Merry Island Lighthouse is situated on the Strait of Georgia, separating Welcome Pass and Malaspina Straits. Merry Island is located nearest the Sunshine Coast community of Halfmoon Bay, BC, Canada. The island is not open to the public, but many boaters and kayakers stroll by the island to observe the working lighthouse. The Halfmoon Bay area was originally occupied by the Coast Salish nation, Shishalh tribe. Archaeological studies have recorded 38 recognized sites containing shell middens, rock shelters and stone fish traps, now all protected by the BC Heritage Conservation Branch.
William T. Franklin and his wife Mary Ann, were the first lighthouse keepers which they manned for thirty years until 1932. In 1966, the current lighthouse was built and electrical and telephone cables were laid across the Pass. A welcome sight to a community dependent on safe maritime passage along it’s rugged coastline. In 1924, 220 vessels passed Merry Island during daylight hours.
The island is comprised of two parts, one section is 17 hectares (42 acres) and is private land. Often, deer will swim to this side of the island from nearby islands to graze. There are some foot trails on the north side of the island. The Lighthouse has a square base, with a tower (12 metres (40 feet) in height) rising from the corner of the building. Two red maple leaves, sculpted in relief, add to the visual interest of the lighthouse. Navigation Latitude 49° 28″ 1′ Longitude -123° 54″ 43′ Strait of Georgia | Height Above Water 60 feet Light Characteristics | White flash every 15 seconds Halfmoon Bay | British Columbia | Canada
KEEPERS: William Thomas Franklin (1903 – 1932), Jonathon Allardice Fleming (1933 – 1936), Ellie Joseph LeClerc (1935 – 1939), Helen LeClerc (1939 – 1945), William Charles Copeland (1945 – 1950), George Potts (1951 –1966), James William Kippen (1966 – 1978), Maurice Collette (1979 – 1987), Don Richards (1987 – )
After General Alexander Duncan McRae settled in Vancouver in 1907 he build a home for his family in Shaughnessy which became known as Hycroft Manor. The home was built on the brow of a hill on 5 1/2 acres.
Designed by Vancouver architect Thomas Hooper, the land and construction upon which the 30 room 3 story structure was build, cost $109,00 in 1911. After the death of his wife Blanche McRae in 1942, Hycroft Manor was donated to the Government of Canada. During the war the property was the site of the Shaughnessy Military Hospital, and served as an auxiliary facility for 18 years. It was eventually taken over by the University Women’s Club in 1962 who manage the facility to this day.
Although this unused gate suggests a prohibitive state of inactivity, the vibrant green suggests quite another story. The University Women’s Club of Vancouver has been promoting education, rights and opportunities for women for over a 100 years.