When Sheringham Point Lighthouse was first illuminated, in September of 1912, Eustace Arden lit an oil lamp to provide the light source for the 3rd Order Fresnel Lens that had been installed in the lantern room. The Fresnel Lens focused the light into a powerful beam that could be seen many kilometers out to sea. Later electrified and fitted with a more powerful electric lamp, it served the maritime community in the Juan de Fuca Strait exceedingly well for the next 64 years, until 1976, when it was removed and replaced with a rotating electric lens (a Crouse-Hinds DCB36).
Quite often, when old equipment was removed from lighthouses, it was simply discarded (and, in some cases, just dumped in the ocean). Fortunately, however, the Sheringham Point Lighthouse lens was not thrown away but instead was donated to the Sooke Region Museum by (then head lightkeeper) Jim Bruton. Also, the original foghorn assembly (the foghorn “trumpet”, along with the engine, air compressor and compressor tank) was also donated to the museum at the same time. The museum had these items on display for a short while, but eventually they were confined to storage.
Until the summer of 2022. The Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society re-acquired these items from the museum, and in August the lens was re-assembled and installed in the new interpretive centre for all to see. The lens is mounted on an exact replica of the base still existing in the lantern room. The new base was manufactured by Marty Gilbertson (Foggy Mountain Forge in Shirley). Reconstruction of the light was done by Gilbertson, society volunteer Colin McMechan and restoration project manager Ian Fawcett.
On September 30, the 110th Anniversary of the first lighting, a special ceremony was held at the lighthouse, and the newly assembled lens was illuminated once again.
The lens will be available for public viewing as the Society is able to open the interpretive centre for public access. The Society is currently working to build a group of volunteers to establish regular opening hours. Please stay tuned for more details. (And if you would like to volunteer to help with the interpretive centre, please let us know).
The foghorn components were also installed in the outdoor display area of the centre, and can be viewed whenever the site is open.
Funds for this project were provided by grants from the Island Coastal Economic Trust, Parks Canada and the Westaway Foundation