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#388842 - 09/30/10 09:26 AM Halfmoon Caye’s Lighthouse falls after TS Matthew
Marty Offline
While Tropical Depression Matthew brought with it little to no damages as it made landfall in Belize over the weekend, it did wreak havoc off the coast. The Belize Audubon Society has confirmed that a lighthouse, one of the oldest in the country located on Halfmoon Caye near the Turneffe Atoll, was toppled by gale force winds associated with the weather system. Although the site had been decommissioned a few years ago by the Belize Ports Authority it was still employed by the conservation group for various uses. Today Dirk Francisco of the Audubon Society told News Five that employees stationed on Halfmoon Caye evacuated the island on Friday and upon their return to the site following the passage of Matthew discovered that the tower had fallen. According to Francisco a team will be heading out to the site tomorrow to assess the damages.

Channel 5

#389001 - 10/02/10 09:42 AM Re: Halfmoon Caye’s Lighthouse falls after TS Matthew [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Tropical Storm Matthew Falls Lighthouse on Half Moon Caye Natural Monument

Contact: Dirk Francisco, Publicity Officer
Telephone: (work) 223-5004/4987/4988
Email: publicity@belizeaudubon.org
Website: www.belizeaudubon.org

Belize City, Belize, October 1, 2010 - The historic lighthouse at Half Moon Caye has finally given way to the forces of nature, as a result of Tropical Storm Matthew. The Half Moon Caye staff was evacuated from the island in the threat of the storm, so all we know is that it was some time during the weather-event that the structure fell. The discovery was made by staff upon their return to the island on Monday and a complete assessment was conducted on a trip to the island shortly thereafter. The active lighthouse was unaffected and continues to function properly.

The structure, built in 1820, now lies as disintegrated pieces of metal partly in the water at the edge of the island. The lighthouse was upgraded in 1845 and the steel frame added in 1930. Originally located midway between the north and southside of the caye, the lighthouse in recent years had been gradually moving closer to the water as weather phenomena changed the dynamics of the caye, shifting it northward. The old lighthouse was decommissioned in 1997 and since then has been gradually decaying. Efforts were being made to preserve the cultural landmark, but it did not gather enough steam to generate the needed funding. In 1998, a new lighthouse was erected several metres away from the old structure.

Belize Audubon Society is currently seeking funding to erect a multi-function building visually replicating the iconic architectural design of the old lighthouse. This new structure will not only honor the old lighthouse but will also function as a visitor centre, communications center, and patrol and observation deck.


The Belize Audubon Society (BAS) is a non-governmental membership organization dedicated to the sustainable management of Belize’s natural resources through leadership and strategic partnership with stakeholders in order to create a balance between people and the environment. BAS co-manages nine protected areas on behalf of the Belizean citizenry, is actively involved and dedicated to community outreach, environmental education, advocacy, biodiversity conservation and research.
#389003 - 10/02/10 09:46 AM Re: Halfmoon Caye’s Lighthouse falls after TS Matthew [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Half Moon Lighthouse Took Matthew Full-On

When Tropical Storm Matthew fizzled into a tropical depression, there was a universal sigh of relief amongst Belizeans. But except for a few flooded streets and minor beach erosion down south, the only memorable impression made by Matthew is a blow to one of the country's already teetering iconic structure. That structure is the historic lighthouse at Half Moon Caye, which finally gave way to the forces of Mother nature. Remnants of one of the country's oldest lighthouse, built in 1820, can be seen partly submerged in waters at the edge of the island. And, because of its historical significance to that island, and the role it played as one of the major tourist attraction, the Belize Audubon Society, which manages Half Moon Caye, is seeking funding to erect a multi-function building visually replicating the iconic architectural design of the old lighthouse.

Dirk Francisco, Belize Audubon Society
"The lighthouse on Half Moon Caye is an icon in the country of Belize and Belize Audubon Society is currently in the process of enhancing the recreational aspect of Half Moon Caye when it comes to visitors, we want to enhance the visitor area and offer more to the visitors of Half Moon Caye and at the same time ensuring the continuous conservation of the bio-diversity on Half Moon Caye natural monument. So we have been designing concepts of the multifunction building that we want to build there and we use the lighthouse on Half Moon Caye as a idea to build replica of that lighthouse on Half Moon Caye. Anybody who have visited Half Moon Caye would notice that old lighthouse on the island from a distance and because of the age of that lighthouse it became like an icon for half Moon itself although the main attraction on Half Moon Caye is the nesting colony of the red footed booby bird, but most people that go there they are like 'Hey that's a magnificent old structure' so it's a significant cultural feature in the Belizean landscape."

The new structure will not only honor the old lighthouse but will also function as a visitor center, communications center, and patrol and observation deck.

Channel 7

#389021 - 10/02/10 11:38 AM Re: Halfmoon Caye’s Lighthouse falls after TS Matthew [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
And this lighthouse is on the cover of the new Destination Belize mag.
Belize based travel specialist

#389159 - 10/04/10 05:48 PM Re: Halfmoon Caye’s Lighthouse falls after TS Matthew [Re: Katie Valk]
Mike Campbell Offline
This lighthouse was a great loss. I am not aware of any maintenance that was done on this historic structure. We certainly need a program to maintain these types of historic structures to preserve our heritage. The lighthouse was irreplaceable. Hopefully it can be recreated and we can learn from this tragedy. The Paslow building was a great loss as well and our Supreme Court Buildings are very historic and worthy of careful maintenance.


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