Lightkeeper Retirement Homes

No, this does not refer to retirement homes such as you are imagining for senior citizens. This is a fictitious tale of what I imagine a lightkeeper might look for in a home when he retires. None of these homes are actually inhabited by a lighthouse keeper, as far as I know, but they appealed to me as a place where a keeper might like to retire.

Most keepers hate to leave their lighthouse homes at all, but sometimes, as in my case, retirement beckons too strongly and we give up the solitary life. Maybe we would move into . . . 

1. How about this one?

I saw this little dwelling and its location and immediately fell in love with it. It is isolated; it is near water; it even has a boat (note the kayak beneath the house). I still ride a bicycle, so why not paddling a kayak into old age? Perfect location for me.

The photograph is by Irene Becker for National Geographic Picture of the Day: A Tiny River House in Serbia. The website says:

A house in the middle of the Drina River near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia. The Drina is a 346 km long river that forms much of the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. It is the longest tributary of the Sava River and the longest karst river in the Dinaric Alps.

i searched via Google Earth and finally found the location at latitude 43°59’3.73″N, Longitude 19°33’59.67″E (Google Earth KML file with several more photos of the house). Continue reading

Severance Pay for Retiring Lightkeepers is Finished!

You all know what severance pay is do you not?

Severance pay is pay (and sometimes benefits) an employee receives when he or she leaves employment. Severance pay is most typically offered for employees who are laid off or retire.

Just recently the the Canadian Government, Treasury Board Branch, has forcibly modified the collective agreements of these three groups PA, SV and EB  so that Severance Pay is no longer paid upon retirement. It is still available if you are laid off.

PA Program and Administrative Services SV Operational Services EB Education and Library Science
Administrative Services (AS)  Firefighters (FR)  Education (ED)
Information Services (IS)  General Labour and Trades (GS)  Library Science (LS)
Programme Administration (PM)  Heating, Power and Stationary Plant Operations (HP)  Library Science (LS)
Welfare Programmes (WP)  Hospital Services (HS)  
Communications (CM)  Lightkeepers (LI)   
Data Processing (DA)  Ships’ Crews (SC)   
Clerical and Regulatory (CR)  Printing Operations (Advisory) (PR(S)) 
Office Equipment (OE)  Secretarial, Stenographic and Typing (ST)

Continue reading

Ed and Pat Kidder Retire from Nootka Lightstation

Ed and Pat Kidder Retire from Nootka Lightstation

When a water taxi took the latest Coast Guard retirees from Friendly Cove to Gold River on May 3rd, a lightkeeping era ended. Over their 42 year career on the lights—the last 33 at Nootka lightstation—B.C.’s senior keepers Ed and Pat Kidder have seen many technical and political changes.

Two of the lights they tended have been destaffed. Ed was 19 and Pat 18 when they brought their newborn son Dean to Gallows Point in Nanaimo Harbour. The light was an Aladdin-type that sometimes smoked when the pressure changed, and blackened the tower walls.

At Quatsino Sound’s Kains Island, the only way off was from the rocks by the ship’s surf boat. “When they said ‘jump’ you jumped,” Pat recalls.

At Carmanah, everybody “the boss and the wife and the kids,”rode up and down in the coast’s longest highline (350 feet).

Following Scarlett Point Ed rotated two week shifts at Sandheads Light by Steveston. Pat, Dean and their daughter Petronella lived in Nanaimo.

On May 3rd [2003], while forty (40) staff from the Coast Guard Base at Huron Street and the Bartlett red crew watched, Senator Pat Carney presented Ed Kidder with a Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal, one of 17 awarded to veteran lightkeepers for their role in keeping B.C.’s coast safe for mariners.

“Lightkeepers keep people connected,” said Carney, “and no one has done that better than Ed and Pat Kidder.” Article and photographs by Shirley Hewett

Kidder 1

Pat and Ed with Siamese cat Sheba Nootka Sound from the Lightstation.
and toy poodle Macho

Kidder 2

Nootka Sound from the Lightstation.


Reposted from the Canadian Coast Guard Association (CCGA) Newsletter June 2003