Cape Borda Lighthouse

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Date: 26 Dec 2017 [unknown]
Location: Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, Australiamap
Surnames/tags: Kangaroo Island South Australia
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This Page is provided by the Kangaroo Island Early Settlers Project.


The Cape Borda Lightstation, Kangaroo Island

LIGHT ON CAPE BORDA. Intimation has been received in this department from the masters and warders of the Trinity House of South Australia, that a light will in all probability be exhibited on Cape Borda, the west end of Kangaroo Island, on or about the 1st May next. The light will be revolving, red and bright, with intervals of 30 seconds between each exhibition ; it will stand about 510 feet above high water mark, and in clear weather will be visible at a distance of 30 miles. The lighthouse will be in latitude 35-45-20 S.f longitude 136-38-0- E.
By his Excellency's command,
Henry Miller
Department of Trade and Customs.
The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (NSW : 1844 - 1860) Mon 29 Mar 1858 Page 63

The "Flinders Light"

First named the "Flinders Light" in honour of Capt Matthew Flinders, the lighthouse was built at Cape Borda by the Trinity Board (South Australia) and in 1858 the government schooner Yatala landed the Master and Wardens of the Trinity Board to inspect the lighthouse and buildings. The light was lit on July 13th. Design was by Assistant Colonial Architect Mr Hyndman, and the building contractor was Mr Goodiar. The first head lightkeeper was Captain J.W.Woodward, until his death at Cape Borda in October the same year. The second keeper was Mr Stokes; third keeper, Mr Fowles. [1]

Wreck of the Fides

In 1860 the head Keeper was a Mr WilliamTapley and The Second Keeper was Mr Charles Johnson. They were first to hear news of the wrecking of the Finnish barque Fides about 16 miles off Cape Borda. Amidst storm and strong winds, Johnson took the five survivors in a whaleboat to Port Adelaide. He carried to the Trinity Board a letter from Tapley that was also signed by G.W.Tinkler Esq. (Unknown who this was). [2]
The survivors put a notice in "The Advertiser" 12th June 1860 as follows:

Sir-We the undersigned survivors of the wreck " Fides," , beg to express our warmest thanks to you for your kindness in bringing us up to Port Adelaide from the scene of our late misfortune. With every wish for your success in future life, we beg to remain
Yours deeply obliged,
A. H. HJULMAN, Chief Officer.
F. F. ROSENLUND, Carpenter.
F. HOGMAN, Steward.
C. W. SPETS, )
C. MARTENS,) Seamen
Adelaide, June 8,1860.

Further Reading


  1. Adelaide Times (SA : 1848 - 1858) Thu 14 Jan 1858 Page 3 TRINITY BOARD
  2. South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Fri 8 Jun 1860 Page 2 WRECK OF THE FIDES.—TEN LIVES LOST

Research Notes

  • Keepers:

1858: Head Capt J.W.Woodward, 2nd Stokes, 3rd Fowles
1858 death of Woodward.</br> 1860 Head Wm Tapley, 2nd Charles/H. Johnson 3rd Andrew Porteus Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904) Sat 3 Nov 1860 Page 8 MARINE BOARD
1862 Head Wm Tapley Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904) Sat 1 Feb 1862 Page 5 THE GOVERNOR-IN-CHIEF.
1864 Head Mr Brace/Bruce. The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Wed 14 Dec 1864 Page 3 MARINE BOARD.

  • Unloading of stores

"The boats of the Yatala having made altogether about thirty trips against a veiy strong wind, by 0.30 p.m. the whole ol the cargo for Cape Borda was disembarked and safely landed," South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Sat 11 Feb 1860 Page 3 THE LIGHTHOUSES

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