|In this Issue|
This edition of the Bulletin is a little late being published, as our Chief Editor, Steve Merson, was occupied as volunteer caretaker at Green Cape Lighthouse over July.
We begin this edition with some background history on the Green Cape Lighthouse. Built in the early 1880s, it was the first cast concrete lighthouse in Australia.
Steve Merson worked as the relief caretaker at Green Cape for six weeks - the story of his time at the Cape is fascinating.
Cyril Curtain, LoA Inc Committee member, talks about the new National Heritage Council Act (2003) which protects some of our Commonwealth Heritage listed lighthouses.
Erika Johnson, caretaker at the Swan Island Lightstation, reviews the book 'The Lighthouse Stevensons', about the family of engineers famous for building lighthouses in Scotland.
Recent working bees are achieving remarkable progress towards the re-commissioning of the MV Cape Don.
The Citadel Island lighthouse has been restored and was opened at an official ceremony in June.
Roger & Sue Cavanagh, former residents at South Neptune Island, discuss the continuing problem of asbestos at the lighthouse.
Members and friends are invited to the Lighthouses of Australia Inc 2004 Annual Dinner Weekend, being held on 2 October in Launceston, Tasmania.
Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service are calling for expressions of interest for caretakers at Maatsuyker Island in 2005.
The Macquarie Lighthouse headkeepers' cottage is for sale - asking price AUD$1.95 million.
John Ibbotson, renowned lighthouse photographer, is holding another exhibition of his work.
LoA Inc regularly receives letters from readers seeking information about ancestors and friends who worked as lighthouse keepers - information is sought regarding George Whitnall & Thomas Howlett: keepers at Crowdy Head; Robert Wallace: keeper at Bustard Head; William Brown: keeper at Rottnest Island; and Samuel Westbrook: keeper at Swan Island. We also have an enthusiastic letter from Jeff Allen who is concerned for the preservation of the Crookhaven Lighthouse.
Enjoy reading this Bulletin, and if you are not a member of Lighthouses of Australia, and would like to be involved in preserving, promoting and protecting Australia's lighthouses, join now!
By Steve Merson, Chief Editor
Back in the early 1800s, as shipping traffic increased around the Australian coastline, the increasing amount of shipwrecks on the south coast began to alarm the authorities in the new colony.
After rounding Cape Howe (at the border between Victoria and New South Wales), shipmasters knew they could hug the coast to avoid the south setting East Australian Current, which flows at 1-3 knots. Close inshore, the strength of the current is reduced.
However, Green Cape projects into the northerly sailing course and in this notoriously stormy region, many ships founded in Disaster Bay, caught on a lee shore in a sudden blow, subject to strong winds and huge seas, sometimes foggy conditions, and no lights on shore to warn them of the danger. Increasingly, more ships and their valuable cargoes were being lost in this area.
In 1873, at a meeting of all the principle officers responsible for shipping and navigational safety for the colonies of Australia, Captain Francis Hixon, Superintendent of Pilots, Lighthouses and Harbours for NSW, moved that, "Having in view the extent of the traffic on this coast, and that Green Cape forms a considerable projection on the line of coast after rounding Cape Howe, a first order revolving light should be erected at Green Cape."
Hixon's idea was to "light the coast like a street with lamps".
It took another seven years to obtain the finance and complete the plans prepared by James Barnet, colonial architect for NSW 1865-90. Barnet played a major role in the construction of several other NSW lighthouses - Montague Island, Barranjoey Head, Smoky Cape, South Solitary Island, Sugarloaf Point - his 'signature' features are the distinctive double-curved gunmetal handrail and the corbels that support the wide gallery, all of which are fashioned in bluestone. He was influenced by 'Classicism' and the Italian Renaissance period, which created an architectural style more European than English. The attached oil stores and workrooms are a distinctive feature of NSW lighthouses.
Tenders for the construction of a lighthouse at Green Cape were called in mid-1880. The original tender was for a stone lighthouse and rubble quarters, but the local sedimentary stone was considered too soft and no one tendered.
The specifications were changed to concrete, and the budget for the project was initially set in 1879 at £17,000. The decision to build in concrete influenced the design - the straight lines facilitated the pouring of concrete into wooden forms, hence the square base and octagonal tower. In 1880, this was the tallest lighthouse to be built in NSW and was the most extensive and ambitious mass concrete project attempted in the colony.
Albert Wood Aspinall, a stonemason and builder, was the successful tenderer in December 1880. He quoted £12,936 to build the concrete tower to the lantern room stage; two houses of double brick with cement render, and associated structures. The project had many logistical difficulties, but Aspinall was innovative and determined. (His story in detail will be told in a future edition of the Bulletin).
The nearest safe anchorage to land the building materials and supplies was in Bittangabee Bay, north along the coast from Green Cape. The contractor's ketch made daily trips from Eden to Bittangabee where Aspinall built a wooden jetty and storeroom. Then he took five months to construct a seven kilometre-long wooden tramway through the forest and heathland to connect Bittangabee with Green Cape, arriving there in June 1881 to commence building the light tower and houses. Materials and supplies were transported to the site on wooden trolleys pulled by horses. The total cost of this operation was £357.
Twenty or thirty men would have been camped in tents and makeshift huts up in the shelter of the tree line. They built a cookhouse, site foreman's office, a carpenter's workshop, brick kilns and assorted storage shelters. The weather would at times be horrendous.
Rock was quarried from the rock platforms at the bottom of the steep cliff below the site, and hauled up using buckets and horses. The rock was crushed by hand to form the aggregate, which was mixed with Portland cement shipped out from England, local sand, and water to make the concrete mix.
The form chosen was for low cost and ease of construction, but a misunderstanding of the nature of the foundations at the site proved to be disastrous for Aspinall. He thought he would find solid bedrock two to three metres down, but he struck more than seven metres of white clay, requiring unforeseen massive excavations. His men took several more months to dig through the clay to rock, Aspinall's budget was blown, and he was forced to request a further £1,827 to continue.
The contract with the brick maker was for between 170,000 and 200,000 bricks to build the houses, stables, telegraph station, various outbuildings, and brick, cement-lined, underground rainwater tanks, each holding 27,000 litres (6,000 gallons).
Aspinall had stated that he would complete the construction in 18 months, but by early 1883, two years after he had started, he had run out of money and was financially ruined. Creditors were called in to complete the last stages of the tower's construction, and Green Cape light was first lit or exhibited on 1 November 1883.
The lighthouse stands 23 metres above the sea. The height of the tower from the ground floor to the balcony is 20 metres, and the top of the copper-domed lantern house stands a further 9 metres. The focal plane of light is approx 44 metres above the high water mark.
A first order, revolving dioptric holophotal Fresnel prism was installed, and a four-wick kerosene-burning lamp emitted a light with an intensity of 100,000 candlepower, which was visible for 19 nautical miles (35 km). The original character of the light was one flash every 50 seconds (a modern car headlight on full beam is about 80,000 candelas).
The wick burner may have been replaced around 1910 by a Douglas incandescent burner using vaporised kerosene and a glass chimney around a silk mantle. Made by Chance Bros, it was probably the most common means of illumination in lighthouses at the time, and burned about two gallons (9 litres) of kerosene each night.
In 1913, Commander Brewis recommended that the speed of the light sequence be increased to a white flash every 10 seconds for a one second duration. It was three years after the light source was upgraded in 1923, with the installation of a Ford Schmidt burner, before the character of the light was changed in accordance with Brewis' recommendation.
Kerosene and air were mixed together to form a vapour which was ignited in an improved autoform mantle. The base of the lamp was heated with two blowlamps until 'cherry red'. Three tubes sucked in air and when it reached a certain temperature, the mantle was lit. Fuel was supplied from two cast iron cylindrical tanks half filled with kerosene, which had to be regularly hand pumped during the night to maintain a constant pressure of 65 psi. This system increased the intensity of the light to 327,000 candlepower.
When the diesel generators were installed in 1962, an electric motor replaced the manual winding system and a globe provided the light source, increasing the strength of the light to 475,000 candelas (this term came into use after 1946). By 1967, with improved generators and a 1000 watt Tungsten halogen globe, the intensity of the light was boosted to one million candelas, making it visible over 20 nm (40 km) to sea. The character of the light was changed to show two flashes, three seconds apart between intervals of ten seconds. This is written as Grp Fl.2 10sec.
The three-keeper watch system was reduced to two keepers, and later to only one.
When automation and de-manning became the reality at Green Cape, a shorter, steel latticework frame was erected below the big old tower, and a small plastic solar-powered light was activated. The character remains the same, but the intensity and visibility is greatly reduced. The big light was officially turned off for the last time on 17 March 1992.
The first order Fresnel prism is still in its place in the lantern room. The mercury has been removed from the well, upon which the prism floated and turned for 109 years.
In 1983, the Commonwealth Government calculated a cost of approx $150,000 a year to run a manned lighthouse like Green Cape. The annual cost of maintaining the plastic automated light on the steel latticework construction next to the old tower is approx $13,000.
The outstanding benefit of having the working light separate from the original tower is that we have the rare opportunity to enter the tower and walk around and up - to view the magnificent lens up close and get a feel for the environment and atmosphere of a traditional lighthouse.
Steve Merson, Chief Editor LoA Inc, recently had the rare privilege of assuming the position of relief caretaker at Green Cape Lightstation whilst the regular caretakers took their annual six weeks' leave. Steve's former maritime experiences, general handyman talents and, of course, interest in lighthouses, was deemed suitable by the NSW NPWS for him to take on the role, normally filled by NPWS employees. The following is Steve's account of his time at the Cape.
Green Cape Lightstation is situated on the far south coast of NSW, in the Ben Boyd National Park, south of Eden.
The original occupants of this area were the Thauaira/Thawa people of the Yuin (Murring) nation, who have lived here for over 6,000 years. The Yuin nation extended from Wiricanoe (Cape Howe) to the Shoalhaven area. Bundooro was one of the aboriginal names for the cape, and it is believed that this was a men's area, a teaching area for young men. Pertangerbee (Bittangabee Bay), which is several kilometres north along the coast from the cape, was an important camp place and teaching ground. Naa-chi (Nadgee National Park), on the southern side of Tartarerer (Disaster Bay) is said to be the resting-place of their Rainbow Serpent. The Aborigines retain strong traditional and spiritual links to the land, and people in the National Parks Service wish to maintain a collaborative relationship with Koori people, acknowledging their cultural beliefs and themselves adopting a philosophy of custodianship of this beautiful part of NSW.
In October 1798, Mathew Flinders recorded his observation of the prominent, lushly vegetated promontory of land in his journal, 'We came abreast of a smooth, sloping point which, from its appearance, and being unnoticed in Captain Cook's chart, I named Green Point.'
Other notes refer to 'the cape at Green Point', and it has come to be known as Green Cape. Up until recently, the aboriginal name was still printed in brackets beside the European one on the British Admiralty navigation chart of this coast. Interestingly, on the chart, the coastal outline that extends down from Twofold Bay appears to depict the profile of an aboriginal face, culminating at the point of his beard on the tip of the cape.
The character of the light is the lighthouse's identity, its position irrefutable. At sea, where solitude prevails and everything ceaselessly moves, mariners form special relationships with the lights - some extend over many years of close familiarity while others are a one-time passing alliance on a long passage, no less meaningful. A visual sighting and a relative bearing enables navigators to fix a position on the chart and confirm their ship's safety, causing many to be utterly grateful for their existence.
On the other hand, many shore folk see lighthouses as remote and isolated landmarks on the edge of the sea, occupied by eccentric types whose lonely lives appear to be idiosyncratic and curiously romantic. The keepers were, by virtue of their location, reclusive, and their activities more closely related to matters of the sea than the conventions of land-based life. It was an environment and a lifestyle that only a few people understood or were even aware of.
Six weeks at Green Cape - would it be possible to experience even a little of what it would have been like to be a keeper? Everything is different these days. There are no lightkeeping duties at all (AMSA leases back the site for the new latticework steel tower that carries the automatic light). We have the benefit of advanced communication systems - phone, fax, Internet, radio and television. The resident caretaker has the full operational and administrative support from NPWS, in regard to the replenishment of fuel, the upkeep of the lightstation's solar power system, and rubbish removal. Contract labour is used for major repairs and maintenance on buildings and plant, guests stay overnight in the re-furbished, self-contained assistant lightkeepers' cottages, and improved road access means a steady stream of day visitors who pay for conducted tours of the lighthouse.
Previously, when the light was still manned, and more so in the early days, the whole area was off-limits to the public. In 1917, the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service's booklet, Instructions to Lightkeepers, was quite specific:
Such protocols existed to prevent the keeper being distracted from his prime purpose, which was to attend the light and maintain a continuous lookout for ships in distress.
All this has now passed. As the era of the lightkeepers fades, the importance of their work and the perceived mystique surrounding their lifestyle is distilled down to logbook entries and oral history. Coastal sailors and fishermen will always want to see the loom of a light or an obvious tower on a prominent headland to reassure them of their exact location, but satellite navigation systems have all but obliterated the original purpose of the working lighthouse.
The 'kerosene keepers' and their contemporaries have stories to tell - mostly about the harsh realities of a regulated, hierarchical system of endless hard work in remote locations, requiring a wide range of practical skills, patience, and an innovative approach to unique problems that had to be overcome without much help. Their wives and children were equally self-reliant and together they endured great difficulties for long periods - living a style of life that is often, inevitably, romanticised by those who would write about them.
However, some stories that surface in the collective memory speak of a wondrous, free existence in a wilderness of magnificent landforms, endless skies, stunningly beautiful seascapes and an abundance of natural species of wildlife. As families together, some speak of experiencing paradise. It just depends on who you were and where you were stationed.
Since the automation and subsequent de-manning of the Australian lighthouses, a transition has occurred whereby most of the significant lightstations have been placed under the management of the National Parks and Wildlife Departments of each state. The architecture and the reserves upon which they sit are now being treated as cultural heritage sites. What remains of the official records, logs and visitors books is an incomplete collection of documents in the state and federal archives. The rest have been destroyed, purloined by past keepers, or snaffled by persons unknown. Scattered diaries and letters from the period show up from time to time. From the memories of those who were there, from anecdotes, stories and photos handed down through the families of the old keepers, the rich history of the lighthouse era is being collected, disseminated and documented for preservation.
My time at Green Cape has given me a small window of insight to the conditions experienced by inhabitants of the lightstation. The northern migration of whales provides a glimpse of humpbacks swimming past the front door, the adolescent male fur seals loll around off the point all day, every day, and sea eagles circle on updrafts looking for fish meals. The black rock wallabies spring about the place, and the old man 'roo just chews away on the grass around the cottages, unperturbed by humans.
Ships steam by every day. Trawlers, tugs, yachts, abalone boats and runabouts occupy the waters between Twofold Bay and Disaster Bay. There is always something to focus the binoculars on.
The daily chores and checklists provide an order to the days. There is firewood to carry in to the three cottages, and various housekeeping details to attend. The tours of the lighthouse allow me to repeatedly present the geological and cultural history that paints a backdrop to the lighthouse and the local area. Mostly, people are intrigued by it all, because initially they are impressed and even awed by the beauty and solidity of the light tower, and the surrounding scenery.
During the school holidays, the assistant keepers' cottages have been fully booked. Guests come here to enjoy a few uncomplicated days of wild beauty and fresh sea air. Inevitably, most people are grateful to have had a meaningful connection with the environment and to have witnessed natural wonders and wildlife; others express a humble reverence for all that have lived and died here, recognising through contemplation the spiritual nature of the cape.
All the while, the lighthouse stands immutable. She is the symbol of human existence, colonial endeavour, hope and salvation. When the sun shines, she glows. When the wind blows, she sings - a booming, deep, pervasive array of monumental harmonics that carry the force of storms at sea. In a stretch of imagination, one might hear the vocal longing of countless lost souls forever out of reach of land. Even though her systems have been shut down, the hissing mantle extinguished, the mechanism halted... her heartbeat has not been completely stilled.
I went up the tower in a southerly blow when the wind was exceeding 70 knots, and that experience may well be the peak of my time here... equally as significant to the inexplicable events of my first night in the head keeper's house. To be woken, in no uncertain terms, by the ghost of a drowned fisherman is worth an entry in the log. Stories abound about the unmistakable presence of benevolent spirits in the houses and around the grounds of this lightstation, and there is every reason to accept that ghosts may well be a fixture in many historical lighthouses.
To take care of a lighthouse is a rare privilege.
by Cyril Curtain, LoA Inc Committee Member
The Commonwealth Heritage List of Commonwealth-owned or leased places protected under the new National Heritage Council Act (2003) contains 27 lighthouses, including 5 described as lightstations. The full list, along with brief citations for each place, can be accessed at http://www.ahc.gov.au.
There are 162 lighthouses on the old Australian Heritage Commission list, but that list also includes lights owned by non-Commonwealth bodies.
A surprising aspect of the list is that 9 of the 27 are in Tasmania. In general, the reason for omissions from or inclusions in the list is that the place is no longer Commonwealth-owned or leased - most of the lightstations were transferred to the states by the 1990s. In some cases, the manned light was superseded by an independent, solar- powered automatic light. However, where the light in the tower was still in use, the lighthouse was leased back by the Commonwealth.
In Victoria, the Wilsons Promontory and Cape Otway lightstations have been incorporated into their adjacent national parks. However, the light in the Otway tower has been superseded by a lower powered solar light placed on the cliff just below it, whereas the Wilsons Promontory light is still in the tower. This accounts for why the older, arguably more historic Otway tower is not on the list but the Promontory tower is.
The lease-back situation is why the whole lightstation is not listed in most cases. Early in the de-manning process, keepers' houses were sold off or taken over by state or local authorities and most are no longer in Commonwealth hands. The reason why a Commonwealth-owned property is not on the list is that it did not make the grade as a place of national significance. This does not mean that it has no heritage significance.
In Australia, there are four accepted levels of significance, national, state, regional and local. It would be wise to suspend judgement until the appearance of the National Heritage List of non-Commonwealth owned places before discussing strategies for the protection of the heritage values of most of our lights. Inevitably, many will fall into the state/regional/local categories and their fate will depend on the quality of our myriad local planning schemes, the nature of state legislation and the developer-friendliness or otherwise of state and local governments. Campaigns to ensure that individual lights are recognised and that protection is sound have to be based on detailed local knowledge. This means that most of the work will have to be done by local LoA members, co-opting others in their area who might have wider heritage concerns.
by Erika Johnson, Caretaker, Swan Island Lighthouse
Followers of the recent TV series Seven Wonders of the Industrial World will have seen the episode which highlighted the Stevenson family, a dynasty of engineers, famous for building lighthouses.
The family is also the subject of Bella Bathurst's book, The Lighthouse Stevensons, an extraordinary story, which shows that there is far more to the Stevensons than just the Bell Rock.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote:
Robert Louis was the black sheep of the family, a sickly child, and, although he trained as an engineer, he is more famous for his writing.
Between 1790 and 1940, the Lighthouse Stevensons, as they became known, planned, designed and constructed 97 manned lighthouses around the coast of Scotland. They worked in conditions which would not be tolerated today and in places which would daunt even modern engineers. In addition, they built roads, harbours, railways, docks and canals all over Scotland and beyond.
It was Robert Louis' grandfather, Robert Stevenson, who founded the dynasty in 1786 when he entered into a partnership with his step-father, Thomas Smith, the then engineer for the Board of Northern Lighthouses. Robert became famous for the Bell Rock lighthouse where he and his team of construction workers played a nervous game of waiting for the tide and weather because the rock was completely submerged at high tide.
Another site where they built a lighthouse was Skerry Vhor, described by Sir Walter Scott on a visit in 1814 as "a most desolate position for a lighthouse - the Bell Rock and Eddystone are a joke to it."
Construction of the most northerly lighthouse on Muckle Flugga, a rock in the North Sea between the Shetland Islands and the Arctic Circle, proved just as much of a challenge as Bell Rock. It was commonplace for waves to sweep right over the top of the 200 foot rock during winter storms. While David Stevenson was making an initial survey he noted that a six-ton block of stone, 80 feet above sea level, had been uprooted and swept into the sea.
Not only did the Stevensons excel in building lighthouses, they made improvements to the optics. Thomas Smith did some experiments with reflectors which were further refined by his step-son Robert. Other members of the family adapted the work of Augustin and Leonor Fresnel to produce magnifying lenses. The huge myopic prismatic lens of the modern lighthouse is a lasting legacy to Tom Stevenson.
The last of the Lighthouse Stevensons, Alan Stevenson, died in 1971, two centuries and four generations after Robert Stevenson first joined Thomas Smith's engineering works. The lighthouses they built remain a monument to their courage and initiative.
This book is a must read for all those who go to sea in ships, or just fascinated by these sentinels of the sea.
"The Lighthouse Stevensons", Bella Bathurst (HarperCollins 1999)
By Chris Nichols, Saving the MV Cape Don Society
The working bees are achieving remarkable progress towards the re-commissioning of the MV Cape Don. The email chat logs and reports reveal a deep affection for the 'brave little ship'. Readers of this Bulletin who wish to see the last remaining example of a Commonwealth Lighthouse Service tender in Australia restored to seaworthiness are encouraged to join the SMVCDS.
Excerpts from the reports generated by Chris Nichols and Derek Emerson-Elliott:
To compliment the maintenance report, mention must be made of David Willenborg's special pasta banquet for the volunteers - the freshly showered crew seated before a five star meal washed down with fine wines and cold beer, while outside the brass-framed scuttles (windows), lightning forked over a storm-tossed Sydney Harbour, adding a truly maritime atmosphere to a snug and memorable occasion.
Amongst the dinner guests was Andy Munns, Honorary Curator of the Australian Heritage Fleet, who spoke with passion and quiet authority about the importance of the Cape Don mission. Andy's knowledge of Australia's maritime heritage is prodigious, and his contribution to the SMVCDS is highly valued.
James Wynne, one of Australia's finest marine painters, and a good friend and regular guest on the Don, has executed a magnificent oil painting of the ship, which from all accounts, is startlingly beautiful and very realistic. Depicted as she emerges from the chrysalis of decay that has surrounded her for so long, with a sunny, wind-tossed Sydney Harbour in the background. The artist brought the work on board and it held pride of place during the Saturday dinner, the centre of many longing and admiring eyes. Paintings by James Wynne of this size and quality usually sell for about $4,000, but James has offered it at half that price to any member of the Society willing to allow prints to be made and sold for fundraising.
A photo of the painting will soon be displayed on the Yahoo Group website http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SMVCDS/ for those interested - but don't forget... first in, best dressed.
Previous MV Cape Don articles
by John Ibbotson, author "Lighthouses of Australia: Images from the End of an Era"
The former Citadel Island lighthouse has been restored by a group of enthusiasts from the Port Albert Maritime Museum. It is the original tower which sent its warning light from the top of the spectacular granite island off Wilsons Promontory since 1913.
It was the first automatic acetylene light installed by the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service. In 1982, it was removed and replaced by a GRP cabinet while the light was converted to solar power. The old lighthouse was stored at Port Albert, its fate uncertain.
John Ibbotson attended the official opening and display of the restored original lighthouse at Port Albert on 10 June 2004. The dedication was done by John Landy, A.C., M.B.E. Governor of Victoria and Mrs. Landy.
The museum volunteers have done a superb job of doing the restoration. Port Albert is a great little museum and is a worthwhile place to visit for everybody interested in lighthouses. The museum is not open every day and the visitors are advised to check before heading down by phoning (03) 5183 2520.
by Roger & Sue Cavanagh, former residents, South Neptune Island
Despite a certain amount of media attention and questions by the public, the South Australian National Parks Service has done absolutely nothing to rectify the asbestos problem on South Neptune Island.
The keepers' cottages and associated buildings are part of the National Estate and have significant heritage value, but this still fails to move the authorities to do anything to maintain the buildings.
It is five years since any maintenance was carried out on South Neptune. We were the last residents there and did substantial work to upgrade the buildings. We obtained a quote for $60,000 to rectify the asbestos problem, and the response we got from National Parks a few weeks ago was that they were not interested in doing anything. It is unfortunate that this state government will not spend money on non-income-producing assets, so it looks as if South Neptune will be left to the elements.
Some people have said there is a water problem on South Neptune. We lived there for a number of years and always had more fresh rainwater than we needed. It is a beautiful place. The houses are magnificent structures built in 1902, of granite that was quarried on the island.
If you wish to lend us support in having the asbestos problem on South Neptune fixed so that the public will once again have access, please express your concerns to Mr John Hill, Minister for Environment and Heritage, Parliament House, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000. If a lot of people make a noise, something may be done.
Saturday 2 October 2004 & Sunday 3 October 2004
Lighthouses of Australia Inc invites friends and members join us for this year's LoA Inc Dinner, to be held in Launceston, Tasmania on Saturday, 2 October 2004.
The weekend will also incorporate a tour to the National Archives exhibition "Beacons by the Sea" on Australian lighthouses, and a visit to the Low Head Lighthouse and the Pilot Station Maritime Museum, also at Low Head.Beacons by the Sea Exhibition at the Queen Victoria Museum
Where: Royal Park, 2 Wellington St, Launceston, ph (03) 6323 3777
When: Saturday, 2 October, 1pm
Lighthouses of Australia Inc
Where: Meet outside the Royal Oak Hotel in Launceston
When: Sunday, 2 October, 10am
The tour takes in Low Head Light as well as the Pilot Station. It is a forty-minute trip in either direction. Cost is $20 each for the hire of the bus. Bookings are essential. Make out cheque to Lighthouses of Australia Inc., include your name and contact details, and state that it is for the Low Head Tour. Post your payment to reach LoA Inc by 25 September 2004, to:
For more details, and to register your attendance, please contact Christian Bell.
Please RSVP by 25 September 2004.
From the Saturday Mercury 28/8/2004
Department of Tourism Parks and Heritage,
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 roster will be established for a twelve-month period - the first six-month time slot is planned to begin on Monday, 31 January 2005.
Applicants are encouraged to obtain an information package before submitting an application.
Please telephone Albert Thompson at Parks and Wildlife Service, Southern District, Huonville Tasmania on telephone (03) 6264 8464, or by email to email@example.com
For further information, please contact Albert Thompson by telephone after receiving the information package or by email.
Expressions of interest close on 4pm, Friday, 10 September 2004.
compiled by Harvey Shore
The Head Lightkeepers cottage at Macquarie Lighthouse on South Head in Sydney has been placed on the market. Details from recent newspaper reports are reproduced below:
While Harvey Shore was searching for recent news stories about the lease of the headkeeper's cottage at Macquarie Lighthouse, Vaucluse, he came across a report from the Senate Estimates Committee hearings in Canberra on 30 May 2002, at which the following was recorded in Hansard:
LoA Inc will endeavour to keep readers up-to-date with the sale of the lighthouse keepers cottage.
John Ibbotson, author and photographer of two lighthouse books Lighthouses of Australia - Images from the End of an Era, and Lighthouses of Australia - A Visitor's Guide, will be showing a photographic exhibition of two of his passions - lighthouses and Alaska, during September.
The exhibition is at The Highway Gallery, 14 The Highway, Mount Waverley, Victoria, from 18-30 September 2004, with an opening night on the 17 September.
For more information about John's lighthouse photography, visit his website at http://www.lighthouses.com.au
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.
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