International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend – 8/15 – 16/2015

Written By: Dick - Aug• 15•15

By Peg Wiley;
The Oak Orchard Lighthouse and Orleans County Amateur Radio Club (OCARC) are partnering up again to participate in the International Lighthouse-Lightship Weekend on August 15-16, 8 am – 5 pm at the Orleans County Marine Park at the far north tip of Route 98 at Oak Orchard Harbor, Point Breeze. The event is open to the public and draws together Ham Radio operators who set up their craft at Lighthouses and Lightships around the world to link in with each other for this exclusive event. Both organizations worked hard with the ILLW organizers to accept the Oak Orchard Lighthouse into the annual event, and this is the 5th year of participation. The Oak Orchard light is regulated by the US Coast Guard though not found on nautical charts as the lights on the breakwater at the head of the harbor are the legal nautical lights. The event showcases the plight of lighthouses around the world as modern technology trumps the old way of marking the way for sailors. It also brings attention to the critical importance of Ham Radio operators, whose worldwide communication system is relied on for emergency response. The Oak Orchard Lighthouse was rebuilt to scale in 2010, utilizing information from the National Archives in Washington, DC. The original lighthouse, built in 1871, was located at the end of a pier on the west side of Oak Orchard Harbor. Abandoned by the federal government in the early 1900’s, the pier and structure went into disrepair and the lighthouse was finally taken by Lake Ontario’s fury in a winter storm, December 1916. The full scale replica of the Oak Orchard Lighthouse was built by community determination. Please come, bring the kids to this interesting event, where you’ll listen as our local amateur radio operators make contact with operators at lighthouses around the world. OCARC and the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum are also looking for volunteers for their organization’s efforts. For more, or 682-4383

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