Lighthouses of Australia Project - JANUARY 00 BULLETIN

VOL 5 No 1
JANUARY 2002
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Features

Lighthouses From the Air: Part 5
LoA Annual Dinner to Coincide With IALA Sydney 2002
Gabo - Lighthouse of My Heart

Letters & Notices

Department of Scrounge

New Pages & Links

New Pages for Australia
New Links for Australia
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Australian News

Jarman Island Badly Vandalised
Lloyd & Winsome Detour Around Bushfires
Body to be Incorporated to Manage Museum on Deal

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Dear Friends

ALA Transfer to LoA Inc

The transfer of the Australian Lighthouse Association (ALA) to Lighthouses of Australia (LoA Inc) is well underway with the current ALA members being accepted as LoA Inc members.

Lapsed ALA members will be invited to renew their membership as members of LoA Inc.

The first edition of the new format Prism, the former ALA members Newsletter, will be available in February 2002. Members who aren't on the Net may receive this as a hardcopy digest of each 2 months Bulletins.

This Month's Features

The Babbage Island Lighthouse as photographed in Lighthouses From the AirThe modern saga of Lighthouses From the Air continues as Lloyd and Winsome make their way up the top half of the Western Australian Coast.

The NSW bushfires forced Lloyd and Winsome to return to baseIan Clifford has worked hard to organise the LoA Inc Annual Dinner for 2002. The venue overlooks both of the Wollongong Lighthouses. It looks like being an exciting event with the re-lighting of the Wollongong Breakwater tower.

Gabo - Lighthouse of My HeartIt will have a truly international flavour with overseas visitors attending as well.

Keith Banks recalls his youth by travelling through Eastern Victoria and the South Coast of New South Wales culminating with a visit to the Gabo Island Lighthouse.

The Jarman Island Lighthouse has been vandalisedThis Month's News

The issue of manning lights with caretakers arises again with a report of vandalism of the Jarman Island Lighthouse. This must be one of the most endangered lighthouses in Australia.

The NSW bushfires forced Lloyd and Winsome to return to baseBushfires have caused havoc around New South Wales in the last month and this too interrupted Lloyd and Winsomes final part of their ambition to photograph all our lighthouse from the air.

Body to be Incorporated to Manage Museum on DealA National Park has been declared that includes the Deal Island Lighthouse and Cottages. A move is being made to legitimise and preserve the unofficial museum in the old superintendant's cottage.

Malcolm Macdonald is the founder and convener of Lighthouses of Australia
Malcolm Macdonald
Bulletin Editor
<keeper@lighthouses.org.au>

[Photograph: Marguerite Stephen]


Features

Lighthouses From the Air: Part 5

North by Northwest

[David Hurburgh <hurburgh@access1.com.au>]

Winsome and Lloyd are now halfway around Australia on their epic circumnavigation of the continent by Cessna. They are heading north, up the coast of Western Australia.

Lighthouses From the Air: Part 1
Lighthouses From the Air: Part 2
Lighthouses From the Air: Part 3
Lighthouses From the Air: Part 4
Lloyd & Winsome Detour Around Bushfires
Wednesday 23 May 2001 ~ Geraldton to Carnarvon

It was an earlier take-off than usual from Geraldton this morning, for though the day had dawned bright and clear, the forecast for later that day was indicating flying conditions could deteriorate.

Our aviators first headed 70km out to sea to Pelsart Island. The light on the reef here is an interesting looking stainless steel column. Another 46 nautical miles North is the Houtman Abrolhos Islands.

This group of islands was the scene of the brutal Batavia Mutiny of 1629.

There are a large number of fisherman's shacks on the Abrolhos. During the season they house people involved in the large crayfish (rock lobster) industry. During the cyclone season the shacks must be very exposed for there is little shelter here. Around the reefs you can see lots of buoys marking the craypots' locations. Since a licence to own just one pot costs $25,000 there is obviously lots of money to be made in this business.

Heading back to the mainland, Lloyd's flight path took the Cessna north, along the spectacular cliff-lined coast. Steep Point is considered the most westerly location on the Australian mainland.

North-north-west from here is Dirk Hartog Island with the lighthouse at Cape Inscription. This location is where the famous pewter plate that was nailed to a tree by the 17th Century Dutch Explorer.

The lighthouse here is a grey concrete tower with the ruins of the original keepers' cottages nearby. Winsome thought how hardy these early lighthouse people must have been to live in what was then a location of extreme isolation in a very harsh environment.

Bernier Island was the last light for the day before VH-RNL tracked into Carnarvon airport. The strip here is right next to the town, not the typical regulated 15km out of town.

That afternoon Winsome and Lloyd drove out to the "Babbage Island Heritage Precinct", with the main attraction being a vintage train which runs out to the end of the very long jetty.

A museum based on the Gascoyne lighthouse keeper's cottage opened in early July 2001. The historic wooden lighthouse "Gascoyne Road" is in the grounds of the museum.

While on the ground at Carnarvon, our visitors drove out to Point Quobba. The lighthouse here looks in a very sorry state. It's surrounded by a chain wire fence, which has been broken in a number of places by vandals.

Nearby are a series of "blowholes", which with the right sea conditions can put on a spectacular display of waterspouts.

During WW2 the Air Force bombed the main blowhole to try and lessen it's effect. It was thought that the spout could be used as a navigation marker by enemy ships, even as far as 50 kilometres offshore.

The sea here is actively eroding the shoreline leaving jagged rocks, and little soil or vegetation up to 50 metres inland. Standing on the edge of the cliffs is not recommended, but it's a great place to watch the tropical sunsets. This point of the trip marked the first crossing of the Tropic of Capricorn.

 


The Pelsart Island Lighthouse off Geraldton. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Pelsart Island Lighthouse off Geraldton.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Babbage Island Lighthouse at Carnarvon. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Babbage Island Lighthouse at Carnarvon.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Steep Point Lighthouse at Shark Bay. [Photograph: John Ibbotson] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Steep Point Lighthouse at Shark Bay.
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

The Cape Inscription Lighthouse at Shark Bay. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Cape Inscription Lighthouse at Shark Bay.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Point Quobba Lighthouse near Carnarvon. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Point Quobba Lighthouse near Carnarvon.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

Thursday 24 May ~ Carnarvon to Learmonth

It was going to be a 4-hour flying day. The take-off path had the Cessna going over the top of the lighthouse museum, and then over the wide, dry sandy bed of the Gascoyne River. With a low tide the blowholes weren't performing this morning.

The flight path had Lloyd tracking over the huge expanse of Lake Macleod. It was visible from the plane for over an hour.

There is a major salt harvesting industry managed by Rio Tinto based on the lake, with a series of brine evaporation ponds. Winsome spotted a ship berthed nearby loading the salt for export.

The Point Cloates GRP hut was difficult to locate from the air, but the old lighthouse and keepers cottage were clearly visible.

Winsome noted this was often the case around the coast, where the modern navaids are not easy to spot from the air, compared to the larger "footprints" of the historic lights and their infrastructure.

The coastline along the North West Cape and Ningaloo Reef is spectacular from the air.

The historic Vlaming Head Light was clearly visible from the air, but the new light could not be seen.

Lloyd did a couple of orbits around the headland, and at the same time admired the huge VLF (Very Low Frequency) Naval Communications antennae field.

The next sector was to track southwards on the inside (east coast) of North West Cape and then land at the RAAF's Learmonth airfield.

The aviator's accommodation for the night involved driving 40km back north, up the Cape, to Exmouth and the naval base.

It was after dark, when the location of the new Vlaming Head Light revealed itself. It's on the No. 11 VLF Tower, 99 feet above the ground, and was flashing bright into their room that night!

The locals told Winsome that the historic Vlaming Head lighthouse should have been open, but she later heard the "official" opening wouldn't happen until 14 July. Before leaving this fascinating region, the visitors drove out to Cape Range National Park, with its spectacular red canyons.

 

The Point Cloates Lighthouse at Ningaloo Station. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Point Cloates Lighthouse at Ningaloo Station.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Vlaming Head Lighthouse near Exmouth. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Vlaming Head Lighthouse near Exmouth.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The North West Cape Light on the Naval Communications Tower. [Photograph: John Ibbotson] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe North West Cape Light on the Naval Communications Tower.
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

Friday 25 May ~ Learmonth to Karratha

As a defence establishment, security at Learmonth was tight. The terminal and apron holding VH-RNL was locked up behind a high perimeter fence. Fortunately some Federal Customs Officers arrived at the same time and opened up. This was to be the first of many meetings with the Custom's crews while our aviators were "up north"

The first light for the day was on Bessieres Island. Then, it was on to Onslow where there is another prominent salt harvesting industry. Our fliers were now in oil and gas country. They were flying over the first of many offshore rigs. Winsome noted the storage tanks on Airlie Island.

The GRP hut on Mary Anne Island is actually located in the sea, and not on the land. The next lights were on Great Sandy Island and its companion on North Sandy Island.

They were now over the Montebello group of islands, famous for the atomic bomb testing in the 1950s. Winsome thought the surrounding waters could not be bluer or more beautiful. Pearl farming activities could also be seen in these waters.

Approaching Dampier and the Karratha Airport Winsome spotted some turtles in the water. Coming into land, Lloyd could feel the up-welling hot air coming off the salt pans. The rising heat driven by the concrete runways makes it necessary for pilots to "force" their aircraft towards the ground in the last moments before landing.

At the Karratha strip you could see the large helicopters that are used to ferry crews and material out to the offshore oil rigs. Some men working on an aircraft came over to talk to Lloyd. They had recognised VH-RNL as the plane they had learnt to fly in. This was to become a frequent occurrence as the plane travelled around the country.

The Airlie Island Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Airlie Island Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The North Sandy Island Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe North Sandy Island Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

Saturday 26 May ~ Karratha

Today was to be a day off from flying. Lloyd and Winsome hired a car and did some land-based touring. Places of interest were Point Samson, Wickham, Cossack and Roebourne.

They heard from locals that the old lighthouse on Jarman Island is to be restored. The local Roebourne Shire Council recognises the light it as an important tourist attraction, and runs tours to the Island. Our travellers only heard about the tours after the trip scheduled for that day had already left.

The old town of Cossack has great appeal with its historic buildings, many of which are being restored.

A more modern attraction in the region, is the Robe Iron Ore Wharf. With a length of 2.4 km it's the longest and highest wharf in the country.

Visitors should also see the Harding Dam. The landscape here is a good example of the rugged scenery found all across the Hamersley Ranges region.

 

 

Sunday 27 May ~ Karratha to Broome

This flying day was one of the only 2 days on the whole trip which was virtually lighthouse free, if the non-operational Jarman Island was excluded - the only other time was when they crossed the Nullarbor.

At this time of year the countryside is quite smoky, for much of the new growth from the wet-season is burnt-off by pastoralists. The smoke affected Lloyd's ability to fly at low levels, and with the visibility lowered, it was occasionally necessary to go higher and swing wide of the smokier areas.

Refuelling with Avgas. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham]
Refuelling with Avgas.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The headwinds on this sector were stronger than forecast so Lloyd topped up with Avgas at Port Hedland just to make sure he had adequate fuel to make it through to Broome.

The Lighthouse on Gantheume Point is just south of Broome. It's located on an orange coloured, rocky headland. Winsome compared this to the more typical iron-red rocks along the Hamersley coast. The only other structure left at Gantheume is a chimney from the keepers cottage, and that has been relocated to allow a big new house to be built.

Watching the sunset from the beautiful Cable Beach at Broome was a great finish to a long day in the air.

 

The Jarman Island Lighthouse near Cossack. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Jarman Island Lighthouse near Cossack.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Gantheaume Point Lighthouse at Broome. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Gantheaume Point Lighthouse at Broome.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

Monday 28 May ~ Broome to Derby

When Lloyd was taxiing out to the runway, he noticed that the "press-to-talk" switch for his radio microphone was not working. Since there were would be no facilities to fix this problem before they got to Darwin, Lloyd had to use Winsome's headphones and the mike-switch on her side of the plane. This was inconvenient, but it is important to keep in touch with other aircraft flying in the region.

Diversions around bush fire smoke were again necessary. Red Bluff was the first light for the day. It is well named!

Heading out to sea, they went over Lacepede Island. Again the structure was in the water and not on the land, as little as there is.

Next light was at Cape Leveque. Clustered around here are lots of holiday cottages.

Other lights on this sector, were Caffarelli Island with its round lighthouse, and Tanner Island with its short square building and a stairway down the cliff to a sheltered cove.

Cockatoo Island is made up almost entirely of iron ore. The broken ore is mined by Portman Mining and loaded straight onto the ship moored along side.

Extensive mud flats, and the mangrove lined, deltaic network of the Fitzroy River marks the approach to Derby. Tidal fluctuations along this coast can exceed 11 metres, which makes near-shore marine navigation very tricky.

Derby's famous boab
Derby's famous boab "Prison Tree".
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

Some of the key tourist attractions near Derby are the famous "Prison Tree", which is a large, hollow boab tree and the "world's longest cattle trough". It's a long way to go for a drink!

The world's longest cattle trough. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham]
The world's longest cattle trough.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The trucks coming down to the coast from the zinc mine are also a great sight, with four huge trailers, with side-tipping bins being pulled by a prime mover.

Zinc concentrate from the Western Metals mines near Fitzroy Crossing is exported from the mouth of the River. With shallow water depths, the zinc has to be taken out in barges, with all shipping movements dictated by the tides.

The very challenging hydrographic, climatic and coastal conditions in this part of tropical north west Australia, keeps reminding us of the importance of having an effective system of reliable marine navigational aids. Lighthouses and their modern equivalents remain of critical importance.

NEXT MONTH

PART 6 - "Across the Top End"

The Cape Leveque Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Cape Leveque Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Caffarelli Island Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
No map availableThe Caffarelli Island Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Tanner Island Lighthouse. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Tanner Island Lighthouse.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

The Lacrosse Island near Wyndham. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham] << Click for larger image.
Click to view lighthouse locationThe Lacrosse Island near Wyndham.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

LoA Annual Dinner to Coincide With IALA Sydney 2002

[Ian Clifford <icliffo@tpgi.com.au>]

Lighthouses of Australia Inc (LoA Inc) is planning to hold this year's Annual Dinner in Wollongong on the evening of Tuesday 12th March 2002. It has be timed to be held in conjunction with the XVth IALA conference being held at Darling Harbour in Sydney.

This will create an opportunity members of IALA's heritage committee who are attending the convention to meet with LoA members and other interested people and discuss the many issues affecting lighthouses.

The Harbour Front Restaurant with the Breakwater Light in the background. [Image: Ian Clifford]
The Harbour Front Restaurant with the Breakwater Light in the background.
[Image: Ian Clifford]

It is planned to hold the dinner at the Harbour Front Restaurant, which is located on the southern side of Wollongong Harbour adjacent to the two Wollongong lighthouses of which one, the breakwater lighthouse, has just undergone complete restoration.

The Harbour Front Restaurant's function room has an uninterrupted view of the harbour and lighthouses.

Plans are underway so that in conjunction with the dinner the Breakwater Lighthouse will be exhibited for the first time since its closure in March 1974.

The Belmore Basin with it's 2 lighthouses as a backdrop. [Image: Ian Clifford]
The Belmore Basin with it's 2 lighthouses as a backdrop.
[Image: Ian Clifford]

Prior to the dinner a tour of the restored Breakwater lighthouse, harbour precinct and Flagstaff Point where the still operational Wollongong Head Lighthouse is located is planned.

The dinner will include a presentation on the restoration of the Breakwater lighthouse and management of other lighthouse properties under the control of the Department of Land and Water Conservation.

The view is straight into the breakwater and Belmore Basin. [Image: Ian Clifford]
The view is straight into the breakwater and Belmore Basin.
[Image: Ian Clifford]

With two lighthouses, and if all goes to plan, both operational for the first time since 1974, Belmore Basin as a backdrop, the fine cuisine of the Harbour Front a gathering of like minded enthusiasts will be a night not to be missed.

Getting There

Wollongong Harbour, which is actually part of Belmore Basin, is approximately 80km south of Sydney and is accessed from Sydney by the F6 Freeway taking about 70 minutes by car or by electric train on the South Coast line to Wollongong station.

To Register

To register you intention of attending contact Denise Shultz by email <pshultz@tpg.com.au> or phone (03) 9801 9726. She will notify you with confirmation and payment details when they are available.

Gabo - Lighthouse of My Heart

[Keith Banks <wilsonsprom@yahoo.com.au>]

Talking From The Heart

For many years now I have talked about going back to Gabo Island Lighthouse to see for myself of any changes that have happened To the old girl in the time since I left with my parents in 1948.

Gabo during a storm. [Image: David Armstrong]
Gabo during a storm.
[Image: David Armstrong]

My father was one of the light keepers at Gabo between 1942-1948 during the war years, I was ten when we came and fifteen when we left and have always associated Gabo as my home, I can't explain why except to say. That I had a wonderful child hood on the Island.

Now on the 18th of March 2001 after fifty three years, Betty my wife and I took off up the Princes Highway for Merimbula. I had booked a flight with Gabo Island Tours to fly into the lighthouse for the day on Tuesday the 20th at 10 am.

The run up the highway through Lakes Entrance (where I had worked on the trawlers many years ago) was excellent, its growing like every other area in East Gippsland but still looks the same some how.

The author, Keith banks, on the Gabo Island Jetty. [Image: Keith Banks]
The author, Keith banks, on the Gabo Island Jetty.
[Image: Keith Banks]

We traveled through Orbost, Cabbage Tree, and Cann River. (The turn off to Point Hicks Lighthouse, the first station that my father worked on, ) some of the nicest timbered country in Australia and where the State Forest meets the National Parks. Then on to Mallacoota, this was the town where we would get the boat to take us over to the Lighthouse (Hughie Brady and Albert Greer had the mail contract for the Island at that period of time).

Mallacoota is one of the most prettiest towns and lake systems within a days drive from Melbourne and its any wonder they call it Victoria's best kept secret, it is growing but not enough to alter its beauty.

I had many friends at Mallacoota in those days.

Keith's partner Betty in from of the solar power array. [Image: Keith Banks]
Keith's partner Betty in from of the solar power array.
[Image: Keith Banks]

Betty and I had a look at the Island and lighthouse in the distance from Bastion Point took some photo's and headed for Merimbula.

Passing through Eden where I worked as a deck hand on a trawler owned by Lorry Wilson,a quick look at the town center and off to Merimbula.

We arrived for our big adventure with lovely clear skies and a temperature of 24°, and stayed at the Norfolk Pines Motel where we were made very welcome.

The young people were interested in knowing, of Gabo and why I was going back to the lighthouse after so many years. They said they would look in on Malcolm's Web site, which they did and thought it was just great.

The dinghy at the Eden Killer Whale Museum. [Image: Keith Banks]
The dinghy at the Eden Killer Whale Museum.
[Image: Keith Banks]

On the Monday we spent the day back at Eden going through the Killer Whale Museum and chasing up some history of Ben Boyd that I wanted for my records, and while inside I discovered the old dingy, hanging from the ceiling (that Eden Cole a Cray fisherman that took me out with him when I was at Gabo and taught me such a lot about fishing and tides and how to handle a boat).

I had many a good time with Eden catching Crays and trying to beat Brice Southwell in the Eden regattas.

There is a very old photo of him, with his dingy we used to tow the dingy behind Shamrock in case we needed to get ashore in some of the places that we fished or were forced to anchor or seek shelter the boat for any amount of reasons.

We had many a trip after in those days with the dingy in tow, the fishing was more profitable in those days than it is in the year 2001.

Eden died of a heart attack in the late fifties. He never was a well man in all the time I knew him (a sad loss to me).

A small lighthouse lantern at the Eden Killer Whale Museum. [Image: Keith Banks]
A small lighthouse lantern at the Eden Killer Whale Museum.
[Image: Keith Banks]

While at the museum I enquired about the two globe lantern system and prism that was operating in the Gabo tower when we were there, it was operational right up until they automated it.

I was at Mallacoota on holidays about eight years ago when they flew the system out, but apparently they were unsure of how it operated. A friend of mine in the town, heard that it was at the airport being unloaded and told them I was in town, and could explain to them how it worked which I duly did.

It was on the back of a 4 wheel Toyota truck just off the aircraft. I thought they were Museum staff because they said it was going To the Eden Museum to go on exhibition. I never thought any more of it.

While at the Museum on this trip I enquired where it was, the staff at the museum said that they never had it and after a phone call confirmed this to be so. Now where did it go? I did hear a rumor and I stress only a rumor that it was at Robe in South Australia.

I feel it should have gone to Eden. But I under stand that that is where it finished up.

A momento of their trip, a Gabo Island Pass. [Image: Keith Banks]
A momento of their trip, a Gabo Island Pass.
[Image: Keith Banks]

Tuesday we arrived at the airport for our big trip and was I excited, I was going home if only for the day and was I happy. The staff were so helpful and friendly, Ian Baker our pilot made us feel completely at ease and when I said how many were going Ian said this trip is just for you.

We flew past Boyds Tower. [Image: Winsome Bonham]
We flew past Boyds Tower.
[Image: Winsome Bonham]

"Great." I was on top of the world. We flew down along the coast, past Laycock Point and into and over Eden township around Twofold Bay and Boyds tower, in past Wonboyn Lake and on to Green Cape Lighthouse where Ian flew us around so that we got the best of views.

The Green Cape Lighthouse from the air. [Image: Marguerite Stephen]
The Green Cape Lighthouse from the air.
[Image: Marguerite Stephen]

In and around Disaster Bay and down past the beautiful Nadgee Fauna Park and then on to Cape Howe where flying low we were able to see the Cairn that was placed to mark the border of Victoria and New South Wales. That's one thing only a few people would ever see and what a site.

"And then there she was" in all her glory the sun shining on the tower making the red granite stand out, and looking as beautiful and dignified as ever. I would not have expected anything less from the old girl and as we circled the island so that Betty could get a good look at what I had been talking about for all these years. She was impressed.

The Gabo Lighthouse in all her glory. [Image: Winsome Boham]
The Gabo Lighthouse in all her glory.
[Image: Winsome Boham]

I likewise wanted to see if it looked different on the island after all these years. I was quite surprised as very little had changed in all that time. We then started our decent to the 600 metre strip and touch down.

I Was Home

It was such a lovely day to walk around and see all the things and explain what was here and what was there, to Ian Baker who knows his history very well of the south east coast and Gabo.

Betty was enjoying herself and when we went up the tower, the whole 205 steps from ground to the lantern room. I was amazed that she did it so easy.

Caretaker, Leo op den Brouw, compiling the Islands history. [Image: Keith Banks]
Caretaker, Leo op den Brouw, compiling the Islands history.
[Image: Keith Banks]

On reaching the top we met Leo Op den Brouw and Tony Symes working hard restoring the lantern room to its former glory.

These two are the new share holders of the reformed AMSA and I can tell you that lighthouse in their care is in good hands with the likes of these two they were doing a magnificent job.

Caretaker, Tony Symes on the island's jetty. [Image: Keith Banks]
Caretaker, Tony Symes on the island's jetty.
[Image: Keith Banks]

We did a lot of talking of things that were at the station in the past and of the present, and their thoughts of the future of the lighthouses and the preservation. They made us both very welcome.

Leo took us in to show us the gallery of photo's that he is trying to collect of past light keepers. It is very good and to see the interest the boys have in the place, and of the tourist trade that are spending time at the island and experiencing some of the past is good to see.

If any former keepers or their children have photo's I am sure that they would love to have copies, to put with the collection in the gallery that they have in the head keepers house.

A few people were taking advantage of staying in one of the houses when we were there. Its such a nice place for a break.

The Gabo Island generator. [Image: Keith Banks]
The Gabo Island generator.
[Image: Keith Banks]

We went into our house to see what had changed, the house is still much the same after all these years except that they have moved a few rooms around, but its still in very good condition.

Ian was interested in the old layout that I explained to him minus our work shed where I built all my model ships out of drift wood.

By this time it was time for lunch and what a meal we had. Ian's wife does the catering for people who do the trip; nibbles, dip, salads, chicken, fruit, and of course a nice glass or two of wine. Home was never like this, but this is what everyone that flies in gets. All part of the service a wonderful flight and lunch to boot.

We walked down to the monument of the Monumental City that was wrecked on Tullaberga Island with the lost of 37 lives in 1853. The monument has been relocated since we were there apparently it started to subside so they moved it to higher ground.

All the vegetation on the island like the ti-trees have grown quite tall, which gives the area in and around good wind breaks.

The Island also doesn't have any nasty pests like snakes, rabbits, ticks, dingo, and its so easy to walk anywhere and not be hassled in any way.

I spoke to Ian about the radar station the air force had on the island during the war years, and where they played touch football with the navy, there is a small flat area in the middle of the Island. This is where the original lighthouse was to have been built, but after digging 60ft and not getting a foundation it was abandoned to the site of the present lighthouse site.

My father also had a couple of hundred sheep in those days which kept the island trimmed, but they have all gone now.

I had a look at the last resting place of Sir Francis Chichester's yacht Gipsy V, all that remains is the lead keel stuck in rocks below water level.

The rock pools that I sailed my models on in those days and what days they were.

Gabo Island as seen from boat. [Image: Leo op den Brouw]
Gabo Island as seen from boat.
[Image: Leo op den Brouw]

After a wonderful day it was time to go and we lifted off after 4pm much later than normal, and as we climbed in to the air, I gave the old girl a goodbye wave for the last time, As I cannot see myself getting back again but you never know stranger things have happened.

But I am satisfied because this in my opinion is the best built best designed and the most elegant of all lighthouses that I have had anything to do with and don't forget with the best material it the world the wonderful red granite, that never needs painting to make it look good do, you think I am bias you better believe it.

So with a final goodbye wave as we circled the island I said

Good Bye Old Girl!

We climbed up off the island, and Ian said he would takes us over the wreck of the Riverina, so one last circle over the island once more, and across to have a look at what's left, of the Riverina, all that you can see now is the outline of the ship with the bow sprit and the stem post out of water. Up over Barracoota Lake over Howe Hill, with its dense trees of the Nadgee State Forest looking just wonderful; you can even see the rain forest area, just great.

Back over Twofold Bay and across Eden township and back on to the Merimbula strip the end of a wonderful and exciting day that I will never forget (but I am bias you know that).

I am sure that a lot more people will be looking at Malcolm Macdonald's web site because after this visit to the southeast I will never stop praising it. On the Wednesday we went and had a look at Boyds tower and then back into Green Cape Lighthouse another well maintained station that is kept in beautiful condition.

Congratulations to all. Its so good to see that people do care about retaining our history.

Thursday came and it was time to head back home. I can only that I would recommend this area and this trip to everyone if they want something a little unusual than the norm.

In conclusion I would like to thank the following people.

Ian Baker and all the staff at Merimbula Airport.

The staff at the Killer Whale Museum Eden.


Letters & Notices

Most Impressed With New Lighthouse Book

Hi Malcolm

I hope you and every one associated with the Lighthouses of Australia Project had a great Christmas which has prompted me to write to you.

My Christmas was especially good as I received a copy of John Ibbotson's book. I have only read just over 100 pages of the 282 and I am most impressed with the book.

John Ibbotson's 'Lighthouses of Australia - Images from the end of an era'. [Image: John Ibbotson]I am finding the book very easy to read with a lot of explanations to lighthouse terms that were a bit of a mystery (e.g. catadioptic third order lens) are explained in easily understood terms with legends and maps to pin-point the whereabouts of these lights.

The colour photographs are of excelent quality with the composure and camera angles enhancing the beauty of these magnificent structures.

In general I think this is one of the best presents I have ever received and I would suggest that anyone with an interest in lighthouses should own a copy of this wonderful book. The book shop owner where the book was purchased also said that it is an excelent book and is really worth more than its retail price.

Congratulations to John Ibbotson for a magnificent publication and every sucess with it.

I would also like to congratulate Johns team for the book and Malcolm and the Lighthouse Project team for their efforts in this past year and wish every body a safe, happy and prosperous New Year.

Yours sincerely

Trevor Buckell <fullbore@dodo.com.au>

Word Format Order
PDF Format Order
HTML Format Order

Looking for Thomas Tulloch of Kiama

Hi Malcolm

The Kiama LighthouseI have just downloaded the bulletin regarding the Lighthouse at Kiama.

Thomas Tulloch was my Great Grandfather.

My Grandmother was born in the house which was demolished in the1920's.

Can you tell me if Thomas was the first Lighthouse Keeper at Kiama as Gran would
tell us that her chores included climbing the steps and polishing the light and lenses on a daily basis.

As the light was only established in 1887 and Thomas died in 1888 was she talking about the existing light or was there some other beacon in existence before 1887?

Peter Beasley <pet_al@bigpond.com>

Calling All Tasman Island Kids

Hi Malcolm

My name is Kathy Gatenby and I was a lighthouse kid on Tasman Island and Cape Sorell in Tasmania in the 1960's. I have had a quick look at your site, particularly Tasman Island, as I am just gathering a bit of information at the moment for a personal project. Its a great site! I will be exploring it further, but in the meantime, I have a question.

The Tasman Island LighthouseI would like to put out a call to try and track down other people who once spent a part of their childhood on Tasman Island? I already know a few of them, but as you know lighthouse families tended to move about a bit and would now be quite dispersed.

My enquiry is a serious one, and all I wish to do initially is interview ex-Tasman Light kids for some background information. I particularly want those people who were children on the island, and not their parents, as I am more interested in the child's experience.

I am basically writing up a concept brief for a possible story angle for Tasman Island. As you can imagine, it was a tremendously exciting part of our childhood as the island was very wild and we had many an adventure.

I once wrote a story on my childhood experience on Tasman Island (published 40 degree South magazine, Issue 9), and want to explore the concept further. I would be very pleased with any assistance you could offer through your website.

Best wishes,
Kathy Gatenby
903 Middle Tea Tree Road
Tea Tree
TASMANIA 7017

Phone: (03) 6268 1613 (hm)
(03) 6230 8172 (wk)

<Kathy.Gatenby@tourism.tas.gov.au>

The Tasman Island Lighthouse from the Air. [Image: Ed Kavaliunas]

Looking for Alfred George Johnson

Hi Malcolm

The Smoky Cape LighthouseI am researching the Johnson family from Watsons Bay - they are my ancestors.

Do you have any details on the service of Alfred George Johnson transferred to Smoky Cape Lighthouse as headkeeper on Feb 1st, 1914.

I would be grateful for any information you could give me on Alf and his family.

Regards,

Annie Lotocki <lotocki@ozemail.com.au>
QLD

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>


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 & Links

New Pages for Australia:

No new pages for Australia this month

New Links for Australia:

No new links for Australia this month

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:

Jarman Island Badly Vandalised

[Greg Hill <goldenone@kisser.net.au>].

Greg Hill of Karratha reports that there was significant vandalism at the Jarman Island lighthouse off Cossack, Western Australia, during November 2001.

Most of the original cast glass windows have been smashed. The lighthouse is relatively, small cast in sections in England in 1888, and re-assembled as a bolt together prefabricated building.

The Jarman Island Lighthouse before being vandalised. [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The Jarman Island Lighthouse before being vandalised.
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

It had previously survived many strong cyclones over the last 120 years but not the current day vandals. Unfortunely the cast window glass is virtually irreplaceable.

The light itself was removed many years ago. The abondoned lighthouse keepers residence has been partialy tidied up, but not restored, by local service groups.

The partially restored Jarman Island keeprs' cottages. [Photograph: John Ibbotson]
The partially restored Jarman Island keepers' cottages.
[Photograph: John Ibbotson]

Jarman Island is a small, now uninhabited island off the historic town of Cossack, a type of living museum and artists residence on the Pilbara coast.

Lloyd & Winsome Detour Around Bushfires

Blinded by smoke form the Sydney bushfires, Lloyd and Winsome had to return to Raymond Terrace. They had embarked on the final leg of the epic around Australia which involved flying down the South Coast of New South Wales to Victoria, then over Bass Strait to circumnavigate the island of Tasmania. Their intention was to photograph all the lighthouses along the way.

Lloyd and Winsome took off as planned on Saturday morning and flew down the coast as the smoke from the fires got slowly worse till they were almost at Point Perpendicular and they could hardly see anything.

The deep gorges south of Sydney were full of smoke from the bushfires. [Photograph: Winsome Bonham]
The deep gorges south of Sydney were full of smoke from the bushfires.
[Photograph: Winsome Bonham]

Winsome said:

"We had to make a decision whether to go on or return. As we had no information as to what it was like at Moruya we had to return to Maitland. The smoke was worse on the way back so we were unable to land at any airstrip on the way.

After much telephoning around coastal aero clubs we decided to not go anywhere today."

Two days later instead of going back down the coast they tracked inland via Bathurst, Wagga Wagga and Albury to Yarram. This put them back on their original schedule.

It will was a long day and with refuelling at Wagga. They were hoping to come back up the coast on the return journey.

Body to be Incorporated to Manage Museum on Deal

[Christian Bell <tas@mccn.org.au>]

With the recent declaration (23rd Nov 2001) of the Kent Group National Park (of which Deal Island is a part) it now seems an appropriate step to incorporate a body to manage the Museum on Deal Island.

The keepers cottages and lighthouse on Deal Island. [Photograph: David Roberts]
The keepers cottages and lighthouse on Deal Island.
[Photograph: David Roberts]

My main rational for doing this is to see that the building remains:

(a) museum (at present it has no formal status as such),

(b) that the building has its future maintenance requirements met,

(c) that its present artifacts are preserved and

(d) that additional interpretation is produced for the Museum on both the cultural and natural history of the Kent Group.

All good museums must continue to produce new material in order to remain a vibrate and relevant contribution to cultural and natural history.

All of the above cannot be done without finances. I am sure granting bodies would happily contribute such funds to a Museum on Deal (given its unique attributes) but would not do so unless they were dealing with a properly constituted body incorporated as a Museum.

Now is an appropriate time to incorporate such a body as the draft plan for the National Park is being developed and the relationship between the incorporated organization and the Tasmanian State Government (being the owners of the building) could be agreed upon as part of the plan.

The Old Head Superintendents Cottage holds a unique museum. [Sketch Courtesy: Christian Bell]
The Old Head Superintendents Cottage holds a unique museum.
[Sketch Courtesy: Christian Bell]

The scope of this Museum organization would be narrow and would not supplant the activities of any organization active in the Kent Group whose interests are of course broader than the management of this one building.

However the new museum group would welcome the participation
of any organization or individual with an interest in the Museum.

The date for the inaugural meeting to incorporate the "Deal Island
Superintendents Residence Museum" will be on:

Thursday, January 31 at 6pm

1st Floor
102 Bathurst St
Hobart

I will circulate an agenda 10 days prior to the meeting. Bring a plate. The new
museum body would welcome members from other states other than Tasmania but obviously attending meetings would be more difficult for those on the other side of the the Strait. It is envisaged that working bees will be held at the Museum on Deal Island at least once a year.

Christian Bell

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU WISH TO ATTEND THE
MEETING OR WOULD LIKE TO BECOME A MEMBER OF SUCH
A MUSEUM.

Marine and Coastal Community Network
GPO Box 567
Hobart TAS 7001
AUSTRALIA

Phone +61 03 62343665 or 0427 872670
Fax +61 03 62312491

If you know of any news or event effecting an Australian Lighthouse please forward it to us so we can publish in the Monthly Bulletin.


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Thankyou


Thanks to the Following People for Their Help in November:

Allan Whitfield (Photos)
Anne Patterson (Photos)
Bobbie Bullock (Photos)
Jason L. Williams (Photos)
John Armacost (Photos)
Russell Cooper (Photos & Info)

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 January 2002 Bulletin
Malcolm Macdonald

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


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