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01.01.17 - MERRY ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE

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.

 

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 – )

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
 
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