Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lighthouse Work Party

We had no idea that today was going to be such an exciting day at the lighthouse when Dave first organized a work party. Cold front conditions were perfect for digging in and getting some major projects done. It was also perfect timing because Annie Potts, director of the Bahamas Lighthouse Preservation Society and Michael Pateman from the Nassau Antiquities Department were on site. I think that Mr. Pateman (in red shirt) was amazed at what we were all doing and gave us his approval, taking several photos to show his department staff back in Nassau. As an added bonus, Mr. Forbes, the father of one of the lighthouse keepers (in grey shirt), was visiting his son and he is the retired lighthouse keeper who started back in 1968! What a wealth of knowledge and history this man has. It was wonderful listening to his interesting stories.

We had two major projects that were accomplished with our volunteers. One was to finish rebuilding the dock that Dave and friends partially rebuilt last season. Originally the pier was made out of concrete, but it has a few spots where it has caved in. Used wood decking that was donated from Lighthouse Marina made a solid dock cover for it.

Even Lucy the talking dog, wanted to be part of the action.

The second project was to clean out the small pump house, vacuum it and distribute the contents to appropriate areas. The place was filled with all sorts of items and old boat parts. This building formerly pumped the kerosene from the barges up to the lighthouse. Now the kerosene comes in jerry jugs (the light uses 2 1/2 gallons per night).

Finally more garbage was picked up around the property, the storage building (that is now a workshop) was cleaned up and reorganized, and all the famous Christmas lights were checked. Any strands that didn't work were disposed of.

Mr. Pateman also thought it was fine that the Hope Town Harbour Rats (spearheaded by HTSC Race Committee Chairman Heinz) have been working on restoring Abaco Dinghies on site, since they also have historical significance.

 What a great feeling to know we have made a difference in keeping so much of the history alive!

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