Glow­ing endorsement

Cape Bre­ton light­houses win more than $150,000 in cash prizes.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY GREG MCNEIL gm­c­neil@cb­

Cape Bre­ton light­houses in Neils Har­bour, Gabarus, Low Point and on Henry Is­land were among nine win­ners an­nounced of a provincewide con­test.

The This Light­house Mat­ters cam­paign, un­der the di­rec­tion of the Na­tional Trust of Canada and the Nova Sco­tia Light­house Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety, dis­trib­uted $ 250,000 in prizes Thurs­day.

“We are over the moon. We couldn’t pos­si­bly be more de­lighted,” said Deb­bie Lee Pear­son, spokes­woman for the Low Point Light­house Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety, which re­ceived a $ 75,000 prize for fin­ish­ing first in the high tide cat­e­gory.

The Low Point light­house was de­com­mis­sioned in the late- 80s. Prize money will help to ad­dress ero­sion as it sits on an em­bank­ment in Syd­ney har­bour. The so­ci­ety also hopes to make it a tourist at­trac­tion.

Pear­son said the light has 183 years of history.

“It de­serves a place in history and it de­serves a place in our fu­ture.”

The Gabarus light­house also sits close to an em­bank­ment. A move to firmer ground is now more likely af­ter it won $ 50,000 prize for tak­ing sec­ond place in the high tide cat­e­gory.

Janet McGillen, a spokes­woman for the Gabarus group, said the com­mu­nity ral­lied be­hind the vote for their light­house.

“It’s the cen­tre of our vil­lage, re­ally,” she said. “It’s what ev­ery­one looks for as they are com­ing down the road or com­ing in from the sea, so it is just per­fect.”

She hopes peo­ple will sup­port the light­houses that weren’t win­ners. Peo­ple can still con­trib­ute to the crowd­fund­ing cam­paign by vis­it­ing www.this­place­mat­

“The chances of rais­ing that kind of money are slim and there’s a lot of re­ally beau­ti­ful, his­toric light­houses that are now in jeop­ardy.”

The Henry Is­land light­house near Port Hood has stood for more than a cen­tury along Nova Sco­tia’s western coast.

It took sec­ond in the ebb tide cat­e­gory and $ 20,000 for shin­gles and paint to spruce up the light­house that’s pop­u­lar with lo­cals and visi­tors alike.

“The com­mu­nity goes over on their own in kayaks and speed­boats to visit the is­land,” said David Mac­Don­ald.

“It kind of sits there kind of qui­etly and no one re­ally pays that much at­ten­tion, but when you bring it for­ward ev­ery­body gets on the band­wagon, so that is good.”

The Neils Har­bour light­house took sec­ond place in the low tide cat­e­gory to win a $ 10,000 prize.

The her­itage prop­erty was built in 1899 and the com­mu­nity is work­ing to­ward roof re­pairs, paint­ing a fence on its perime­ter.

There are also plans to host com­mu­nity fes­ti­vals and events to com­mem­o­rate its des­ig­na­tion as a her­itage site.

“It de­serves a place in history and it de­serves a place in our fu­ture.” Deb­bie Lee Pear­son, spokes­woman for the Low Point Light­house Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety


Built in 1832, the Low Point light­house is lo­cated on the Col­liery Route, just 18 kilo­me­tres from the port of Syd­ney. It has been a bea­con to guide mariners and has over­seen ships trav­el­ling to and from the har­bour in times of war.


The Gabarus light­house was built in 1890 and the so­ci­ety cre­ated to pro­tect it says it’s the only hexag­o­nal light­house in Nova Sco­tia.


The Neils Har­bour light­house was built in 1899. It’s lo­cated on the head­land on the east side en­trance to Neils Har­bour, of­fer­ing a panorama of the fish­ing town.


The Henry Is­land light­house was built in 1902. It is a 65foot, red-and-white oc­tag­o­nal tower and has a flash­ing light that still guides ships with a beam can be seen for six miles.

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