Monday, August 9, 2010
Oh! Sure! The grand old lighthouse would be still standing on the point, flashing out its warning to passing ships. But the two cottages which held the lightkeepers, their wives and kids and helpers, and the four work sheds, would have been demolished and the grounds once again covered with scrub, unfortunately a lot of it not natural to that beautiful Aussie area.
It took Stuart several years to fight bureaucrats and the system before he finally gained permission for restoration. When permission finally came it took him three years to rebuild the station to better than its former glory. He did it all for nothing, working daylight 'till dark seven days a week.
Shirley even put $130,000 of her own money into the restoration, which I believe she will never fully recover. Read Stuart's book, Light of Their Lives, if you want to see the full story of the trouble they had.
I used to go up every couple of months for a week or two to help out. One time I got off the LARC only to find Stuart looking like a tired old man. He said he wasn't feeling well but was still working daylight to dark, seven days a week.
I made him get on the LARC and see a doctor back in Agnes Water. He returned with a packet of pills, said he had Ross River Fever, and kept on working.
How tough was he with the volunteers? One day, with just the two of us putting up fibro wall panels on opposite sides of the front cottage, I bent a nail on the fibro sheet which I was hammering on to a door frame. I swore, but it wouldn't matter because the bent nail would have been hidden forever once I put the architrave (the moulding board) over the fibro around the door frame. Hidden for-bloody-ever.
A few seconds later Stuart appeared.
"What were you swearing at?" he said.
"Nothing," said I. He looked around the fibro.
"You bent a nail," he said. "Get it out and straighten it."
"Like hell," said I. "It will be behind the architrave and hidden forever."
"Get it out," he demanded.
"Get stuffed," said I and stormed out into the front yard.
Stuart extracted the nail, straightened it out and hammered it back in.
I came back, hammered the architrave around the door frame and hid the formerly bent nail forever.
Posted by Kavanagh's Queensland at 7:05 AM