Lighthouse Dispatches – by Paul Morralee
Porphyry Island Lightkeepers reflect on successful summer.
More wind and waves have come to the island as the change of season starts to take place. With a fire in the light keepers’ dwelling furnace, hot tea off the stove, and windows washed by driving rain, it’s nice to be indoors.
Time to reflect and pause on the lighthouse group’s work this summer and to draw upon the sense of community we felt this summer on the island.
It’s a challenge to capture the energy and excitement but it was through the commitment of many that this lighthouse island continues to grow and evolve slowly.
Our Great Trail (TransCanada Trail) event last weekend brought together many members, volunteers, board of directors, and guests to witness our achievement in managing a lighthouse destination for all visitors.
This year we saw an increase of twenty-five percent more visitors to the island over last year; who came to experience the well-manicured nature trails, panorama views of Lake Superior and learn more about our history.
Our assistant light keeper summer staff Iloe Ariss and Mathew Sloan provided guests with activity, events and opportunities to interpret further our connection to this great lake. Without the support of the Canada Summer Jobs program we would have been challenged to provide this wonderful support to our many visitors.
The benefit that our Artist in Residence brought to us was a refreshed view of the lake and island. The many views witnessed through the artists’ eyes brought us closer to an understanding as to what people are attracted to and enjoy.
This years dock works was helped substantially, through the kind assistance of volunteers from the Thunder Bay Yacht Club. The new floating docks now allow bigger boats a place to tie up for the night, before continuing their journey east or west, and occasionally south to the US.
The Voyageur Outward Bound Group from Ely, MN, made a great contribution to our operation this summer by clearing our main trail of blow-down and securing a wood supply for next season. We also saw the Ministry of Natural Resources- Forestry Youth Rangers clear a new coastal nature trail so visitors can see the beauty of our lake from another angle.
Whether arriving by paddle, sail or power, the island always transform from a destination to an exploration. Most of our visitors were immediately aligned to the natural beauty the island had to offer but surprises occasionally appear. For example found this week in the black rocky shoreline was a ribbon of white quarts, three centimeters wide and thirty-meters long, before sinking and being lost below the waves, begging more questions than answers.
To everyone who visited this season; thanks for your input, your support and assistance to continue to provide a destination for all visitors. The board of directors of the Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior appreciate your feedback and comments at anytime.
As the season winds down we will all assess our summer and prepare to again bring the best of Lake Superior to our members and friends.