SHINING BRIGHT: Friends of South Solitary Island members Stefan Bruggisser and Rob Trezise will be lighting up the South Solitary Island beacon at 9am today.
SHINING BRIGHT: Friends of South Solitary Island members Stefan Bruggisser and Rob Trezise will be lighting up the South Solitary Island beacon at 9am today. Rob Wright

Friends shed light on history

FRIENDS of South Solitary Island (FOSSI) will again shine a light on the need for a dedicated place to display the historic optic from the offshore lighthouse.

Worth about $5 million on today's market, the optic will be a beacon once again today and July 26 from 9am until noon to both celebrate the annual helicopter tours to the lighthouse but also to highlight its Australian Maritime Heritage listing and deserving place on the Coffs Coast map after years of being kept in the dark.

FOSSI co-ordinator Rob Trezise said the group was putting a plan to Coffs Harbour City Council calling for a maritime museum to be incorporated in the next stage of the Jetty Foreshore upgrade featuring a replica lighthouse where the optic could be housed.

"While the new museum will be opening in only a few weeks' time, it will not be able to display the optic and until a maritime museum is built, the optic will remain largely unseen for most of the year," Mr Trezise said.

"As a first order optic, made in 1880, it is one of only two on public display anywhere in Australia and the only one where all original panels and glass have remained intact."

The optic will be available for public viewing at the former Coffs Harbour Regional Museum in Harbour Dr which is now the Seniors Table Tennis Club Rooms, next door to the Cavanbah Centre.

Visit http://www.southsolitaryislandlighthouse.com.au for more information.



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