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Bulletin - Vol 8 No. 6
November/December 2005


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Troubridge Island Lighthouse in trouble

Troubridge Island Lighthouse at dusk
Photograph: Colin Lemke

Dear LoA,

My family and I have just returned from our annual holiday to Troubridge Island, where, sad to say, the lighthouse remains unlit, and steadily deteriorating with the elements. 

It has been quite a few years since the lighthouse has received any kind of upkeep, and the paintwork is noticeably fading, and corrosion around the lighthouse, and at the base is well underway. 

I have attached a couple of photographs taken over the October 2005 long weekend. 

The close-up of the lighthouse looking toward the sky was actually intended as an "interesting" shot, but clearly shows the pronounced corrosion. This is even worse at the base of the lighthouse, where most of the supports are heavily corroded externally, with many corroded right through, leaving gaping great holes. It is really quite sad. 

Closeup of the lighthouse, showing the corrosion.
Photograph: Colin Lemke

The island is still a great place to stay, and the lighthouse remains a grand old lady, but her days will be numbered unless some authority takes responsibility for some repairs and upkeep.

Keep up the good work.


Colin Lemke
 Email Colin Lemke

NOTE: Colin wrote a similar letter to LoA in 2002 ...

Australian Navyman Colin Donaldson stationed at Cape Otway

Jack Breen and Colin Donaldson stationed at Cape Otway in 1939
Photograph: Helen Glanville

Keith Millar and Colin Donaldson at Cape Otway in 1940
Photograph: Helen Glanville


My father was stationed at Cape Otway in 1939. He was a signalman with the Australian Navy. I found these photos taken at the lighthouse at Cape Otway at that time and thought that you may be interested.

The photo of the two sailors standing are my father Colin Donaldson on the right and Keith Millar on the left. The other photo of the two sailors with the horse and dray are Colin Donaldson on the right and Jack Breen on the left. Jack Breen was later killed in action in Darwin.

My father is 85 years old but still very bright and alert. He has many fond recollections of his service time at Cape Otway. If you require further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

I hope that you enjoy the photos.

Helen Glanville
 Email Helen Glanville

Honesty and integrity and lighthouses...

Cape Otway Lighthouse
Photograph: Kristie Eggleston

My family visited Cape Otway lighthouse on 26 October 2005. We are from the United States of America, and my wife's brother Harry has lived in Melbourne for 16 years now.

We paid to go see the lighthouse, where my wife accidentally left her purse on the counter. We left the lighthouse to see the Twelve Apostles and take a ride on the helicopter. It wasn't until we had finished the helicopter ride that my wife had realized that she left her purse back at the lighthouse.

We drove back stopping at the Lavers Hill Police substation where we called. After talking to three people we decided to drive back to the lighthouse cause we weren't getting any help from the police at the Lavers Hill police substation.

Upon arriving at the lighthouse only to find everything locked up, my wife's brother Harry drove back down the road in hopes of finding someone who knew who operated the lighthouse. My wife and I waited. Harry saw Paul Thompson, the lighthouse manager, driving towards the lighthouse. Harry stopped Paul, who asked Harry if they were looking for a purse. Harry said," yes." Both drove back to where my wife and I were waiting.

Paul asked us to identify the purse which we did. Paul escorted us to the office where the purse was being held. Everything was still in the purse - money, identification, etc. Paul stated that Robin Ivans reported that someone had left their purse on the counter. Harry tried to give Paul a large sum of money for helping us recover the purse. Paul said," No, I can't. I am glad that I could help."

I just wanted to commend and show our appreciation to Robin Ivans & Paul Thompson for being so honest and having outstanding morals and ethics. These qualities are getting hard to find in people nowadays.

Thank you!!

James Gilbert
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