Most of us can only dream of what life was like at a remote lighthouse, something that is even more difficult to imagine what family life at light stations along the rugged and often desolate coast of Canada’s British Columbia was like.
But as we revisit Santa’s arrival to some of these remote lighthouses in 1968, we’d love to hear from lighthouse keepers and family members who grew up at these lighthouses that might have stories and photographs to share with us.
According to a story published by the British Columbia Department of Travel Industry in 1968 Santa Claus arrived at their remote light stations by any means possible so the families of the lighthouse keepers could celebrate Christmas just like people on the mainland would.
As Christmas approached plans were made well ahead of time to make sure lighthouse keepers and their families received that special visit from dear old St. Nick. The Coast Guard ship Camsell, under the command of Capt. John Strand, which made regular visits to the remote lighthouses with supplies, had one special visit that included a special white bearded passenger on board, who dressed in a bright red outfit. Actually on that 1968 trip it was chief steward George Thomas who impersonated the jolly old man.
While the people on the mainland would celebrate Christmas, few ever thought about the families who guarded the well being of those traversing the icy cold waters of the north Pacific. During the holidays, let us never forget these families and remember to say a prayer in their honor for the history they provided us and the lives they helped to save.
This story appeared in the
December 2008 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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