Keep­ing the light burn­ing bright

Northern Pen - - Local Mayors Look Back At 2018 - BY ADAM RAN­DELL THE CEN­TRAL VOICE BONAVISTA BAY, N.L.

Af­ter dis­cov­er­ing there were still re­mote, iso­lated, light­house keep­ers off our shores, I knew I had to write about it.

I had as­sumed, as did many, these re­mote lo­ca­tions had long ago been au­to­mated. What was it like liv­ing in such a small space and be­ing away from fam­ily for weeks at a time? I needed to know, and I needed to see it for my­self.

But it took some time to line up, and I’m ex­tremely glad I was given the dead­line lee­way to make it come to­gether the way I had en­vi­sioned.

DFO was work­ing to ar­range an in­ter­view and a site visit wasn’t ruled out. Weeks af­ter the ini­tial call, and com­pletely out of the blue, a crew change was hap­pen­ing, and I was booked for the he­li­copter flight to Puf­fin Is­land, off of Green­spond, in Bonavista Bay.

What hap­pened next was a vis­ually spec­tac­u­lar scene, a he­li­copter de­scend­ing onto a tiny is­land with a light­house. And it got even bet­ter when prin­ci­pal light keeper Craig Burry was wait­ing for me with his dog Molly, who al­ways makes the trip. It was fea­turewrit­ing gold.

I of­ten start the writ­ing process by de­scrib­ing a sin­gle mo­ment in time as a jump­ing off point, but there was so much to work with this time around, and the in­jec­tion of Burry and Molly’s move­ments through­out the en­tire trip al­lowed me to cre­ate what I con­sider – from be­gin­ning to end – my most mem­o­rable story from 2018.

As for Burry and Molly, both have re­ceived their fair share of at­ten­tion since the story ran. While it’s not some­thing Burry prefers, he is will­ing to ac­cept it, as the ar­ti­cle shone a light on a pro­fes­sion that can of­ten be over­looked.

PHOTO BY ADAM RAN­DELL

Af­ter a 28-day stint, prin­ci­pal light­keeper Craig Burry and Molly, his three­year-old black Labrador re­triever, head home to Wes­leyville to spend time with fam­ily.

Adam Ran­dell

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