Shin­ing lights for ships to sail safely

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SHANICE NAIDOO

THE Green Point light­house has been guid­ing ships from 1824, stand­ing tall, bril­liant white with daz­zling red bands. It was here that the art of light-keep­ing was first taught.

Ac­cord­ing to the book Light­houses of South Africa by Ger­ald Hober­man with Bel­lville con­sul­tant Pharol­o­gist James Col­lo­cott, the light­house’s height was slightly ad­justed in 1864 in or­der to in­stall a new lantern house.

“A long time ago the lantern colour was changed and ex­per­i­mented on be­cause of the build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the back­ground. At one point it was painted yel­low, but then changed back to its orig­i­nal colour of white and red,” said Col­lo­cott.

It was de­clared a na­tional mon­u­ment on Jan­uary 12, 1973, and opened to the pub­lic.

Another in­ter­est­ing light­house is in the beau­ti­ful town of Kom­metjie. It is known as the Slangkop Light­house. Es­tab­lished on March 4, 1919, the light­house is the tallest iron tower on the South African coast.

Stand­ing 33 me­tres high, over the years it helped steer ships around the dan­ger­ous rocks and hid­den reefs.

Cre­ator of the Light­houses of South Africa web­site Si­mon Bail­lie-Cooper told Week­end Ar­gus Slangkop was es­tab­lished as a re­sult of a com­mis­sion ap­pointed on Septem­ber 29, 1906, by Sir Fran­cis Hely Hutchin­son, Gov­er­nor of the Cape of Good Hope.

The Cape Agul­has Light­house has an in­ter­est­ing his­tory. It was mod­elled on one of the seven won­ders of the an­cient world, the Pharos of Alexan­der. The struc­ture was built on March 1, 1849.

This site is known as L’Agul­has – Cape of Nee­dles and was named by the Por­tuguese nav­i­ga­tor Bartholomew Dias in 1488.

| LEON LESTRADE/African News Agency (ANA)

Green Point Light­house is an eye-catch­ing land­mark in Mouille Point with its bold red and white candy stripes. Dat­ing back to 1824, it was the first solidly con­structed light­house built on South Africa’s coast­line. The orig­i­nal lanterns were equipped with sin­gle wick Ar­gand lamps fu­elled by spermwhale oil. The weak rays could not be seen fur­ther than 6 sea miles.

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