Lighthouses of Australia Project - JANUARY 00 BULLETIN
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A Visit to Kangaroo Island - Cyril Curtain
South Australian Expedition (Part 1)
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Dear Friends

South Australian Trips

Well Grant Maizels, Cyril and Roger Curtain, and Deb, Ed and myself have all returned from our trips to South Australia.

The Cape du Couedic Tower. [Photograph: Cyril Curtain]

Cyril presents an interesting report on the success of conservation process on Kangaroo Island and the successful interaction between National Parks, AMSA and the needs of the community at large.

Inspecting the Point Malcolm Lighthouse. [Photograph: Deborah Taylor]

Deborah, as witty as usual, has included the first installment in her trip report for the South Australian Expedition.

We hope to see a report from Grant and Tracey on their Kangaroo Island trip in an upcoming addition.

Whoa! It's all too much.

Sorry about the bulletin being so late, but with most people involve returning from trips, taking a week to recover then creating time for reports etc it has finally happened.

More volunteers please?

Next months bulletin should come back to within a week of the start of the month.

Hopefully it will contain some exciting news about how you can become more involved in helping the Project.


Notice Board:

Calling All Low Isles Keepers

The Low Isles Lighthouse . [Photograph: Tina Alderson]

Hi Malcolm

I am trying to track down any info on the Low Isles Lighthouse and past keepers or their families.

We are trying to record down as much info as possible and talk to as many past keepers and family members as possible.

If there is a way that something about this could be put on the web in would be great.

My email here could be put as a contact or my phone number

Tina Alderson (07) 4099 4573 <Port.Douglas@env.qld.gov.au>.

Deal Island

Dear Malcolm,

Could you include this item if their is space in the next posting.

Cheers Christian

The Deal Island Superintendents Residence.

Earlier this year the final report for the Tasmanian Conservation Trust's project "Deal Island- Superintendents Residence project was
handed into the office of the Australian Heritage Commission (AHC). The project had seen the completion of two consultants reports
(dealing with the maintenance and heritage issues involving the building) and repairs were made to the windows and doorjambs of the old building. The Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service replaced the iron roof and the Superintendents house is a great deal dryer than has been for many a year.

As with any heritage building however this is not the end of the story. The building's floors are in poor condition and need to be repaired
and a new application has gone into the AHC under the Cultural Heritage Projects Program (CHPP) to undertake these repairs. The TCT would like to thank the consultants; the builders and
volunteers who contributed to the old buildings up keep.

The Windeward Bound was used to transport building materials and personnel to Deal Island. The TCT would like to thank the skipper and crew for their services. The Tasmanian sail training vessel will be back at Deal Island this Easter (between April 21 - 27) if you would like to see the result of the handy work.

Their contact number is 0418 120 399.

Christian Bell

Christian Bell <mccntas@ozemail.com.au>
Marine and Coastal Community Network
Phone +61 03 62343665
Fax +61 03 62312491

GPO Box 567
Hobart TAS 7001
AUSTRALIA

Putting the Light On

The Batavia Coast Maritime Heritage Association and the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery present

An exhibition that will include works from 25 local artists as well as work from:

The Art Gallery of Western Australia,
Kerry Stokes Collection,
The Holmes a Court Collection,
The Western Australian Maritime Museum,
Geraldton Regional Museum,
The Geraldton Historical Society,
The Northampton Historical Society,
Edith Cowan University
The City of Geraldton Collection and
The Geraldton City Library.
Together these works will focus on lighthouses.

The Moore Point Lighthouse at Geraldton"In keeping with their aim to commemorate the sinking of the Batavia as well as celebrating our rich maritime heritage, the Batavia Coast Maritime Heritage Association chooses this year to focus on lighthouses. The community of the Mid West has specific links with the Geraldton lighthouses, both past and present. This exhibition aims to widen the focus on our lighthouses and heighten the imagination of both young and old." Jo Bunker of the Batavia Coast Maritime Heritage Association

The exhibition will be on show at the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery from April 14 to June 30. For more details please contact Geraldton Regional Art Gallery on (09) 9921 6811

Great Ocean Road Plaque

Dear Malcolm,

I am looking for a lighthouse on the Great Ocean Highway that has a plaque on it mentioning a McGowan who was a Customs Officer. Can you point me in the right direction to find out this info?

Lillian McGowan <mlmcg@sk.sympatico.ca>

Feel free to post any request, letters, notices here regarding research, events etc for any Australian Lighthouse on this notice board.

<keeper@lighthouses.org.au>


A Visit to Kangaroo Island:

[by Cyril Curtain]

Last month we made our first visit to Kangaroo Island. We had been putting it off for years, mainly deterred by reports of bad roads and indifferent access to the island. The roads (mainly) have improved out of sight and the new Sealink crossing from Cape Jervis is quick and fuss-free.

As expected, our itinerary included visits to the lighthouses at Cape Willoughby, Cape Borda and Cape du Couedic.

We were accorded the rare privilege of being given access to the tower of the last, which is normally closed to the public. For this, we have to thank AMSA, and specially Alan Foote of the AMSA crew that happened to be working on Kangaroo Island at the time of our visit. Alan went out of his way to meet us and hand over the key as we drove off the ferry at Penneshaw.

The Cape du Couedic Tower. [Photograph: Cyril Curtain]
The Cape du Couedic Tower.
[Photograph: Cyril Curtain]

The Cape du Couedic Lens. [Photograph: Cyril Curtain]
The Cape du Couedic Lens.
[Photograph: Cyril Curtain]

Cape du Couedic will long remain in our memories. The beautifully maintained sandstone tower glowed in the morning sun of a perfect day. The interior was as neat as the exterior and smelt of fresh paint and oil as a lighthouse should.

From the balcony, the newly-slated roofs of the light-station cottages had a dazzling gleam.

The newly slated roofs of the Cape du Couedic cottages. [Photograph: Cyril Curtain]
The newly slated roofs of the Cape du Couedic cottages.
[Photograph: Cyril Curtain]

After we had ascended to the lantern room and taken our photographs, we came back to earth and headed for Weir's landing for lunch. The landing is about 1 km east of the light. Three ruined storehouses reminded us of the days when supplies were landed in the cove below and hauled 75 metres up the cliff.

The Cape Borda Lighthouse. [Photograph: Cyril Curtain]
The Cape Borda Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Cyril Curtain]

There are guided tours of the Cape Borda and Cape Willoughby towers, although there is no access to the lantern room. It is possible, however, to see the Cape Borda optic through a generous manhole opening.

The Cape Borda optic. [Photograph: Cyril Curtain]
The Cape Borda optic.
[Photograph: Cyril Curtain]

Both tours are conducted by well informed SA National Parks and Wildlife Service interpretative officers. There is a small museum and library at Cape Borda, which is well worth an hour or two.

The Cape Willoughby Lighthouse. [Photograph: Cyril Curtain]
The Cape Willoughby Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Cyril Curtain]

The former keeper's houses at all three lightstations are available for holiday rental. We inspected a couple and found they offered plain and comfortable accommodation. Great care has been taken to keep the cottages "in period" and a deal of money has gone into their restoration. The Cape Du Couedic houses have had new slate roofs and while we were at Cape Willoughby the asbestos cement roofs were being replaced with red "Colourbond" corrugated iron. We own an 1850's heritage-listed house ourselves, and can well appreciate the trouble the SA NWPS has gone to meet the most rigorous conservation standards.

The roofs being replaced at the Cape Willoughby cottages. [Photograph: Cyril Curtain]
The roofs being replaced at the Cape Willoughby cottages.
[Photograph: Cyril Curtain]

The Cape Willoughby optic is of interest in that it has an Australian-designed and built fibreglass optical array. The latter was installed when in the 1970's it was found that the weight of the Chance Bros second-order optic, dating from 1923, was causing structural problems in the 1858 tower.

The 1923 2nd order Cape Willoughby optic remounted at Kingscote. [Photograph: Brian Lord]
The 1923 2nd order Cape Willoughby optic remounted at Kingscote.
[Photograph: Brian Lord]

The old optic found its way into the hands of the Kangaroo Island Branch of the National Trust, who undertook what must have seemed at the time a most foolhardy project - its installation in a replica tower at the Trust's Kangaroo Island Folk Museum at Hope Cottage, Kingscote. They gathered the expertise and funds in 1976 to build a short tower and to reassemble and mount the optic in working order. While both the Burra and Venice Charters discourage the removal of heritage objects from their original context, when this happens for safety or other good reasons the approach at Kingscote is better than storage or scrapping, or even display as a static object in a museum.

The National Trust is to be congratulated on its far-sighted move. Aside from the tower in its grounds, Hope Cottage contains much of interest from the pioneering days of Kangaroo Island, which claims to have been the first site of European settlement in South Australia.

The Trust has another museum at Penneshaw, which has a great deal of material on the early maritime history of the island, including the numerous wrecks that led to the establishment of the lights.

Kangaroo Island was named by Matthew Flinders in 1802. At almost the same time, it was visited by the French expedition in Le Géographe under Nicolas Baudin.

The two navigators actually met at Encounter Bay to the east on the coast of the mainland. Flinders was heading for Port Jackson, while the French were sailing west.

Flinders had explored the north coast of the island and named some of its features, but had spent the rest of his time charting the Gulf.

Baudin surveyed the south coast, hence the French names such as Gantheaume, Du Couedic and Borda.

We left the island with the impression that a lot of things had gone right in the transition from the Department of Transport, to AMSA to the handover of the demanned lightstations to the SA Government. The properties were being very well cared for and two were active sites for cultural tourism. Undoubtedly, the popularity of Kangaroo Island as a holiday destination has helped get the resources allocated. Aside from Victoria where changeover has also gone well, there are a number of other sites in Australia with the same potential where things are being nowhere as near well managed and our precious heritage is in danger of being lost.

We believe that Kangaroo Island is an outstanding example of what can be done and should command the attention of any groups interested in the conservation of historic lightstations.

If you are interested in visiting Kangaroo Island, the Sealink ferry company acts as a booking agent for the NPWS cottages and other accommodation, as well as providing transport to and tours of the island. Their Web site is at www.sealink.com.au. The Kangaroo Island on-line community is also worth a visit at www.ki.com.au.

South Australian Expedition Report: (Part 1 of 2)

[by Deborah Taylor]

Day 1: Saturday 25.3.2000

Picked up Malcolm from his Spanish class at 12:25 precisely to begin our trip to South Australia. This must be a good omen, for once we are on time and not lost.

It was the end of a particularly stressful week - one son in trouble for pinging the school principal with a water bomb at the annual fair, one daughter with gastro, the other daughter getting her drivers licence, mother in hospital recovering from an unexpected operation and a long night, the night before with Malcolm, his boys and friends from across the road and too much wine.

So, I guess it was no surprise that I slept most the way to South Australia. I can only report a stop at Lismore, a glimpse of Hamilton and a stop at Penola.

The planned stay for the first night at Beachport was cancelled due to a festival. This was also an omen, for it became a recurring problem - I guess that's why they call South Australia the 'Festival State'.

The Cape Martin Lighthouse with Beachport in the background. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The Cape Martin Lighthouse with Beachport in the background.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

The ruined Penguin Island Lighthouse from Cape Martin. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The ruined Penguin Island Lighthouse from Cape Martin.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

So, after quickly checking out the Cape Martin and Penguin Island lighthouses, we drove another 50 kilometres to Robe and settled down for the night in a cabin (with ensuite - yes!) near an historical house sited between two lakes and dined at the local Pub - with lots of kids - this too was a recurring theme.

Day 2: Sunday 26.3.2000

Quick trip around beautiful Robe and check out the 'star' lighthouse and historic oblisque. Then on through Kingston stopping for a quick photo stop at the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse.

The Robe Lighthouse with the historic Oblisque in the background. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The Robe Lighthouse with the historic Oblisque in the background.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

The expedition begins, Malcolm, Deborah and Ed in front of the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The expedition begins, Malcolm, Deborah and Ed in front of the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Smithy and Malcolm had covered these lights on their last trip to South Australia.

Then back out onto the highway past the Coorong, a continuous salty lake, strung between the mainland and a long thin sandy peninsula running parallel to the coast towards the the mouth of the River Murray.

Stopped at Meningie for directions to the little ferry at Narrung. Twenty minutes later the ferry is taking us across the the waterway that is the entrance from Lake Alexandrina to Lake Albert to the lighthouse on Point Malcolm.

Arrived on time to meet Judy and Bill Holmes, a lovely couple who live locally in the oldest house east of the River Murray, dating back to 1839.

Inspecting the Point Malcolm Lighthouse. [Photograph: Deborah Taylor]
Inspecting the Point Malcolm Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Deborah Taylor]

The Point Malcolm Lighthouse is very small and very quaint. Its significance is that it is the only lighthouse on an inland waterway in Australia. Judy and Bill had organised this meeting with permission from the property owners and access to a key for us to enter.

All precautions were taken, as apparently a large tiger snake resides inside gaining access to through a ventilation hole hole at the bottom of the door. The coast is clear, one by one we scramble up the little ladders to the top. The interior is surprisingly good, perhaps because of the ventilation.

Deborah checks out the small cave used to store produce. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Deborah checks out the small cave used to store produce.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

The keepers cottage and lighthouse at Point Malcolm. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The keepers cottage and lighthouse at Point Malcolm.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

The cottage remains in tact though boarded up. The keepers who lived here were self-sufficient and stored their produce in a small cave accessable by the riverbank, which Smithy was quick to investigate. Bill lifted a dead box thorn branch to reveal a hole in the ground that dropped immediately to the cave below. The sand inside this little space was quite cool and damp and apparently the excess produce was stored here while they waited for a boat to transport it to town for sale.

Judy and Bill retired to the area from Adelaide some years ago and were most infomrative about local history and strategies being currently employed to combat the salt crisis, which includes growing native trees to replenish the land.

Another ferry crossing, this time the River Murray at Wellington. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Another ferry crossing, this time the River Murray at Wellington.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Headed now for Goolwa. Cross the River Murray at Wellington on a six car ferry, sorry to all the folks we confused while trying to get this photo!

Quick lunch, then on to Strathalbyn, a beautiful old town with the best bakery.

The Cape Jervis Lighthouse at Lands End. [Photograph: Annete Flotwell]
The Cape Jervis Lighthouse at Lands End.
[Photograph: Annete Flottwell]

Then on through Victor Harbor, across the top of the ranges to photograph Cape Jervis in the last of the light. As we arrived the ferry to Kangaroo Island was just pulling out.

Final resting place for the night is one hour south of Adelaide, Normanville Caravan Park - a cabin with an ensuite - yes! Who's a girl?

Day 3: Monday 27.3.2000

Well by 10 am we are hopelessly lost - no lighthouses in the wreckers yards of this industrial estate - no checked a second time, none here. Maybe it's in the suburbs?

The Marino Rocks Lighthouse south of Adelaide. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The Marino Rocks Lighthouse south of Adelaide.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Finally up the hill to Marino Rocks Lighthouse, and impressive 128 metres above sea level tall 1970's style tower standing on a barren hill enclosed by suburbia. The sounds of jets reverberating between the ocean and the clouds.

Through Brighton and the western suburbs of Adelaide to Port Adelaide to shoot the South Neptune Lighthouse, a wonderful bright red cast iron structure that was relocated to this wharf as museum.

The South Neptune Lighthouse has been relocated twice. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The South Neptune Lighthouse has been relocated twice.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

The Port River from the balcony of the Port Adelaide Lighthouse. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
The Port River from the balcony of the Port Adelaide Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

The light was originally at the entrance to the Port River then early this century was dismantled and reconstructed on South Neptune Island at the bottom of Spencer Gulf. In 1986, in response to demands by the citizens of Port Adelaide the light was returned to the city and erected in it current position as part of the South Australian Maritime Museum.

We arrive just in time to beat the school kids up the stairs, but then had to wait for a long time to get a picture without little heads with hats peering over the balcony. sometimes when people see you with a camera on a tripod they think you need help to 'populate the picture'. Little do they know what we are thinking. Little kids are cute - we've all got teenagers - so nothing's cute anymore!

Jaslyn, the curator is very helpful and offer to help retrieve more documents and some photos from the archives and we arrange a time after lunch.

Mid afternoon sees us on our way to visit the local AMSA depot at Largs Bay, one of our favourite places because we are always greeted by people who are only too willing to help and they all have a 'soft spot' for old lighthouses.

Some of the collection of lighthouse artifacts on display at AMSA. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Some of the collection of lighthouse artifacts on display at AMSA.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

Alan Foote greets us and guides us through to retrieve some valuable photos that will fill the gaps in Malcolm's research. We arrange to meet Alan again on Friday as some photos will take a little longer to retrieve.

Back to Port Adelaide where Jaslyn has located the information promised and arrangements are made to meet Andrew, the photographic library curator, on Friday as well to arrange reproducing some historic photographs.

A quick bit a shopping is an excuse for Smithy and Malcolm to drive past Adelaide's holy grail of sport, 'Football Park' at West Lakes.

Then off, north to Port Wakefield for the night, we find a luxurious cabin (with ensuite) perched on the edge of a tidal river and mangroves. Ready tomorrow for our boat trip out to Troubridge Island Lighthouse.

Tomorrow's boat trip to Troubridge Shoal. [Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]
Tomorrow's boat trip to Troubridge Shoal.
[Photograph: Ed Kavaliunas]

The second part of this four part Expedition Report will appear in the May 2000 Bulletin.


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>


New Pages for Australia:

No new pages for Australia this month

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:

No new links for Australia this month

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:

No new links for World this month

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:

Deal Island - Superintendents Residence

[Christian Bell]

The Deal Island Superintendents Cottage

Earlier this year the final report for the Tasmanian Conservation Trust's project "Deal Island- Superintendents Residence project was handed into the office of the Australian Heritage Commission (AHC). The project had seen the completion of two consultants reports (dealing with the maintenance and heritage issues involving the building) and repairs were made to the windows and doorjambs of the old building. The Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service replaced the iron roof and the Superintendents house is a great deal dryer than has been for many a year.

As with any heritage building however this is not the end of the story. The building's floors are in poor condition and need to be repaired and a new application has gone into the AHC under the Cultural Heritage Projects Program (CHPP) to undertake these repairs. The TCT would like to thank the consultants; the builders and volunteers who contributed to the old buildings up keep.

The Windeward Bound was used to transport building materials and personnel to Deal Island. The TCT would like to thank the skipper and crew for their services. The Tasmanian sail training vessel will be back at Deal Island this Easter (between April 21 - 27) if you would like to see the result of the handy work. Their contact number is 0418 120 399.

Christian Bell.


Thanks to the Following People for Their Help in March:

Linc Castle ( photos)
Robert Cook (info)
Tina Alderson (photos & info)
Brad Butler (Photos)
Cyril Curtain (Photos & Report)
Chris Johnson (Boat Trip)
Alan Foote, AMSA (Photos)
Beverley Atkins, AMSA (Photos)
Keith Reed (Booklet)
Chris Browne (Offer of Photos)
Jim Harbison (Documents)
Jaslyn & Andrew, South Australian Maritime Museum (Information & Photos)
Sally Grundy (Info & Photo)
John & Kandice Weymouth (Photos)
Peter Gordon (Info)
Ron Co (Info)
David Gray & Alan Foote (KI Visit Help)
Bill & Judy Holmes (SA Trip Help)
Jim Smith (Photos & Info)
Dan Grieve, NPWS SA (KI Visit Help)
Meredith Clifford, Edithburgh Museum (SA Trip Help)

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

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


Regards until the May 2000 Bulletin
Malcolm Macdonald

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


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Lighthouses of Australia Web Site First Published: 3/12/97

Photographs & Contributions:

Annete Flottwell for photograph
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Christian Bell for sketch
Cyril Curtain for report & photographs
Deborah Taylor for report and photographs
Ed Kavaliunas for photographs
Tina Alderson for photograph

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