This coming weekend is International Lighthouse Weekend where Lighthouse managers, keepers and owners are encouraged to open their lighthouse or light station and related visitor centre to the public with a view to raising the profile of lighthouses and preserving maritime heritage. Lighthouses all over the world have become involved in one or another lighthouse activity.
One of the major international events is the ILLW (International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (see illw.net) run by the Amateur Radio Group and attracts over 500 lighthouse entries located in over 40 countries. It is one of the most popular international amateur radio events in existence. There is little doubt that the month of August has become “Lighthouse Month” due largely to the popularity and growth of the ILLW.
For the first time ever Seal Point lighthouse in Cape St Francis has been chosen by local amateur radio presenter, Keverne Burger from the Port Elizabeth Amateur Radio Society to be a participating lighthouse. Keverne will spend Saturday and Sunday inside the tower of the lighthouse communicating with other radio enthusiasts based in or near lighthouses around the world. Keverne says “The aim is to make contact with another radio station, wherever they may be. We give the reference of the lighthouse, the signal report and the name of the person talking. Under normal circumstances we chat with people around the world and make friends. It’s a great hobby! We have also worked successfully with a youth development programme where we train underprivileged youth and get them licensed.”
Sunday also happens to be Family Day at Seal Point Lighthouse to raise funds for Talhado Children’s Haven and Montessori Preschool in Seavista which educates and runs a feeding scheme for close to 100 children aged between 3 and 6 years old. A yoga session with Jade Dace will kick off the day at 9am, followed by a fun run/walk around the pristine grounds surrounding the lighthouse at 10am. Food, juice, baked goods, seedlings, art and other goodies will be available to purchase. Talhado’s very own marimba band will be playing in the grounds of the lighthouse. And, of course you can take a trip up the tower of the lighthouse to enjoy the views from the top, and on the way up you will probably see Keverne in action, connecting with lighthouses around the world.
Clinton Hempel, one of the owners of Petrel Ventures, the leaseholder of the Seal Point Lighthouse Estate, said he and his fellow shareholders are delighted to welcome Keverne and all Cape St Francis residents and visitors alike to the Seal Point Lighthouse on this special weekend. “We have spent an enormous amount of time and energy over the past 18 months refurbishing the Seal Point Lighthouse Estate, to bring this iconic Cape St Francis fixture firmly back within our community. We look forward to a fun-filled weekend, all in aid of an excellent local cause”.
If you would like more information on the fundraiser please visit our Facebook page, Talhado Childrens Haven, or contact Cath on 0764126090. ‘
Article by Cath Hempel