The Hamilton Spectator

Pete Coletti



PETE COLETTI was Hamilton’s last lighthouse keeper. He kept the light at the Beach Canal Lighthouse and lived at a nearby lightkeepe­r’s cottage for 23 years. Coletti looked like pirate and shared the cottage with a parrot named Gasbag, a Doberman named Dogface and different women over the years. At one point late in his tenure, his answering machine startled callers when his deep-throated voice intoned “Peter Peter the lighthouse keeper and Mary the Mermaid.”

His job entailed checking the equipment three or four times a day, making sure lights to guide ships into the harbour were burning bright. He would do painting and general maintenanc­e. But by 1990, Ottawa automated the light and transferre­d Pete to a lighthouse near Point Pelee that some called Little Alcatraz.

That facility became automated as well, sending Coletti to Gannet Rock Light, off New Brunswick’s Grand Manan Island.

These days at the age of 82, he’s retired, living close to the spray of the Bay of Fundy, near Saint John.

 ??  ?? Pete Coletti: Shared cottage with a parrot named Gasbag.
Pete Coletti: Shared cottage with a parrot named Gasbag.

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