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Memento : Issue 20
may 2002 memento 11 The 90-year-old lighthouse, which closed in 1967, looks out over the Indian Ocean near Exmouth, Western Australia. After more than 30 years of standing silent and virtually ignored, it has been faithfully restored to its former glory by lighthouse enthusiasts Ron Campbell and Wayne Britten. The restoration was a labour of love that took some three months of solid hard work. The restorers stripped back, repainted and even replaced parts of walls that had badly deteriorated, repaired the clock mechanism, and polished the crystal lens and brass. They were aided in their efforts by archival records held in our Perth Office. These records were created by the former Commonwealth Lighthouse Service, and include plans and drawings of the lighthouse in its earlier days of operation. The restorers also drew on the expertise of Ken Baker, a retired Commonwealth Lighthouse Service engineer and draftsman. In the 1950s he worked aboard the SS Cape Otway, a vessel which sailed up and down the Western Australian coast for over 30 years servicing all the lighthouses and beacons. Vlaming Head Lighthouse, restored to its former grandeur, was opened to the public for guided tours in April 2001. One of the milestones in a lighthouse restoration project is the re-igniting of the original light. Fortunately, the lighthouse's original vaporised kerosene system incorporating a Chance mantle was intact. On the evening of 14 July 2001 it was successfully re-lit, much to the joy of some 800 people assembled to witness the historic event. The restorers continue to search for historical records on the Vlaming Head Lighthouse. Readers who might be able to help them, or plan to visit the area, can contact the lighthouse by phoning 0407 970 647 or emailing Fluid_reflections@nwc.net.au. Vlaming Head Lighthouse, Western Australia, recently restored to its former glory. Photograph by Tony Caravella, NAA Perth Office. Built in 1912 and with a balcony elevated some 73 metres above sea level, the recently restored Vlaming Head Lighthouse is a testament to the efforts of its conservators and to the benefit of using archival material in major restoration projects. A shining light, once more