Happy Birthday to Lighthouse Memories!

Aside

This is a real edible cake from Sweet Treats by Jen - http://sweetsbyjen.blogspot.com/

One year ago today I signed up with HostPapa, a Canadian website service provider, after having purchased my domain name, and learned how to use WordPress, lighthousememories.ca became known on the Internet. So today is the 1st anniversary of the website know as Lighthouse Memories.

Before that time, the site had been running for seven years as a self-hosted site on my son’s server in Canada. It was moderately successful, and I had many contacts, but with the help of HostPapa and Google things have boomed and we have the website as it is today.

Over the past year I have transferred over all the files from my old website, and reposted them on the new site. As well I have tried to keep up on things that lighthouse keepers feel responsible for – pollution, weather, oil spills, wildlife and fish protection, as well as manning the light. The Canadian lightkeeper keeps his eye on everything on the sea and in the sky while performing his job.

Since January 2012, the Canadian government under Prime Minister Steven Harper has been undermining the roles of the Coast Guard on all Canadian coasts, but especially on the British Columbia coast. Firing scientists and inspectors, reducing the number of staff manning MCTS centers and planning on closing SAR and MCTS stations, not to mention declaring most of the lighthouses surplus. Not much of a birthday present. 

I must say though, thanks for all the support, the nice comments and all the stories, documents and photos that have been submitted over the years.

Oh yes! Speaking of photos! Soon I will be starting photo pages for each of the BC lighthouses, and would love to see lots of submissions. I will post each station on a separate page and give credit to all who submit. Thanks.

 

Another Lighthouse Destroyed by the Sea! 1967

 

Pine Island lighthouse after the storm

On February 18, 1967 at 00:30 hours, a giant wall of water slammed into Pine Island, destroying buildings and washing away equipment and personal possessions. [B&W photo left] The following article describes it well.
(If anyone knows the author, or or where this article came from, please let me know so I can give credit. It appeared with the photo on the left of the page and the page was numbered 13. Thanks.- JAC)

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Fury . . . and British Columbia

Pine Island, B.C. – The worst damage in the history of British Columbia’s coastal lighthouses was inflicted here ­recently when a 50 foot wall of water slammed into this tiny island during a raging storm. Continue reading

Reprint – The Great Pacific Garbage Reality

May 27, 2012 – copied from the LA Times

The great Pacific garbage reality. It’s not tsunami debris we should fear; it’s the trash clogging our oceans – Usha Lee McFarling

I received permission today to reprint this article written by Usha Lee McFarling supporting the theory expressed in my story  Japanese Debris On The BC Coast – Is it from the Tsunami?

In thirty-two (32) years living on and beachcombing the British Columbia (BC) coast in many different areas, I still believe that the press is making a big, and false, hoopla over this.

Sure, every year debris comes on the western North American (NA) coasts in the wintertime – a lot of it from Asia (not only Japan!). This year seems to be an exceptionally good year for garbage with tides and currents working well together to bring it to the NA shores, and the debris is also supplemented by the Japanese tsunami of March 2011. Don’t panic! It has been happening every year, with or without the tsunami!

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The Story from Ms. McFarling:

Harley-Davidson ( Peter Mark / Kyodo News, Associated Press / May 2, 2012 ) A rusting Harley-Davidson from Miyagi prefecture, Japan, was discovered on a remote beach in British Columbia in late April and photographed May 2.

For months, West Coast residents have been bracing for an onslaught of items drifting toward us since last spring’s tsunami in northeastern Japan, which swept apartment buildings, cars, even entire villages, into the sea.

Now we are seeing the first trickle of that debris. A ghost ship arrived in the Gulf of Alaska this spring. A rusting Harley Davidson from Miyagi prefecture was discovered on a remote beach in British Columbia. A soccer ball found on an Alaskan island and marked with a personal message was returned to its delighted teenage owner in the tsunami-devastated town of Rikuzentakata.

Like dreams — or nightmares — these wayward bits of other people’s lives bring us closer to the distant disaster. They make the world smaller. A number of groups have started projects to reunite recovered possessions with their former owners. And one beachside town in Oregon is hoping tsunami “treasure hunting” will result in increased tourism.

But now that the first unlikely items have reached us, we’re also beginning to worry: Will the debris be radioactive? Will human remains turn up? Will mountains of scrap cover our beaches? One blogger callously suggested the Japanese government should pay for the cleanup.

Such reactions reveal a torrent of misconception. Continue reading

What is Harper Afraid of? – by Franke James

The full content of this pictograph is available here on Franke James website. Please read it, send a letter, even if you live outside Canada, to let the Canadian Prime Minister know that what he is doing is WRONG!

More –>

“MV Queen of Prince Rupert” Aground in Gunboat Pass 1982

“MV Queen of Prince Rupert” Aground in Gunboat Pass August 25, 1982

MV Queen of Prince Rupert - photo John Morris

Before you read the story, I must fill in a few details. My wife Karen and I were on McInnes Island lighthouse at the time of the incident. A week before the incident below we picked up the voice of the lightkeeper Henry Bergen at Dryad Point on our scanner in the house. In a loud and agitated voice he was calling “Queen of Prince Rupert! Queen of Prince Rupert! This is Dryad Point! Dryad Point! You are going the wrong way!” The reply came back that they were on a navigational exercise and they had everything in hand.

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Now the story from Harvey Humchitt1 who was on board the ship a week later . . .

It was a typical Friday in Bella Bella. My mother and brother and I had been preparing for a day trip to Port Hardy before the start of school. The trip to Port Hardy was on the “MV Queen of Prince Rupert” which took 6 or 7 hours from Bella Bella to Port Hardy. For me back then it was a holiday in itself. Continue reading

New HCF Funding Available for Fundy Shore Lighthouses

From:                         “Heritage Foundation of Canada”  HeritageCanadaFoundation@heritagecanada.org

Subject:                     HCF / FHC Communiqué : 

                                 

                       New HCF Funding Available for Fundy Shore Lighthouses

Date sent:                  Tue, 24 Apr 2012 18:13:05 +0000

HCF Funding Available for Fundy Shore Lighthouses

Ottawa, ON, April 24, 2012 – The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) is pleased to announce the availability of heritage grant funding for the repair and conservation of historic lighthouses along Nova Scotia’s Fundy Shore, in the counties of Digby, Annapolis and Kings. Funding will come from HCF’s Runciman Endowment Fund for Heritage Conservation, created with the assistance of a generous bequest.

HCF will consider funding requests from community groups and organizations seeking one-time financial support for repair and heritage conservation work at historic lighthouses in the three named counties.

Among other considerations, priority will be given to: Continue reading

Deadline Looms for Canada’s Lighthouses

Deadline Looms for Canada’s Lighthouses

From:                         “Heritage Foundation of Canada”  HeritageCanadaFoundation@heritagecanada.org

Subject:                     HCF / FHC Communiqué : 

                                 Deadline Looms for Canada’s Historic Lighthouses

Date sent:                  Thu, 22 Mar 2012 21:11:01 +0000

Deadline Looms for Canada’s Historic Lighthouses

Copy of the petition - Do not sign this one! - Go to the link

Ottawa, ON, March 23, 2012 – The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) is urging Canadians to sign a petition http://www.savecanadaslighthouses.ca/   to help save Canada’s historic lighthouses.

 The Government of Canada owns hundreds of iconic lighthouses, and has declared almost all of them to be “surplus”. Canadians have until May 29, 2012 to nominate lighthouses that matter to them for designation under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act. However, almost all of them will require a proposal from an organization or group willing to acquire and invest in them. Continue reading

Mother’s Day Brunch in Canada 2012

Many Canadians celebrate Mother’s Day by showing their appreciation for Mothers or Mother figures. The Mother’s Day date in Canada is on the second Sunday of May each year and it will be on Sunday, May 13, 2012 this year.

Lighthouse Bistro and Pub, Nanaimo, BC

For all of you living on southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada (or in Vancouver) there is a special Mother’s Day Brunch at the Lighthouse Bistro and Pub in Nanaimo, BC (Vancouver island). Continue reading

New Threat to Lighthouses Illuminated

Reprinted with permission from Jack Knox, Times Colonist

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New threat to lighthouses illuminated

By Jack Knox, Times Colonist April 3, 2012

Imagine the fuss if the owner of a 152-year-old downtown heritage building just walked away from the structure, allowed it to crumble.

But the Race Rocks lighthouse isn’t downtown. It’s plunked in the waters off Metchosin, as out-of-sight, out-of-mind as many of the other West Coast lighthouses that Pat Carney worries about.

That’s why Saturna Island’s Carney is sounding the alarm (or perhaps the foghorn) about a rapidly approaching deadline that could determine whether lights stand or fall.

This has been an ongoing battle for the former senator and Mulroney-era cabinet minister who, even retired from politics, remains a fierce advocate for B.C.’s coastal communities. This fight goes back years and years, a reaction to Ottawa’s history of tearing down, burning down or neglecting-to-death light stations it no longer valued. Continue reading

The Storm of October 1984

The article I posted earlier about the storm at Cape Scott brought to mind a story I had written for the old website. This story (below) brought to the attention of the government one of the important attributes of BC lighthouse keepers – they are on-site!

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Helicopter pad at McInnes

On Thursday October 12, 1984 Roger Mogg (my assistant) and I were up at the helicopter pad at McInnes Island  lighthouse enjoying the clear Fall weather after lunch. We had been shooting clay pigeons with our shotguns and a newly acquired launcher. The wind was light, with very few clouds in the sky, so it made a perfect day for target practice in between weather reports. 

Just then Karen called up that Stan at Egg Island  had just notified the Coast Guard radio station in Bull Harbour  that he had unexpected high winds and seas. Roger and I looked at each other and joked that Stan must have been into his home-made wine again! Looking down towards Calvert Island  (between us and Egg Island) from our location on the helo (helicopter) pad we could see only clear sky with a trace of cirrus cloud. Calvert was over forty miles (64 kms) away and we could just see the top of it on the horizon. Egg Island was further south still.  Continue reading