Big plans in place for Point Prim Lighthouse
The province’s oldest lighthouse will be getting a lot of tender, loving care.
The Point Prim Lighthouse Society hopes by November to have its namesake lighthouse under its operation.
The process of having the federal government divest the lighthouse to this volunteer community group has been a long, drawn out one stretching over 10 years.
But there is now a bright light in sight, and society members like treasurer Doreen Huestis are eager to get to work.
“We plan to do a lot of work there and we can’t do anything until we own it,’’ she says.
Well, the exterior of the lighthouse was recently painted at the society’s expense.
The work just couldn’t wait, notes Huestis.
The society has several priority projects, including enlarging the parking lot, where a lot of tour buses from the cruise ships currently struggle to get in and out of the scenic stop.
Washrooms will be built. Down the road, a gift shop will also be opened.
Also, the society realizes the need to do more to help reduce the pace of erosion of the high, red cliffs at Point Prim.
That will be a costly, ongoing exercise.
The society will receive a onetime capital fund from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which recently awarded the Point Prim lighthouse and five other P.E.I. lighthouses heritage protection.
Huestis says the Point Prim lighthouse is a “huge tourist draw’’, attracting more than 5,000 visitors a year.
“People love lighthouses,’’ she says.
“I think there is a sort of romantic feeling about the lighthouse keeper (once) protecting the sailors going by.’’
The Brighton Beach front range in Charlottetown is the only lighthouse on P.E.I. to be divested.
DFO says 15 other lighthouses in P.E.I. that have business plans under consideration for protected status are in the assessment phase.
It could take years for those to be finalized.
Tour guide Sara MacRae sits in front of the Point Prim Lighthouse, which is expected to be divested to a volunteer community group by November. The group, called the Point Prim Lighthouse Society, has many projects planned to upgrade the popular tourist spot.