THE historic Point Perpendicular Lighthouse globe will be switched on tomorrow to celebrate the heritage of the fleet for the fast approaching Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review.
The department of defence spent $900,000 last year restoring the light which will make a spectacular sight for seven nights from Friday, September 27 to Friday, October 4.
The lighthouse was active when the original RAN fleet passed through Jervis Bay on its way to Sydney for the first fleet entry in 1913.
Lighthouse Australia vice president Ian Clifford said it was a natural decision to have the lighthouse heritage light turned on for the occasion.
“The navy and the defence are aware of their heritage and the light is a part of that. It was part of the first charter,” said Mr Clifford.
“We turn off the solar light tomorrow before dusk, remove the curtains and put the old light on.
“The grange is open and we welcome visitors to set up a picnic rug and enjoy this special occasion.
“It will be spectacular at dusk and the heritage light is very different to the solar, adding a dimension you wouldn’t normally see,” he said.
HMAS Creswell commanding officer Captain Brett Chandler said he is pleased to have the historic lighthouse feature as part of the International Fleet Review.
“It seems appropriate the old lighthouse will be activated.
“It would have overlooked the passage of the original RAN fleet, and will now be lit up for the centenary,” he said.
A display of lighthouse technologies will be available to view at the bottom of the lighthouse, which will be open from Saturday, September 28 to Thursday, October 4 from 10am to 4pm.
Mr Clifford said the lighthouse was given a fresh coat of paint last year and is the perfect vantage point for the International Fleet Review celebrations.
“Point Perpendicular is a great site and fantastic vantage point to view Jervis Bay,” he said.
The lighthouse was built in 1899 to replace the inaccurately placed Cape St George Lighthouse and is believed to be the first lighthouse in Australia to be built of concrete blocks.
RAN and visiting warships will rendezvous in Jervis Bay on Tuesday, October 1 to conduct final preparations and briefings before sailing to Sydney.
This follows the 1913 route of the original RAN fleet, which visited Jervis Bay before travelling to Sydney.
Over 25 warships are expected in Jervis Bay in preparation for the International Fleet Review.
While there is no public access to either HMAS Creswell, or any of the warships, a number of local events and activities are planned in the Shoalhaven region, see panel at right.