Date: 28 April
Location: West Coast Fossil Park
Contact: Nadia/Wendy/Hildegard: 022 766 1606 | [email protected]
Memoirs of a Lighthouse Keeper – Cape Colombine,
the last manned lighthouse in South Africa.
Presented by Jacob Greeff
Cape Columbine is a two-hour drive from Cape Town situated in the Tietiesbaai Nature Reserve, close to Paternoster.
Cape Columbine owes its name to the British wooden snow ‘Columbine’ which was wrecked in 1829, 1,5km north of the lighthouse.
Prior to the installation of the Cape Columbine lighthouse, the coastline was the burial ground of several ships. In 1876 the iron steam troopship SS Saint Lawrence was wrecked on Great Paternoster Point. Bound for Cape Town she was carrying the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Buffs. No lives were lost. Other ships to meet their demise in this region were: the Portuguese twin-screw mail-steamer SS Lisboa (1910), SS Haddon Hall (1913), SS Malmesbury (1930) and the SS Haleric which floundered off Cape St Martin (1932).
Urban legend has it that the SS Lisboa was laden with a large quantity of red wine, which stained the sea. Fortunately, a large number of unscathed barrels which washed ashore, were buried by the locals and retrieved much later after exasperated custom officials had finally returned home!