The Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) will be playing a major role in the restoration of the historic East Point Lighthouse, also known as Ragged Point Lighthouse, in St Philip.
It will not only oversee the restoration project, which is being carried out by Hinds Transport Services Ltd., but will maintain the restored lighthouse.
The project began last month with an official ceremony and the initial removal of tree branches that have penetrated the building over time.
BPI Assistant Manager, Property, Management and Maintenance Maurice Gaskin said while his department is not directly involved in the restoration works, it will be responsible for maintaining the lighthouse itself, as well as the navigation light and any other electrical components once the project is finished.
Once restored, he said, the lighthouse will serve a dual purpose.
“Despite advances in shipping technology, we firmly believe traditional lighthouses maintain a level of functionality, for which the Port is responsible. These structures continue to assist the navigational charting of incoming and passing ships, as well as serve as markers for the numerous boat races that occur throughout the year around the island,” Gaskin said.
Not only that, he said, but given the historical significance of the East Point Lighthouse, preservation of the site is a high priority of the BPI.
“We are seeking to maintain this as one of Barbados’ premier tourist attractions and add to the cultural landscape of the island. Even now, this particular lighthouse continues to draw sightseeing tourists as well as travelling historians, so you can imagine the response once it is fully restored to its former glory,” the BPI official said.
East Point Lighthouse is one of four lighthouses in Barbados. It is the third oldest, having been constructed in 1875.
A notable landmark for both locals and visitors to the island, the coral stone structure sits at 97 feet high (29.5 metres) on top a cliff at the most easterly point in Barbados, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.