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Press Release: International Lighthouse Weekend

Issued: 6 August 2006

HISTORY will come alive for children at Cape Otway Lightstation as International Lighthouse Weekend celebrations take-off around the globe on August 19 and 20.

Kids will have the chance to meet a member of the Morse Codian Fraternity and ask them to tap out a message to friends or family anywhere in the world.

Morse Code experts will operate from the historic Telegraph Station all weekend.

The highly entertaining Colonial Infantry Brigade and Heritage Police will re-enact the sacking of the first lightkeeper Lieutenant Lawrence, who was fired for drunken behaviour and ungentlemanly language.

Children will gain an insight into what life was like by visiting the brigade’s historic camp and listening to their stories.

Between 9am and 5pm both days families can climb the spiral staircase to the top of the iconic lighthouse which was built in 1848.

They can see the giant lens up-close, and go out onto the observation deck and check for passing Southern Right and Humpback whales.

The local Koori community will speak with children about their heritage and culture, explain and demonstrate how their ancestors survived off the land and sea at Cape Otway.

Modern day lightkeepers will read The Lightkeeper’s Lunch and Kira the Koala at 11am on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday. Storytime will be followed by free face-painting.

We take weather reports on the radio and television for granted, but when the winds are howling and it’s raining sideways there’s one man at Cape Otway who has to venture out to record what’s happening and get the results into the Bureau of Meteorology.

Malcolm Brack, who grew up at the Lightstation, will explain what it’s like to be the weather man at Cape Otway from 3pm on Saturday and 4pm on Sunday.

The Colac Herald has a family pass, for two adults and four children, to give away to International Lighthouse Weekend at Cape Otway.

For a chance at winning the pass, write your name, address and telephone number on the back of an envelope, including the year the lighthouse was built.

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