The president of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society supports Digby’s position in the Fundy lighthouse fuss.
“The Digby Pier Light is part of Nova Scotia’s lighthouse history,” says Barry MacDonald. “This was not only a significant part of the navigation system there, guiding countless ships safely to harbour, but these lights are also very important to a community’s identity.”
MacDonald says the NSLPS has a policy to encourage governments and their agencies to leave lighthouses in their original locations and not to move them.
MacDonald can think of three precedents off the top of his head, where lighthouses that had been removed by the Coast Guard were later returned.
The lighthouse from St. Paul’s Island in the Cabot Strait in northern Cape Breton was moved to Dartmouth in the 1980s. That short cylindrical lighthouse, built in 1915, was the first cast iron lighthouse built in Canada.
The Coast Guard finally returned that lighthouse just last year after two attempts by the community to convince them it was the right thing to do.
A peppershaker-type lighthouse was removed from Port Greville in the 1980s as well without any local consultation whatsoever.
“The community didn’t even know where it went,” says MacDonald. “They only know it was taken away in a truck.”
After finally locating it, the community there was able to lobby the Coast Guard to return that one as well.
The Coast Guard also returned a lighthouse to Pubnico after it spent some time in northern Nova Scotia.