After years of a slogging through process

After years of a slogging through process

New guide book explores historic local lighthouses

Shirley resident John Walls launches To the Lighthouse, An Explorer’s Guide to the Island Lighthouses of Southwestern BC

After years of a slogging through process, Shirley resident John Walls is ecstatic at the finished product, To the Lighthouse, An Explorer’s Guide to the Island Lighthouses of Southwestern BC.

“The idea was to produce a book on lighthouses, which there weren’t any, to raise money for the (Sheringham Point) lighthouse,” said Walls, also an executive on Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society. “I’d always be on the (society meeting) agenda to talk about the book and there were times I’d have to get very creative because I had nothing to say. I just kept on it and it came to fruition.”

The guide features five Greater Victoria lighthouses, including those on Trail Island and Discovery Island off the shores of Oak Bay, as well as Fisgard, Race Rocks and Fiddle Reef.

Featuring only the local lighthouse would limit sales and interest, so he set out to feature 25 sites to cover a decent market area. “The original concept was a coffee table book. I wanted to do a hard cover (as) there are beautiful shots … 60 from all of BC. It was an aggressive project,” he said. “I went through a couple authors who took up the project and couldn’t finish.

Then he came across Peter Johnson, known locally for his award-winning 2013 historical book Quarantined: Life and Death at William Head Station, 1872-1959.

“Once he agreed to do the writing it went into hyper speed,” Walls said. The duo pulled the project together in less than a year.

“It’s got a neat format where each one has a ‘getting there’ and a rating which is dead easy to really hard,” Walls added. “It has namesake, history, weird stuff … some of them more weird.”

They did however, need a photographer in that new short timeline and discovered Richard Paddle.

“He went crazy … he even hired helicopters for aerials,” Walls said. Filled out with images of the more challenging sites, sourced from friends and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the pages were complete and are now on shelves.

The guidebook includes tidbits on getting to the lighthouses, the names, the weird, design/construction and keepers’ tales.

“It’s a guide book number one, but there’s history on every lighthouse. You can see why it’s called Trial Island… and Discovery as well, you can see the namesake,” he said. “It’s got those kind of things the lighthouse geeks want to know about.”

The tidbit missing on Trial Island is that it was designated a federal heritage lighthouse this summer.

“That’s great news. Without all of this work by different groups, some of them can just end up like on the East Coast where they’re bulldozed and it’s history… it’s high-demand property,” Walls said. “We want people to leave their homes and start wherever they want and go see these places.”

To the Lighthouse: An Explorer’s Guide to the Island Lighthouses of Southwestern BC is available online and at Ivy’s Bookshop, Bungalow and Oak Bay Marina gift shop.

 

Just Posted

Mieran Loira, who works at Moxie’s restaurant on Yates Street, was named a winner in the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association’s #StandUpForService campaign. (Courtesy Town Hall Brands)
Victoria Moxies server can’t hide her smile, earns provincial kudos for pandemic work

Personality, charisma shine despite masks, coronavirus challenges

The Jordie Lunn Bike Park officially opened in Langford on June 22. (Kiernan Green/Black Press Media)
Tires hit the dirt for Jordie Lunn Bike Park opening in Langford

Legendary local rider remembers by family, friends

Swanwick Ranch in Metchosin, featuring an award-winning home on 67 acres of property overlooking the ocean, recently sold for a record-setting, yet undisclosed amount. (Sotheby’s International Realty Canada photo)
Sale of oceanfront property in Metchosin yields new record for Greater Victoria

Listed at $14.1 million, Swanwick Ranch sold to an undisclosed buyer

Esquimalt businesses will be no longer be able to provide single-use plastic bags at the checkout counter come August as the municipality looks to curb the volume of soft plastics winding up in the landfill. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prepares to launch plastic checkout bag ban this summer

Bylaw takes effect Aug. 16, businesses will be unable to provide single-use plastic bags

The price of gas is way up in many parts of Greater Victoria after a Monday afternoon surge sent it to 162.9 cents per litre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gas prices surge to 162.9 cents a litre at some Greater Victoria stations

Prices jumped up more than 10 cents Monday afternoon

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

The Somass Sawmill sits idle in early May 2021. While the kilns have been in use occasionally, and the lot has been used to store woodchips this spring, the mill has been curtailed since July 27, 2017. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni to expropriate Somass Sawmill from Western Forest Products

Sawmill has been ‘indefinitely’ curtailed since 2017

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heatwave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

This map outlines the area affected by the open burning prohibition. Via Coastal Fire Centre
Vancouver Island open fire prohibition takes effect June 23

Ban applies to both public and private land, includes fireworks

Most Read