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ON THIS DAY ……… 20th March 1902

The new £2252 lighthouse at a Point Lonsdale, mouth of Port Philip Bay, Victoria was lit for the first time on the evening of the 20th March 1902. The 24 metre high lighthouse had been under construction by builder George Coate for about 14 months. When the foundations was being dug by a workman, he rammed his crowbar into the excavation and it disappeared into the ground. On investigation the crow bar was found inside Buckley’s Cave. Because of this the lighthouse foundations needed to be shifted nearly seven metres eastward. Almost 180 tons of concrete was used to build the lighthouse. (Buckley’s Cave is rumoured to be where escaped convicted William Buckley lived before white settlers arrived in the colony).

 

 

On this day …… 26th January 1935

EPIDEMIC AT LIGHTHOUSE

DOCTOR’S 80-MILE DASH

CAUGHT in the throes of a serious epidemic of whooping cough, six children in the little community at Cape Otway Lighthouse were given relief by a doctor from Colac, who travelled 80 miles over rugged country in response to an urgent call. The children (three boys and three girls, whose ages range from two to 14 years) were attended by their parents for about a week, but when it was realised that the epidemic was spreading the Commonwealth Lighthouse Department in Melbourne was advised. One little girl is still seriously ill. Shortly before noon Mr. A. J. Copaul (headkeeper) communicated with Melbourne asking for medical assistance. The Lighthouse Department, after ascertaining that the epidemic was too serious to he handled by the district nurse at Apollo Bay a few miles away, advised the keeper, to telephone Colac for Dr. K. .Day. Dr. Day was on leave, but Dr. Brown readily agreed to go to the aid of the children. Fifteen minutes after receiving word of the trouble. Dr. Brown left by car for Hordern Vale, 70 miles distant. Travelling at 60 miles an hour, he arrived there at 3p.m., and was met by keepers from the lighthouse. The last 10 miles to the lighthouse were made on a buckboard conveyance, drawn by a horse, over burning sandhills. At 5 p.m. Dr. Brown was at the lighthouse and attending the children. He prescribed medicine and pronounced them all out of danger, although he said that little Audrey Rixon (aged -six years) was in a serious condition, and must be kept in bed until the crisis had passed. Speaking over the long-distance telephone Mr. Copaul said the epidemic started about a week ago, when his little son, Maurice, aged two years, became ill. The epidemic spread until six out of the 13 children at the lighthouse were suffering. They were flushed and feverish, he said, and unable to sleep at night. Never has there been such a unique hospital as that at Cape Otway. There are four lightkeepers with their wives and 13 children on the headland, and together they make a self contained community. Far from any educational centre the children have a school of their own the only lighthouse school in Australia. It is maintained by the Education Department, which provides a teacher. In winter the lighthouse can be approached only by bullock transport over 10 miles, of boggy country. The children were all on holiday when the epidemic swept the lighthouse.

On this day …… 15th January 1930

The Overdue C. B. Pedersen Ship was identified as a four-masted barque which was beating up the Victorian coast for a week was disclosed on this day, when she signalled to the Cape Otway lighthouse. This is the identification signal of the Swedish barque C. B. Pedersen, now 120 days out from Baltic ports with a full timber cargo for Melbourne.

On this day …… 11th January 1930

On this day in 1930, the Cape Otway Lighthouse appeared in the Weekly Times. As you can see, some things never change.

ON THIS DAY ……… 20th March 1902

The new £2252 lighthouse at a Point Lonsdale, mouth of Port Philip Bay, Victoria was lit for the first time on the evening of the 20th March 1902. The 24 metre high lighthouse had been under construction by builder George Coate for about 14 months. When the foundations was being dug by a workman, he rammed his crowbar into the excavation and it disappeared into the ground. On investigation the crow bar was found inside Buckley’s Cave. Because of this the lighthouse foundations needed to be shifted nearly seven metres eastward. Almost 180 tons of concrete was used to build the lighthouse. (Buckley’s Cave is rumoured to be where escaped convicted William Buckley lived before white settlers arrived in the colony).

 

 

12336394_220355754962227_1711998126_nMR. WILLIAM TAYLOR, lighthouse keeper of the Gellibrand pile light in Port Phillip Bay, felt rocking on the 19th of June 1950 – and found a whale scratching its back on the wooden piles. The 100-ton whale rubbed the barnacles from its back and then headed from the pile light, one mile off Williamstown breakwater, to the open sea