ILLW - International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend
The Lady Bay Upper Lighthouse (AU0049) was first activated by Greg McNamara, VK3UT, in 2008 with the aim of participating in the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. It has been activated every year since and has acquired a growing band of enthusiastic operators. The core team is Greg- VK3UT, Shaun - VK3VLY, Ron - VK3VBI, Robert - VK3ARM, Peter - VK3PAH, and Mark - VK3UA. There is also many "drop in" operators over an ILLW weekend to help out.
The idea for the Flagstaff Hill Amateur Radio DX Group was formulated in 2013 as a result of the successes of previous years. In 2014, VK3DX was acquired for use as the official FHARDXG callsign.
Lady Bay Lighthouse(s) History
The Lady Bay Lighthouse Complex was originally built in 1858-9 of basalt quarried on the Salt Water (Maribynong) River, Melbourne . The upper tower, chartroom, cottage and privy were originally located on Middle Island near the outlet of the Merri River , with a lower light located on a timber tower on the beach. It soon became apparent that the middle island location was not satisfactory with the light obscured by heavy seas.
In 1871 the lights and all associated buildings, along with the privy, were moved to their current location on Flagstaff Hill as leading lights for the entry to the treacherous and shallow Warrnambool Harbour . The lower light was placed on a bluestone obelisk that had been erected there as a navigation marker in 1854.
A flagstaff had been erected on the hill as early as 1853 very soon after the settlement of the Warrnambool district.
The Lady Bay Lighthouse Complex is of architectural significance as a fine example of Public Works Department architecture of the 1850s and 1880s. The modest but dignified and sturdy lighthouse structures are indicative of the importance of lighthouses to the communities that relied upon them to facilitate safe passage for shipping, at a time when such transport was crucial to relatively isolated towns like Warrnambool.
Read more lighthouse history here >>