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Lighthouses of Australia Inc Profiles
Lighthouses of Australia Inc would not exist without the help of a number of people who love Australian Lighthouses and have made time, photographs and documents available. This page is dedicated to those who have embraced LoA Inc.
LoA Inc Committee Profiles
Each of the LoA Inc committee members have been invited to submit a profile on themselves.
I was born in mid fifties in a landlocked country formerly known as Czechoslovakia.
It was not until I was fourteen when I saw the sea, let alone a lighthouse, for the first time. In 1968, our family of four finally scrambled enough money to go for a seaside holiday to Bulgaria, then considered the "Riviera" of communist block countries. The Black Sea left a deep impression on me indeed. For the first time I had a chance to see the flat horizon uninterrupted by hills or houses, from a wharf of a busy Port of Varna.
Incidentally there was also something resembling a lighthouse, though it was only a flashing beacon at the end of a breakwater. I loved taking walks to the "Lighthouse" listening to the switch inside the beacon and watching the ships passing out to sea.
In real life though, I became a chemical engineer, specialising in water technology and environment. My hobbies were mountain climbing and dog training.
I met my husband Paul during the fifth year at uni and one of the things that we felt we had to do was to leave our native country as soon as possible. The absence of the sea was, of course, not the reason for us leaving, but inevitably it was the start of what I feel was determined for me.
Still, as much as I was fascinated by lighthouses, it took another three years after coming to Australia to actually see one. It was during our trip along the western coast of Victoria in 1983 when we took a side trip to Cape Otway Lighthouse.
I fell instantly in love with the whole place and since then, we kept returning every year, staying at Cyril Marriner's Bimbi Park. As our family grew, we had less time to travel, with things like making a living, paying mortgage and assuring good education for our two daughters. Lighthouses still had to wait.
Once the girls were older we started to travel around the Australian coast a little bit more and lighthouses became more and more the focus of these travels. Well, maybe not so much for the other members of my family, but since it was usually me who organised those trips, they just have to endure it, and I don't think they minded too much.
We visited beautiful places like Gabo Island, Kangaroo and King Island, Sandy Cape and Cape Naturaliste in WA. We stayed at or visited all the Victorian lighthouses and many in other states.
I became associated with LoA in 2000 when I contacted Malcolm about helping with the website. I felt like I needed to do something more substantial to save the endangered species called lighthouses.
I met Malcolm shortly after and since then I gradually progressed from writing articles for the LoA Bulletin to becoming the member of the committee, then LoA Vice-President and then the Prism Editor.
I love editing the Prism, because as far as I can say, it is the only periodical magazine concerned with lighthouses that exists in Australia. I feel I can achieve something useful by publishing the stories, and old articles as well as current news.
A lot of people asked me why I love lighthouses. My answer is, for their romance. Though I have heard it many times that there is no such thing in lightkeeping, that it is only hard work and heavy responsibility, I do not believe it. Why else would every single former keeper feel so nostalgic about the times gone and why would they want their job back if it was still possible? Not for the hard work, I am sure.
Born 1959, Lismore, NSW Australia.
My first twelve years were spent living on the North Coast of NSW around Byron Bay, hometown of my parents. I spent virtually every school holiday in Byron Bay roaming the beaches, jetty and the lighthouse reserve, as you could then. I visited the Byron lighthouse on the keepers guided tour at least once each school holidays. My passion and interest in lighthouses, not to mention surfing began here.
I still visit "The Bay" from time to time, its not the place it once was, but I now live in Kiama with my wife Ann, and two very active children Jessica and Nicholas, overlooking the beaches and Kiama lighthouse.
I have worked in the broadcast industry for 22 years in various engineering roles and am now a self-employed freelance engineer. My work has given me the opportunity to travel both within Australia and overseas. Together with surf carnivals, at which Jessica and Nicholas are very keen competitors, I have taken advantage of these trips to visit and photograph lightstations along the way and hopefully pass on some of my passion for lighthouses to my children. Having an engineering background has also allowed me to assist with "first in" maintenance and restoration issues at a number of lightstations.
About five years ago when I first browsed across the Lighthouses of Australia site I was so impressed that I immediately took up Malcolm’s call for material and have been involved ever since.
My travels and visits to lightstations have privileged me to meet some of the most interesting people at some of the most beautiful locations you can find. Passion and interest are the fuels of lifelong friendships.
I hope that I can continue to contribute to the preservation of Australia’s lightstations through work such as Lighthouses of Australia Inc.
I was born in 1953 and raised on a dairy farm in the Margaret River region, where the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse was a part of many childhood picnics, swimming lessons and showing overseas visitors around our beautiful coastal region.
My local Margaret River High School had a lighthouse emblem with the motto "Shine Forth". Since then I have taught at four different primary schools that have a lighthouse incorporated into their school emblem!
I lived under the Geraldton Lighthouse for 6 months and have a deep emotional contact with the lights of Rottnest and Fremantle, which I see on my way to work, when we go out at night ...
My husband John has an interest in military history and so when we go on holiday trips, we are continually thrilled to find that forts or military establishments are often situated close to lighthouses. A shared interest in local history has certainly made our travels around our huge State much more interesting than just going to view the scenic highlights of an area. It is always rewarding while travelling to be able to make contact with locals who also have an interest in their own local history.
I work part time as a teacher at Beaconsfield Primary School as the Visual Arts teacher and as the Coordinator of our Information Technology Project including managing the system and helping teachers to incorporate the meaningful use of IT into their student's daily timetable.
I enjoy the challenge of the continual learning curve involved in the use of IT, and now as family responsibilities have lessened and I have the time, energy and enthusiasm to offer LoA Inc., I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to LoA Inc. It was with Malcolm's encouragement that I took the step of putting up my own Lighthouses of Western Australia website. I look forward to keeping my promise and actually getting it up to date with photos and details from our last three trips so that my family will let me go away on another one :)
Phillip Walsh was born on the 24 December 1941 in London, England.
Phillip left the London Nautical School in 1958 and joined Eagle Oil Co. Ltd. as an Apprentice Deck Officer. Before travelling to Australia he worked with a large meat importer and had a stint on Smithfield market.
In 1964 he travelled overland to Australia, via Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India. This was to be part of an around the world trip. On arriving in Australia petrol and beer were half price of UK products, wages double, and he decided to stay.
Between 1965 -1973, he worked for the shipping agents James Patrick Pty. Ltd. and looked after Russian wool vessels, Swedish meat carriers and Chinese tramps vessels.
In 1973, he was offered the job in Pacific Far East Line as the Operations Manager for Southern Australia and Bouganville PNG. The vessels were Lighter Aboard Ship (LASH), a new concept in cargo vessels.
In 1973, he began employment with F.G Strang Pty. Ltd, after mergers, etc, this company is now Patrick Corporation, which controls around 50% of cargoes moved through cargo berths in Australia.
In 1993, he set up his own consulting company, Philma Enterprises Pty. Ltd. consulting in EDI, electronic commerce and transport logistics.
As you can see he has had a nautical background since school days and therefore holds some affinity with lighthouses.
Hopefully LoA can assist in making the public more aware of lighthouses and navigational aides role in the past and present safety of all those who transverse the worlds oceans and seas.
My interest in lighthouses started as a cruising yachtsman. In the days before GPS, lighthouses were an even more important aspect of navigation and I keenly looked out for them on voyages by day and night up the East Coast of Australia and overseas in order to find my position. I remember the thrill of my first night crossing of Bass Strait from Tasmania with a Radio Direction Finder which I used to pick up the radio beacon on Gabo Island and the relief when I spotted the loom of the light and confirmed it by its characteristic as I approached.
I am a Chemical Engineer but spent my working life doing research in process metallurgy for the mining industry. With such a background I never thought I would be drawn to lighthouses, apart from yachting. However, this changed after spending three months volunteering on Maatsuyker Island with my wife Erika. This was followed by two years on Swan Island, eight months on Three Hummock Island, two months at Sandy Cape on Fraser Island and over summer 2008, two months on Tasman Island. I love the life on remote islands, maintaining infrastructure and equipment and the challenge of doing repairs without outside assistance. Perhaps I should have been a lighthouse keeper!
The first recollection I have of lighthouses is asking my father what the bright light was going on and off north of our fishing spot, on the rocks at Noosa. I was just four or five at the time, and who would have thought 27 years later I would be living there - at Double Island Point Lighthouse.
In 1973, already married and with one small child, I opened a small general store at Point Lookout called Clayton's perched just above Cylinder Beach. So named, I believe, as for many years, acetylene cylinders were landed there by the lighthouse tender ship and stored ready for use in the first Point Lookout Lighthouse.
Always a keen fisherman, I supplemented my income from the shop with professional fishing. We locals were famous for knowing where the good spots for fishing were and one of these was the deep waters off Moreton Is. We would quite often tow a bait under the cliff at Cape Moreton to see if the mackerel were running. When the fish stopped biting we would go ashore at Yellow Patch, near North Point Light, and stretch our legs with a walk on the sand.
Whenever we needed an accurate report on the weather conditions at the Cape we would ring the Lighthouse Keepers at Cape Moreton. They were always obliging and on one such occasion, Dudley Fulton invited us to pop up to the lighthouse for a visit the next time we fished the Cape. Within a few weeks I was standing atop the historic stone built tower looking straight down the cliff to the ocean. Absolutely breathtaking. I remember saying to Dudley and Kev Urban, the keepers at that time, how lucky they were to be living in paradise. Dudley jokingly replied, "Hey Rob, why don't you join the Lighthouse Department, they even pay you to go fishing", and you know what, I did.
I was first stationed at Booby Island, a 10 acre rock located 18 nautical miles west of Thursday Island in Torres Strait. We had a second daughter by now and I remember the look on my wife's face when she saw that the island was surrounded by a 60 foot cliff. We soon settled in to the life of a lighthouse family with me kept busy maintaining the lighthouse, the station buildings, and the electrical generators. Fiona was kept busy teaching the children by correspondence and struggling with the daily school of the air session on the Royal Flying Doctor radio network. What an experience. Dudley had told me about Booby and he was right about the fishing, it was fantastic. On our days off it was no effort to come ashore with a dozen mackerel, or a box full of Red Emperor and Coral Trout. When the tide was low we would often go out on the reef collecting fresh oysters or swim amongst the coral bombies and in a short period of time bag half a dozen or more painted crays.
Two years later my family (three children now) were transferred to Fitzroy Island just of the coast near Cairns. It was a very modern lighthouse but the experience was still amazing. For the first year we were there the whole island was our playground. Before long a resort was built and on the opening day my family played host to the Premier of Queensland.
Our next posting was to Double Island Point Lighthouse near Noosa Heads. This was undoubtedly the prettiest location of all the lightstations in Queensland. Here we swapped the 100lb mackerel fishing line for the 6lb surf rod and caught enough whiting and bream to feed the family a seafood meal three times a week.
I think the Lighthouse Department were a little jealous of us living there and directed us to mow the 5 acres of pristine lawn with two Victa push mowers to get even. We often said to ourselves, "why did they get rid of the goats?"
Another 2 years past and we were transferred to Cape Moreton. Being close to Brisbane we could now have a regular stream of family and friends visit, and share our wonderful experience. Here we looked after the orphaned goats who were abandoned by their mothers for one reason or another. Generally if she had twins and produced only enough milk to feed one. And naturally we would zip down the beach on our three wheel trikes and catch live worms, dig for pippies, and inevitably catch a huge feed of fish for dinner.
Over the next 4 years we found ourselves retracing our steps with a stint back at Double Island Point and finally returning to Booby Island. We were now a family of five and the children were of an age to enjoy the experience and the adventure. The time had come, however, for our children to enter their final years of high school and I guess it was time for Fiona and I to re-enter the real world once again.
It was an amazing twelve and a half years, a journey none of us will ever forget. Things like lashing a rope from the houses to the lighthouse so we could get to safety during a cyclone. Fending off sharks with a crayfish spear while my three children hung onto my back. Watching boats sink in front of our very eyes and retrieving the dead bodies of unlucky fisherman out of the ocean. Monitoring the whales on their migration and studying bird migration in Torres Strait. So many wonderful adventures you could write a book about.
Today, boringly, I have a small IT company and when time permits I participate in the efforts of the LoA Inc group to try and protect these beautiful lighthouses for the enjoyment of generations to follow.
They served the mariners well, and they certainly enriched the life of my family.
Born in 1928. Foundation member in 1980 of the former Australian Lighthouse Association and Australian member of the Executive Board of the World Lighthouse Society.
Member of numerous conservation and heritage organisations, including the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and the Victorian National Parks Association, representing their interests on many local government committees concerned with the built and natural environment.
Member of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria. Pictured (left) at the helm of his yacht Merlin II on his favourite stretch of water, Hobsons Bay at Williamstown.
Last job as a Chief Research Scientist with CSIRO, retiring in 1993. Is currently a Research Associate with the Department of Physics at Monash University, Clayton, VIC and a Senior Fellow of the Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne and the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria.
Other LoA Stalwarts
Trained in Fine Arts, work is related to Archaeology, Mythology and Jungian themes. Specialising in illustrating old textiles and artefacts following the discipline of scientific illustration but placed in a contemporary setting.
Twenty years plus artistic experience, tens years plus as a practising Artist designing works for specific settings, exhibiting and co-ordinating exhibitions.
Born 1953, Mentone, Victoria, Australia.
Introduced to island life at an impressionable age, when parents owned Worthington Island in the Narrows between Curtis Island and the mainland, near Gladstone Queensland.
After standing on deck for 30 years (very tired feet), employed in a diverse range of occupations in the maritime industry - working from a seated position in his home office is a relief.
For the record, amongst other jobs, the writer first went to sea long lining for shark, then cray fishing and prawn trawling, square-rig sailing, delivering yachts, marine management and schooner restoration. He has operated workboats, supply vessels, barges, dive boats, charter yachts and pilot launches in and out of numerous small ports and backwaters around the Australian coastline, and elsewhere.
"As a small ship's master, I have at times been profoundly grateful to see the loom of a coastal light appear out of the blackness of a dirty night at sea."
Most rewarding position was a two-year contract on Thursday Island, co-managing the service company for the then Queensland Coast and Torres Strait Pilot Service.
"Our first daughter was born on TI, adopted by the pilots and christened by their chaplain, the Bishop of Carpentaria. During our time there, we formed a close working relationship with professional seafarers, islanders and other remarkable people, as well as developing a strong connection with Booby Island lighthouse, which has a fascinating history. The whole experience was a great honour."
As a change from his previous peripatetic lifestyle around boats, the writer now lives on the Mornington Peninsula with wife Lynda and young daughters, Effie and Stella. His attention is focussed on family, reading, writing, publishing, and working with timber in his big old shed.
"I recognized Malcolm's invitation to join LoA Inc. and help protect, preserve and promote our historical lighthouses as a perfect opportunity for me to develop my writing and editing skills. Moreover, it was a way to contribute to the cultural and social heritage of Australia by communicating with people who are willing to share a wealth of personal experience and offer it to the public domain."
Born 1955, Ararat Victoria, Australia
Malcolm Macdonald has always believed that every thing he tackles should have a sense of adventure about it. He therefore has found it extremely difficult to hold down a regular job. Prior to starting the Lighthouses of Australia Project (now Lighthouses of Australia Inc), his best achievement was a business called "Frankenwax & Candlestein", which after 11 years grew to be "Oz Cottage", manufacturing and distributing fragrant products to around 500 retail shop across Australia. He also travelled extensively around Australia in an old Pioneer Express coach converted into a mobile home.
Malcolm developed the concept of the Lighthouses of Australia Project in 1997, and followed through with its development. He felt like the sorcerer's apprentice, once having started, found he had created a monster that took him for the ride far more than creating the few pages he had intended.
From there, over the next 5 years it took him not only on adventures with Ed and Deb Kavaliunas, but also to make many new friends with those who joined the ride with their contributions, all of which led to the creation of this comprehensive website and Lighthouses of Australia Inc (LoA Inc), of which he was the convener for two and a half years. The last two years were also a roller-coaster ride, with a life long illness catching up with him, suffering from several renal shutdowns and a minor stroke.
Malcolm retired from LoA Inc at the end of 2002, and spent some time enjoying working again on the Lighthouses of Australia web pages, before handing over the reins for the entire organisation in December 2004 to the rest of the Lighthouses of Australia Inc committee.
Born 1973, Kew, Victoria, Australia
Pinpointing how and where my fascination with lighthouses began is difficult because there is no obvious reason. I have no personal connection to lighthouses, no lighthouse-keeper skeleton in the family cupboard, but the interest is very real. I have an affinity with the sea which stems from a few things - my grandparents had a beach house at Rye on the Mornington Peninsula which we stayed at often, and my parents were always keen travellers, taking my sister and I on driving holidays all over Victoria, NSW and SA during my childhood. My family has an architecture background, and we are all keen amateur photographers. I love photographing lighthouses - they are often in remote areas, and I love the solitude. Lighthouses are always interesting from an architectural and historical perspective, and they always make good subjects for photography, regardless of the weather.
In 1999, I began photographing lighthouses around Victoria - setting myself the challenge of "collecting" my own personal photographs of as many, if not all, lighthouses in Victoria. I have now been to every major lighthouse (and minor navigational light) in Victoria, except those along the far eastern coast (including Wilsons Promontory, Point Hicks and Gabo Island). My sister, whilst not as obsessed as myself, is often my travel companion, and we have had many adventures and memory-filled "lighthouse" trips around Victoria.
We have also had great lighthouse adventures in other states - south-east coast of South Australia (including Kangaroo Island), the north-east to north-west coastline of Tasmania (from Eddystone Point to Hells Gates - in a single trip) and the NSW central and south coasts (precautionary adventure tip - do not assume it is a shortcut to go cross-country over the sand dunes instead of the long way round via the cliffs at Cape Bailey lighthouse at Botany Bay in NSW!).
I work full-time as a website designer, and when I first found the Lighthouses of Australia website in 1998, I couldn't believe that it was really the only comprehensive lighthouse Internet resource for Australian lights. I saw a niche for my own photographic collection, and began publishing my own photos online, located at http://au.geocities.com/aust_lighthouses/.
I volunteered my services to Lighthouses of Australia Inc to publish the LoA Bulletin after Malcolm's "retirement" in December 2002, and in December 2004, also took on the responsibility for the LoA Inc website. Both roles were significantly more work than expected, but were very rewarding, and the opportunities to share my obsession with other lighthouse enthusiasts were fantastic.
However, due to overwhelming work commitments, by September 2006 I was no longer able to continue preparing the Bulletin, and the role was offered to the wider lighthouse community, unfortunately without any takers. The same workload forced me to reluctantly relinquish the responsibility for the LoA website early in April 2007.
I have enjoyed working on the LoA Inc website, and feel that I have played a pivotal role in developing it into the respected lighthouse internet resource that Lighthouses of Australia Inc represents today. I have received positive feedback from many people around the world, and heard that Lighthouses of Australia Inc is known as having one of the best lighthouse websites on the internet - I feel honoured and pleased that my hard work has been recognised.
I hope that one day my work circumstances will change, and I will again have time to offer services to Lighthouses of Australia Inc.
The late Brian Lord
After nearly 38 years in the Australian Regular Army, I retired at age 55 years. These were very good years, even though interspersed with WWII, and Korea and Vietnam wars.
It was thus that I returned to civilian life with a feeling of "Goodbye and Good Luck to you. I am thus a superannuant.
I have spent the past 20+ years travelling a bit, gardening at home and also eight years as Head Gardener at Kalkee Aged Homes in Francis Street. Apart from these activities, I became a collector of Australian and New Zealand stamps, but when Australia Post deluged the market with all sorts of ancillary (and mainly useless items), I cried quits ... and then changed to thematics (both bridges and Lighthouses). I became really "gone" on lighthouses after a couple of years, and have been an avid collector since about 1988-89.
I feel happy and contented in my pursuit of the "Towers of Light", and am still collecting them whenever I see/hear of one in the offing, and I also play Lawn Bowls in minor pennant every weekend, and once or twice during the week.
LIFE IS VERY GOOD (at 80).
Brian passed away 9th December 1998.
The late Ed Kavaliunas ( 1956 - 2009 )
Ed was an inaugural member of the earlier Lighthouses of Australia Project (1997) and when in 2001, LoAP amalgamated with the Australian Lighthouse Association (ALA) to become Lighthouses of Australia Inc. (LoA Inc.), Ed took on the role of the Inaugural President of LoA Inc. and has served on the committee in some capacity ever since, most recently as our Copyright Officer.
Talking with Malcolm Macdonald, a long time friend of Ed’s, he stated that ‘Lighthouses of Australia’ as an online presence just wouldn’t have happened without Ed’s involvement and support in the very beginning when they were ‘just going to shoot some photos of the local lights at Queenscliff, Point Lonsdale, Split Point and Cape Otway.’
As Malcolm ‘poked around the internet’ looking for information he started to discover that there were other people who had done some work already. It just wasn't being seen! The idea of a project grew to set up a web site promoting the local lighthouses, indexing and linking to other web sites about Australian lighthouse and so "The Lighthouses of Australia Project" was conceived. In Malcolm’s own words, “Ed helped me keep the whole thing moving and to put the idea into action.”
If Ed started to go along with Malcolm to share his photographic expertise and help ‘take some good lighthouse shots’ more out of friendship and loyalty to him rather than with a passion for our lighthouse heritage, it wasn’t long before that changed and Ed became committed to ‘chasing lighthouses’. Together, they were constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to take photos and source material to create more new lighthouse pages.
Then along came Deb Taylor who joined with Ed and Malcolm, adding her own particular fire, passion and sense of humour to the mix. This trio was to share many lighthouse expeditions, which in turn were written up by Deb or Malcolm and illustrated with photos by Ed and Deb.
Even after Malcolm left the Committee, Ed stayed on well and truly hooked by his interest in lighthouses. Ed further enthused his brother-in-law Philip, who is still our valued Finance Officer and Membership Registrar, to become involved.
When Malcolm lost his health, it meant the trio were no longer able to undertake their lighthouse expeditions but they still reminisced fondly and at length over those days when they had set out on a new great adventure, just the three of them.
Perhaps though the last words should be left to Ed himself who in his LoA Inc Committee profile states:
Many thanks to Mal for dragging me along to cold, windy, forlorn, desolate and stunningly beautiful places to try and translate the majesty of these silent sentinels of our past and perhaps perpetuate their place in our memories.
Ed passed away suddenly, at home, on 7 January 2009.
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