Humour – Government Policy

I received the following in an email today. Based on yesterdays’s MCTS announcement, I think this applies. Government thinking sometimes is so adverse to public wishes that I think government ministers must live in another universe.

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The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that; “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

However, those in government  will apply a more advanced strategy to solve the same problem.

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.

5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.

7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.

9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse’s performance.

10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance.

11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more
to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

And of course….

13. Promoting the dead horse to a Civil  Service supervisory position.


 
 

MCTS To Lose Staff To Save Money

For those of you that do not know, MCTS (Marine Communications and Traffic Services)  is “the Branch of the Canadian Coast Guard that provides communications and vessel traffic services to the sea-going public”. 

“MCTS monitors for distress radio signals; provides the communications link between vessels in distress and the JRCC/MRSC; sends safety information; handles public communication; and, regulates the flow of vessel traffic in some areas. MCTS is an important link in the SAR system”.

The above is a quote from the official Canadian government website on Maritime Search and Rescue. (about half-way down the page)

Continue reading

Howard Frazer Chamberlin Family Adventures c.1930s

– Narrated by Sharlene Macintosh with help from her cousin Zellie Chamberlin Sale (granddaughters of Howard Frazer Chamberlin, lighthouse keeper c. 1930 – 1941)

Nootka Light -photo - Bill Maximick of Maximick Originals

My grandfather was Howard Frazer Chamberlin who was lightkeeper at a few lighthouses around Vancouver Island  – Nootka , Pine Island , Quatsino , Trial Island  come to mind – my Mom knows them all. His brother, Charles Benjamin Chamberlin was also assistant at Nootka.

My Mom, Mina Peet (née Chamberlin) was born in Oct 1933 while her Dad was a lightkeeper. He originally did various jobs such as farming, prospecting, trapping, and logging with horses. He had a sawmill at Coombs, BC and he was injured while logging with horses on Vancouver Island. He was put into hospital where he met my grandmother Dora Anna Wordsell who was a nurse. 

They married December 12, 1928 in Nanaimo, BC. They had three daughters: Connie (who died in 1985), Pearl, and Mina. The first child, a son, died up near Prince Rupert, BC right after birth, so my grandmother was sent the next time to New Westminster, BC  to give birth (at a real hospital) where her parents lived, and the second two times to Victoria, BC.  Continue reading

Travel – Australian Lighthouses

Shine a Light on Australia's lighthouses.

 

I came across this article that shows the life on an Australian lighthouse starting in 1971. A wee bit different than Canada I must say.

 

 

What got my attention were the requirements for a lighthouse keeper:

The job requirements of a lighthouse keeper were a car licence, an ability to climb to heights and an ability to get along with the other lighthouse keeper . . .

 The article is worth reading to illustrate the differences between Canadian and Australian lights (wildlife, for one), plus, on the page is a reference and a link to an ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) website which is exploring some of Australia’s iconic lighthouses.

This new site is called Shining a Light and is an excellent documentary on some of Australia’s lighthouses. The map above shows the lighthouses mentioned.

There you go – two stories for one price. Enjoy!

A Posting to Isolation – Pachena Pt. 1949 – 1955

– Betty Healey (Wife of Arthur Healey – Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Pachena Point Radio station (VAD) 1949 – 1955)
– forward by editor Tom Racine (from his website History of Spectrum Management in Canada

D.O.T.’er Arthur Healey was officer-in-charge at Pachena Point  Marine Radio Station from 1949 to 1955. With his wife Betty and three children, Ann, John and Michael who were then 12, 8 and 7 years of age respec­tively, he spent six years at this isolated post. He went from there to Alert Bay and last summer took over as officer-in-charge at Victoria Marine Radio. 

Access to Pachena Radio, which was closed down in 1958 after 45 years of operation, was by lighthouse tender, or Bamfield lifeboat, and then by workboat through the surf to the bonnet-sling; then highline up the cliff. If one was a good hiker, it was possible to trek the nine miles from Bamfield to Pachena, and that was how the Healey’s first got there. 

Today, living once again in a large urban community, Mrs. Healey recalls the rewarding experiences shared by the family during that six year period. The children are now young adults: Ann is married and the mother of four children; John received a Bachelor of Education degree last year and is now teaching at Burns Lake, B.C., and Michael, working towards a Master’s degree in zoology at UBC, plans to go to Europe for Ph.D. studies.  Continue reading

Porlier Pass Lighthouse 1949 – 1965

– Denice Goudie (grandaughter of Henry Edward Brown, Senior Keeper on Porlier Pass 1949 – 1965) 

Please go to the Porlier Pass lighthouse website, a project of Dennice Goudie, and read the rest of her account and recollections of life at Porlier Pass and a history of her grandfather. 

Building on Race Point demolished in 1996 - photo - Chris Mills

Grandfather of this researcher Denice Goudie, Henry Edward Brown (November 29, 1899 – September 27, 1974) served as lighthouse keeper at Porlier Pass between 1949 and 1965 which was established 15 November 1902; automated April 1996. 

Every summer and most school holidays of my memory were spent at the north end of Galiano Island. At first in the house which stood further up the hill; lit by coal oil lamps, outhouse, water by bucket from the cistern and after that house burned down a 3 bedroom house that can be viewed from Virago Point Light, looking toward Race Point.  Continue reading

Don’t You Get Bored?

 You know those email jokes that go around saying things like:
How Old is Grandpa?
And Grandpa replies, “I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots,
frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees, and the pill. There were no credit cards, laser beams, or ball-point pens.
Man had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, or clothes dryers, and man hadn’t yet walked on the moon, etc. . . .”

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Now let’s switch to an isolated lighthouse in the 1970s, 1980s, etc. . . . and a different question:

Don’t you get bored? Continue reading

Search and Rescue (SAR), Canada

Canadian SAR Regions

One of the responsibilities of Canadian lighthouse keepers is to assist and help in Search and Rescue (SAR). They are part of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) and can be called upon to assist in a search at any time, be it for missing people in boats, aircraft, or other forms of transportation.

In fact lighthouse keepers, because of their location, are ideally situated to assist in SAR activities. It is too bad that the CCG does not promote this side of lighthouse activities, and provide better training and equipment. Most of the SAR activities done by lightkeepers are done with their own equipment – be it boats, radios, scanners, survival suits, etc. More on this in another post.

SAR is a large community in Canada, but a branch of SAR that is not too well known by the public, except for those involved, is CASARA (Civil Air Search and Rescue Association).1  Continue reading

Chrome Island c. 1930s

Chrome island - photo Leslie Williamson

I received the email below from a Ms. C. Burke in October 2010, and she passed on the information to me that her mother had related about the early days at Chrome Island lighthouse. I am sorry I did not get it published earlier, but I was working on getting this site in operation before I added a lot of new writings.

I can vouch that 100% of the manned stations on the BC coast are still maintained in pristine condition as mentioned in the story below – the keepers are proud of their work and their stations. – JC

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My mother has dictated some memoirs to me of her summers at Hornby Island Lodge 1, which was built by her parents, R.L. (Bob) and Mary (Molly) Hunt. They purchased all of Tribune Bay in 1925 and created the resort.2 I will be publishing Mom’s memoirs to a blog. Continue reading

Life on a Lighthouse by Grandma Stannard c. 1927

– Elizabeth Kate (Stannard) Smithman (Wife of Henry Herbert Smithman who was Senior Keeper at Sisters Island 1927 – 1929) 

Ballenas  and Sisters  Islands 

I thought you might be interested to hear about “Life On a Lighthouse”. 

We lived on them for about 5 ½ to 6 years and I guess we would have stayed and made a lifetime job of it but Bert [my husband] got very sick and had to be taken off to hospital where after a lingering illness he passed away. 

Well some folks think it must be very lonesome life but there’s too much to do to get lonesome and besides, it’s a wonderful, interesting life. 

We were on two different lights. The first one was the best as it was a bigger island and we could have a garden and there was lots of room for the children to play, however I took sick and as we thought lighthouse life did not suit me, Bert asked to be replaced by another light keeper. 

We moved to Parksville, [Vancouver island, BC, Canada] where we had been getting our mail, etc. 

Anyway I was no better (for awhile anyway) but after some time I improved but we had learned that it wasn’t being on a lighthouse that caused my sickness so we put in for another.  Continue reading