Will the Métis-sur-Mer lighthouse turn on again?

The mechanism that previously rotated the light prism needs to be replaced, says Ladd Johnson, president of the Métis-sur-Mer Lighthouse Residents’ Association, the volunteer organization that manages the lighthouse site.

The old mechanism, used since the concrete lighthouse was built in 1909, contained a mercury bath and was no longer usable. The original prism has been retained.

A mechanism was needed to rotate the prism, which weighed several tons. It needs a virtually frictionless system, and the only way to do that without an electric motor is to float it in a mercury bath. But now we have electricity. We no longer need mercury, a toxic elementsays Johnson.

The federation therefore had to find a new ball bearing mechanism, powered by electricity, to replace it.

Symbolically, the light of the lighthouse, the prism, is the focus. This is not urgent. This is not a degradation of lighthouse infrastructure, but it is symbolic [qu’il tourne à nouveau]. »

A quote from Ladd Johnson, President of the Association of Residents of the Point of the Lighthouse of Métis-sur-Mer

Ladd Johnson explains that the Association originally intended to do business with the company that built the original mechanism in the UK, but amid the pandemic, dealing with the company, whose offices are now in Australia, has been difficult.

The organization turned to a Montreal company, Quaketek, which makes this type of ball bearing.

They paid a visit last fall, they measured, made the plan and gave us a suggestion [de travaux] In Decembercontinues Mr. Johnson.

The work to replace the mechanism that rotates the light prism of the Pointe Mitis lighthouse is estimated to cost between $40,000 and $80,000. (Archive)

Photo: Radio Canada / Patrick Bergeron

According to him, the work to replace the mechanism is estimated at between $40,000 and $80,000.

The association of residents of the top of the Métis-sur-Mer lighthouse is therefore looking for funding to start the work. Applications for financial support have already been sent to the various levels of government.

Some donors have raised their hands to fund part of the project, but more donations are needed, according to Ladd Johnson.

If all goes well, the organization’s president estimates that the spotlight could turn again from October.

Johnson. […]Tout le monde veut que le phare soit restauré, mais on veut le restaurer comme il faut. Ça prend un peu plus de temps, un peu plus d’argent et un peu plus de patience, mais on va voir de grandes améliorations cette année. Sans faute.”,”text”:”Je demande aux gens une certaine patience, demande M.Johnson. […]Tout le monde veut que le phare soit restauré, mais on veut le restaurer comme il faut. Ça prend un peu plus de temps, un peu plus d’argent et un peu plus de patience, mais on va voir de grandes améliorations cette année. Sans faute.”}}”>I ask people to be patient, Mr Johnson asks. […] Everyone wants the lighthouse restored, but we want it restored properly. It takes a little more time, a little more money, and a little more patience, but we’re going to see big improvements this year. Without error.

More urgent work needs to be done

Ladd Johnson says the planned work to replace the mechanism that rotates the lighthouse’s light prism is important, but that other renovations are more urgently needed to preserve the historic building.

He states that the lighthouse needs painting to preserve the concrete and metal.

Pointe Mitis Lighthouse.

Painting work is necessary to maintain the lighthouse tower.

Photo: Radio Canada / Marie-Christine Rioux

The cost of this work is estimated to be between US$80,000 and US$100,000. The height of the tower and lantern must also factor into the cost of the works, Mr Johnson believes.

Decades have passed since the last interview. Repairs are pending. »

A quote from Ladd Johnson, President of the Association of Residents of the Pointe du Phare of Métis-sur-Mer

The lighthouse became the property of the town of Métis-sur-Mer in 2016. The residents’ association of the lighthouse in Métis-sur-Mer has had a long-term lease for the infrastructure since 2018.

We have [depuis] collected quite large donations from citizens for the repair of the lighthouseargues Mr Johnson.

According to him, part of the organization’s income comes from renting the lighthouse keeper’s house to tourists.

In collaboration with Isabella steam house

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