|In this Issue|
Letter from the Editor
After now having prepared my fourth Bulletin, the process is getting easier. Whilst the amount of work involved in preparing the Bulletin is significant, the satisfaction of being involved, hearing about all the things going on with Australia's lighthouses, and then publishing the news so that everyone can read about it is very rewarding.
The Bulletin will return to a monthly publication schedule, and with this issue, has reverted to the original title "Bulletin", rather than "Bulletin/Prism". Prism will continue to include major stories and historical recollections by former lighthouse keepers and so on, whilst the Bulletin will tend to be more news-oriented. Prism is a printed newsletter forwarded only to members - join Lighthouses of Australia now to receive it.
We have also returned to the format of dividing the content of the Bulletin into the sections Features, News, Notices and Letters, so that it maintains the structure used in the original editions. If you have any feedback regarding the format or the contents of the Bulletin, please contact me.
In this issue, we continue with Annette Flotwell's east coast lighthouse trip. Annette and her partner Rolf came out to Australia for a two week trip in 2001 to photograph lighthouses for German calendars. This section in the story covers Annette's travels from Flat Top Island Lighthouse in North Queensland to the Richmond River Lighthouse at Ballina in northern New South Wales.
Beginning with this edition, we are going to profile each of the LoA committee members. Ian Clifford is the LoA Vice President - he grew up near Byron Bay, and developed his passion for lighthouses by visiting the Cape Byron Lighthouse during school holidays. Profiles of other committee members will be included in future editions of the Bulletin.
The future use of the Nobbys Head Lighthouse in New South Wales is uncertain. The Newcastle Port Corporation who manage the headland on which the lighthouse is located, has called for expressions of interest for the limited commercial use of the lighthouse, the disused signal station and the three cottages on the headland at the entrance to Newcastle Harbour. LoA will be keeping a close eye on the proceedings in this matter.
The Norah Head Lighthouse in NSW is celebrating its centenary in November this year. The Norah Head Lighthouse Trust Board is calling for all interested parties to help with planning for the centenary celebrations, locating lost logbooks, and working out ways to establish an income stream to finance future needs.
The Lighthouses of Australia committee congratulates Cyril Curtain for his appointment as Australian Representative to the World Lighthouse Society (WLS).
The Queensland Lighthouse Service reunion was held in June. Photos of this annual event are available.
The election results of the World Lighthouse Society (WLS) are listed, along with a letter from Rosalie Davis Gibb, the WLS Chairman and Communications Officer, who indicates some strategies for furthering the aims of the WLS.
Mark Watt, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service Ranger writes to notify that the Barranjoey Lighthouse is now regularly open to the public, and will be open for tours on World Lighthouse Day on 17 August 2003.
International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (16-17 August 2003) and World Lighthouse Day on 17 August 2003 are coming up soon. The Black Lighthouse at Queenscliff will be participating, as will many other lighthouses around Australia.
We also have a number of letters from readers, seeking assistance with funding, information about relatives, and historical photos and material to be included in a documentary.
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!
This is the long awaited sequel to Annette Flotwell's East Coast Trip Part 1 - published in the September 2001 Bulletin. Annette and Rolf came out to Australia regularly for several years photographing our lighthouses for German calendars. She now has her own calendar, Lighthouses of Australia, published in the USA.
LoA Committee member profile: Ian Clifford
My parents had both grown up around Byron Bay and I was born in Lismore in 1959. As a family, we lived at Whain Whain where my father was the only teacher at the school. On clear nights, we could see the loom of the Byron light from the back of our house. We spent our school holidays roaming the beaches, the jetty and the lighthouse reserve at Byron Bay, visiting the lighthouse on the keepers guided tour at least once every holiday. My passion and interest in lighthouses and surfing began back then.
I still visit "The Bay" from time to time - it's not the place it once was, but that's life. I now live in Kiama with my wife Ann, who is a teacher, and two very active children, Jessica and Nicholas. Our home overlooks the Kiama beaches and Lighthouse.
Presently self-employed as a freelance engineer, I have worked in the broadcast industry for 22 years, in various engineering roles. My work has given me the opportunity to travel around Australia and overseas.
Jessica and Nicholas are very keen competitors at surf carnivals, so on these trips I 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 coming to the realisation that the focus of lighthouses as active navigational aids was changing - in many cases, conservation was becoming a crucial issue at many stations. After communicating with Malcolm, it was clear that many people shared our concerns.
Malcolm had already got things moving, and I could immediately see the importance of his work, so I decided then to contribute where I could. It's great to see the development of LOA Inc and the people who have become involved.
My travels and visits to lightstations have given me the privilege of meeting 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 I can continue to contribute to the preservation of Australia's lightstations through work such as the Lighthouses of Australia Project.
It will be the first time I have operated it since Engineers Week, 20 July 2002.
Hopefully, the light can be lit every year on International Lighthouse Day.
Expressions of interest for use of Nobbys Head Lighthouse
Edited by Steve Merson
from media release, Newcastle Port Corporation
Newcastle Port Corporation has called for expressions of interest for the limited commercial use of the Nobbys Head Lighthouse, the disused signal station and the three cottages on the headland at the entrance to Newcastle Harbour. The light was automated in June 2001 and the buildings are currently off limits to the public.
Nobbys Head was originally a 90m high island. During the construction of Newcastle Harbour, 46m was removed from the top of the island and joined to the mainland. The original lighthouse was built in 1858 - only the third lighthouse built in NSW after the Macquarie Light in 1818 and the Hornby Light that was also built in 1858. An open coal fire was the first beacon used from 1804 to help guide vessels into harbour.
Nobbys Head is listed on Newcastle City Council's heritage register for its historic, aesthetic, research and social significance. As such, heritage considerations must be intrinsic to the plan that will be accepted. Newcastle Port Corporation CEO Chris Oxenbould, acknowledges that responsible development is vital for the landmark site. "We are very conscious of the iconic status of Nobbys, and will ensure that any use is sensitive to its heritage value", he said.
Limited commercial use such as a cafe would see the buildings put to good use and would allow the site - one of the best views of Newcastle - to be enjoyed by Novocastrians and visitors alike.
An extensive consultation process has seen the Corporation in discussions with many stakeholder groups including Fort Scratchley Historical Society, Newcastle Region Maritime Museum, Awabakal, Newcastle East Residents Group and Newcastle City Council.
The Port Corporation will give preference to proposals that include:
1. heritage interpretation of the site;
Proposals will have to be compatible and sympathetic to the site's visual setting and maritime heritage. The current architectural profile of the site is to be maintained, and no public vehicle access will be permitted. The Port Corporation is committed to ensuring the safety of pedestrians using the narrow breakwater road that gives access to the headland.
Access for all must be a prime consideration. It is a grand opportunity to preserve an icon and allow everybody the chance to enjoy this wonderful site.
The Crown owns the walled lighthouse and the land it occupies, whereas the Newcastle Port Corporation, a State Government body, manages the actual headland. The successful company or organisation will lease the site from the Corporation.
The operating and maintenance costs on the facility are understood to be around $250,000 per annum, so revenue from the lease will probably be used to offset part of those costs.
Submissions closed 8 July 2003, and the Corporation hope to have a plan selected in August and signed in September. A timeframe for the lease of the land is to be determined.
Norah Head Lighthouse Centenary
By Peter Morris
To former Keepers of the Norah Head Lighthouse, and interested parties.
Norah Head Lighthouse was transferred from AMSA to the Dept of Lands and Water Conservation in 1997. The tower and a small area of adjacent land was leased back to AMSA for the continued operation of the light, and the remainder of the site and buildings have been the responsibility of the state department.
In September 2002, the then Minister for Land and Water Conservation, The Hon John Aquilina MP appointed the Norah Head Lighthouse Trust Board of seven members for Heritage Purposes and Public Recreation and Coastal Environmental Protection.
The inaugural meeting of the Trust was held on 29th October 2002 and the Trust now meets monthly.
The Department had a Conservation Management Plan, a Management Plan and a Risk Assessment prepared for the site. These documents have been passed to the Trust for guidance in its tasks.
The Trust is in the early stages of establishing its accounts and systems, and faces a major challenge in the maintenance and refurbishment of the buildings on site, the grounds and the surrounding fences. Some funds are to be made available by the Department for these costs.
However, the Trust needs to establish an income stream to finance future needs. The Lighthouse grounds are in demand as a wedding venue and to a much lesser extent for photographic purposes. The hiring fee is $110 per wedding.
Former Lightkeeper Bob Kirkwood resides on site as
Caretaker and is the contact person for bookings. Phone: (02) 4396 4102
The Centenary of the Lighthouse will be celebrated on the 15th November 2003. Activities and ideas for the celebrations are being gathered through a Consultative Committee set up in association with Wyong Shire Council. It is anticipated that there will be a number of activities conducted during the week leading to Centenary Day on the 15th November 2003. These activities could commence on Sunday 9th November 2003.
We welcome former lightkeepers and their families to the Celebrations. Please forward your names and addresses to the Trust, in order to receive a formal invitation.
We are hoping to arrange an exhibition of Norah Head Lighthouse materials and achievements, and we would like to be able to display some of the early records.
Unfortunately, no trace can be found of the log books for the period 1903 to 1970. If anyone has any knowledge of these log books or could arrange for their display, please let us know.
They may have been misfiled during shifts of records from the Department to Archives. Of special interest are the log books covering 5th December 1940, when the MV Nimbin was sunk by a German mine eight miles east of the light, and the 5th June 1942, when 25 survivors of the Iron Chieftain came ashore at North Entrance beach at 0600 hrs. The Iron Chieftain had been torpedoed by a Japanese submarine about 2030 hrs on the 3rd June 1942.
The Secretary of the Trust is Mrs Ann Bokkerink, mailing address: PO Box 31 Toukley.
Chairman is Peter Morris:
Congratulations to Cyril Curtain
Cyril's duties as a member of the Executive Board are to provide an Australian perspective on preservation and heritage management issues and to be alert to any threats or opportunities in Australia that might need international action.
An opportunity that could be realised is to organise another lighthouse tour, similar to the one held in March 2001, when lighthouse enthusiasts from Europe, Great Britain and North America arrived in Sydney and undertook a 14-day tour organised by Bob Adams, and accompanied in part by Donald Walker. Details and many photos taken on the tour are available in the May 2002 and June 2002 LoA Bulletins.
Queensland Lighthouse Service Reunion
The 2003 reunion of the Commonwealth (Queensland) Lighthouse Service was held at Bulimba in Queensland on 28 June 2003. The annual event is held at the 18 foot Sailing Club overlooking the Brisbane River.
The event was well attended by people with a connection to Queensland lighthouses.
These included past lightkeepers, wives, their descendants, mechanics, and the crews of the ships which serviced the light stations.
I enjoyed catching up with people I hadnít seen for over 15 years and meeting those I knew by name only. It was wonderful to be in a room full of people and know I share a very special bond with them all.
By Rosalie Davis Gibb
Following the World Lighthouse Society (WLS) Annual General Meeting on Monday, 30 June 2003, the following people were elected as the new WLS Officers:
So you will see we have very good representation from many countries. As your new Chairman, I do hope that during the coming year we will continue to achieve much, and work towards the aims and objectives of WLS in a positive way.
One of the comments that has been made since the World Lighthouse Society was formed is, ĎWhy hasnít this been thought of before?í Well, now it has, so it is in our hands, each and every one of us, to make it a success.
Establishing a new society from scratch, particularly on a worldwide basis, is a learning process for all concerned in the initial stages. We are open to new ideas and suggestions beyond the Founding Members' original aims, so long as they conform to our prime objectives. A new Chairmanís Working Group will be formed to continue the consideration and recommendation of several issues, including a logo and Corporate Identity, to review our progress to date, to hopefully encourage the establishment of more Working Groups, to consider policies that may be necessary (for example, guidelines for Working Groups) and policies regarding our website.
The Constitution was adopted following one amendment. The final, adopted version of the Constitution will be sent to all members soon.
I hope this is the beginning of a successful year. Itís up to all of us to make sure the Society remains dynamic and progressive. As an initial task, we could each of us determine to recruit at least one new member!
We must also ensure the Society remains interesting and fulfilling enough to ensure we retain members, as well as attract new members. If you have any ideas or suggestions, however grand or small, to further the aims of the WLS, please contact myself as the Communications Officer!
Rosalie Davis Gibb
Barranjoey Lighthouse open to the public
By Mark Watt
It will also be opened for World Lighthouse Day on the 17 August between 11.00am and 3.00pm.
Entry includes a short guided tour by NPWS 'Chase Alive' volunteers. The tour is now 'free', however, the option of making a gold donation in the box will exist. Pre-organised group tours will run for a minimum of 20 people at $6/person.
Please ring Mark Watt, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service Ranger on 02 9451 3479 for further information.
International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend
Albert Gnaccarin from Geelong in Victoria writes to advise that the Geelong Amateur Radio club has obtained permission to operate a temporary Amateur Radio station from Fort Queenscliff, the site of the famous Black lighthouse and signal station.
The Black Lighthouse at Fort Queenscliff is a significant historic site, not only because it is one of a mere three black stone lighthouses in the world but more significantly, it is also the site of the Fort Queenscliff Signal Station. This station is the place from where the first ever Australian shore-to-ship radio transmission was made in 1901.
The operating dates are 16 and 17 August 2003 and the club will be participating in the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW).
ILLW is an international event coordinated by the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society and the objective is to operate amateur stations from the vicinity of historic lighthouses worldwide.
The weekend coincides with the Wireless Institute of Australia's Remembrance Day Contest which will assure plenty of radio activity for the weekend.
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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Thanks to the following people for their help with this edition of the Bulletin:
Thanks to all the people who have put links to the site, and those who let LoA use their photos for thumbnails.
Past Bulletins: Past Monthly News, Preservation or Access Bulletins can be accessed from the Bulletin Index.
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