Lighthouse History – 46 (1919-01-05 to 1920-03-18)

Lighthouse History – 46 (1919-01-05 to 1920-03-18)

The following extracts taken from early Victoria, British Columbia (BC) newspapers are credited to Leona Taylor for her excellent work in indexing the papers. Full information can be found here: ”Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers“, 2007-09.


Locked from World on North Island (Kains Island)… Thomas Sadler, lighthousekeeper describes horrors of isolation that left him a broken man – wife is driven to insanity by worry over plight of children…; Jan 7, 7 – Superintendent of Lights states report incorrect… [Colonist, 1919-01-05, p. 2]


To Cape Beale lighthouse there was taken a new lightkeeper, and with him went a cow. It so happened that a short distance from the light there was a whistling buoy floating on the water. This aid to navigation is such that air is compressed by the action of the waves and a whistle is thus actuated. The noise of the ingoing air and then the whistle is like a huge and gruesome groan, the note of whistle being like that of a foghorn. 
The first night they landed the cow was lonely. Then the buoy sent out its message of gloomy foreboding and the animal heard it as a friend speaking to her in the darkness. It answered with its best voice. 
Back and forth across the water all that night and the next went the friendly interchanges of the buoy and the cow, and the lightkeeper lay awake and listened. [Colonist, 1919-01-15, p. 13]


Died Jun 29, 1919 at Victoria, British Columbia, Matthew Stuart Rae, beloved husband of Christina. Aged 53, native of Larkhall, Lanarkshire, Scotland, Resident of here for 2 years, lately a lighthousekeeper. Survived by widow, son, Robert R at Cumberland, 3 daughters, Mrs A Thomas, Misses Barbara and Grace, of Victoria. member of Great War Veterans’ Association, also Independent Order of Foresters [Kemmerer, WY. Full military funeral… Pallbearers: William Penman, J Williams, F Stewart, Mr Coddington. Casket conveyed to Ross Bay Cemetery on gun carriage. Q 047 W V. Commonwealth War Grave Commission [Colonist, 1919-07-01*]


17 – photo Fiddle Reef lighthouse…lightkeeper McNeill on the job there many years. His father, Captain McNeill, was skipper of old Beaver. [Colonist, 1919-09-04]


Lighthouse tender Newington will get away for West Coast lighthouse Stations next week with Christmas supplies. She arrived here yesterday, and will go up the Gulf on regular work before making the Santa Claus voyage. 
Maquinna is one day late in starting for West Coast Vancouver Island. She will get away at 11pm today. [Colonist, 1919-11-21]


Marine Department will rebuild the lighthouse tower on Carmanah Point this summer. The present tower, a wooden one, was built in 1891 and was partly rebuilt about 10 years ago. The new structure will be concrete. This was the 2nd navigation aid placed on West Coast Vancouver Island by the government, the Cape Beale light being put in place nrly 20 years before. [Colonist, 1920-03-18, p. 18]




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Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

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