Lighthouse keepers

A lighthouse has a bright light to warn boats not to get too close to a rocky shore. The lightkeeper is the person who maintains the lighthouse.

Norbie Brant is a BC coastal lightkeeper. He usually works seven days a week.

What do lightkeepers do?

“Being a lightkeeper is kind of like being a farmer,” says Norbie. “You have to be self-motivated and self-sufficient.”

Norbie checks the lighthouse engines and cleans the lantern. He paints the railings and cuts the grass. He also provides weather reports to Environment and Climate Change Canada every three hours.

“Marine and air traffic depend on these weather reports,” says Norbie. “Lightkeepers have been reporting for 150 years. Climatologists rely on this data. It shows trends over time.”

Where are lighthouses?

Many lighthouses are in remote places.

Norbie spent 33 years at the Cape Beale lighthouse at Pacific Rim National Park. It was very remote. He had groceries and supplies delivered once a month.

“You have to ration,” he says. “Every month when that delivery comes, it’s like Christmas!”

Now Norbie fills in for other lightkeepers when they go on vacation.

Submitted by Trish Weatherall • Photo: Pixabay/Wolfgang Claussen