need to finish a thesis for my doctorate but don't have the time.

Loves: people; female blondes with blue eyes of any age can wrap me around their fingers; and a Turkish Princess.

The Life and Times of Greg Beck 
  [Email Greg]

A special page has been set up to include profiles on people who are consistant in their support for the Project.  This can be found at <http://www.lighthouses.org.au/lights/About/Profiles.htm>.


Regards until the February 99 Bulletin
Malcolm Macdonald

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

 

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Thanks to the Following People for Their Help in December:

    Ross Harper (photos)
    Rick Lloyd, Parks Victoria (article)
    Phil Fowler, NRE (info)
    Robert Cook, AMSA (plans)
    Roger Carr (artwork)

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

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

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