Reprint – A Light on the Past

A light on the past

with permission from Rosalind Duane, North Shore News, August 05, 2012

Elaine Graham remains the only resident among the historical buildings at Point Atkinson Lighthouse. Photograph by: NEWS photo, Lisa King

ELAINE Graham was raised in the slums of London, far from the multi-hued green of nature.

“There was nothing on my street when I was growing up,” she recalls. “I had lots of play-friends, loads of kids to play with, but there wasn’t even a geranium on a windowsill.”

Many years later, Graham is now surrounded by 75 hectares of the largest first-growth stand of coastal-elevation trees in the Lower Mainland. Her home is nestled among the remaining structures at the base of Point Atkinson Lighthouse, which stands on a craggy promontory at the edge of Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver.

She has spent half her life here, and is eager to tell the story of her neck of the woods.

Graham moved to the Point Atkinson Lighthouse station with her husband Donald and two young sons in 1980. Donald became the last of the lighthouse keepers at the site (along with senior keeper Gerry Watson) when the lighthouse was automated in 1996.

The Grahams stayed on in one of the two keeper’s houses, she as a park attendant and he as a groundskeeper. Continue reading