by Melissa Kinslow
Special to the Wreckhouse Weekly
PORT AUX BASQUES – Now that the Atlantic bubble has re-opened, one of the area’s most well-known tourist attractions has done the same. The historic Rose Blanche lighthouse was originally constructed in 1871, using stone quarried from the rocky shoreline surrounding it. The attraction offers a tantalizing glimpse into the world of this province’s early light keepers.
The lighthouse re-opened to the public on Sunday, June 27. Like so many other tourist sites in the province, it did not open at all last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They will be following all the protocols of the Health Department,” says Maxine Edwards, President of Rose Blanche Lighthouse Inc., a six-member board of volunteers. Edwards points out that most buildings are equipped with two exits, allowing people to enter through one and exit through the other. But the lighthouse itself has a single doorway.
Staff will be on site to provide guided, socially distanced tours wherever possible. The site provides seasonal employment for over a half dozen people and by publication deadline applications were still being accepted.
Other adaptations to comply with pandemic protocols are being taken too, and the board is still finalizing all the minutae.
“We will be hosting the picnic lunches again this year,” confirmed Edwards. “We are asking that customers bring their own blankets.”
Customers can order anything they like from the Grub Box kiosk, where staff will pack the basket. Visitors need only return their baskets after the picnic. The multimedia room showing a video highlighting the restoration of the lighthouse will also be available to guests.
There are no really big events planned this year for the re-opening, but anyone who would like to tour the site or even volunteer to greet tourists and let them in and out of the lighthouse is welcomed. The board is also hoping to recruit more volunteers to pitch in during their Annual General Meeting later this summer.
Less than a week before re-opening, the Lightkeeper’s Inn B&B had a total of 32 reservations for the month of July. This is lower than usual, but there are still no reservations booked yet for the month of August.
“We aim to do our best, and make this a successful season. The Volunteer Board Members also lend a helping hand, whenever necessary to make things work. All we need is the visitors now,” said Edwards.