Caroline Woodward lives at a light station near Tofino, B.C. The lighthouse is on Lennard Island. The lighthouse is very important. It has lights that guide ships along the rocky shores of the Pacific coast.
Caroline and her husband, Jeff, have lived and worked at more than 12 lighthouses along the B.C. coast. The couple have jobs to do at the light station. They share the work.
Caroline and Jeff have other occupations
As well as working at the light station, both Caroline and Jeff have other occupations. Caroline is a writer. She writes poetry, books for adults and books for children. Jeff is a photographer.
Read the story.
Growing up in a small town
Caroline grew up near Cecil Lake, a small town in northern British Columbia. She went to a one-room school. The school was far from her home. She had to walk for one mile and then take a bus.
She loved growing up in a small community. She says, “There were hundreds of acres of land, horses to ride, forts to build and a radio which ran on batteries.” Her family did not have electricity or running water.
Caroline moved to Fort St. John to go to high school. It was there that she started to write. Her first job was writing for the Alaska Highway News.
“I am wearing a sun hat, ear protectors, gloves, rain pants and steel-toed gumboots. Washing the walkway is a long and wet job. It is important to remove the slimy old and dirt from the tanks and cement walkways.”
— Caroline Woodward
Where are Cecil Lake and Lennard Island? click on: maps-british-columbia
Caroline has written several books. Her first book was based on her childhood. It is called Disturbing the Peace.
In 1999, she wrote a book of short stories for adult new readers called Work is a 4-Letter Word. Her newest book is about her life as a lighthouse keeper. It is called Light Years. A Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper.
Going on book tours
Caroline travels around the province reading from her new book. She talks about life at the lighthouses. She also shows photos taken by her husband, Jeff. People like hearing about her life. They ask her many questions.
Caroline has many jobs to do at the light station
Caroline loves her life
“I am very happy at this stage of my life. I am writing nearly full-time, living on the wild West Coast. I am surrounded by books and wild ocean beauty and I have excellent company. I count my blessings daily.”
— Caroline Woodward
Watch this short film, called Beautiful Lennard Island.
The Lennard Island light station is on a tiny island near Tofino, British Columbia. In this film Steven Thomas Holland, age 10, tells about his life in his island home. He takes us on a tour. This film is part of the National Film Board of Canada Children of Canada series made in 1977 by Beverly Shaffer.
Links to more photos of light stations and light houses in B.C.
Find out more about Caroline Woodward on her website.
Story written by Patty Bossort
All photos by Jeff George