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In 2009 the future of the Finnish Lighthouse Society – and the lighthouses as well – look promising. During the six years of activity the number of the members of the society has increased constantly and there are nearly 800 members in different parts of Finland. We also have some members abroad. The protection of lighthouses has also gained positive visibility in public. A vision on living lighthouses is nearer than ever. However, there is a lot of work to be done and strong support is needed.

Protection work continues by voluntary work– support is needed

The Society’s main protection targets are the lighthouse Märket at Åland Island and the fog alarm keeper’s house at Gustavsvärn Island near to Hanko city. Protection work is carried out as voluntary work, and the Society’s members working at construction branch and amateurs of the branch help in the planning work. Part of the work will be contracted out to professionals. Respect of historical values and traditions of buildings is the leading principle in all the work. The purpose is to restore, not to rebuild with poor consequences.

Märket will be repainted for its 125 years anniversary

Märket faced big construction works last summer. The leaking roof of the machine room was repaired and the façade of the lighthouse building was repaired and repainted. Professional staff was hired for the work and they were assisted by voluntary workers of the Society. The Society also started co-operation with the Turku vocational high school’s students of the restoration branch, the students carried out a part of their practical exercises by taking part in the renovation work of the lighthouse. The renovation works of the Märket lighthouse will be sped up for the celebrations of 125 years anniversary in 2010. Simultaneously, it will be celebrated the drawing of the border line between Finland and Sweden across the Märket island. This special border line and the handsomely renovated façade of the lighthouse will offer a unique basis for the coming celebrations.

The facade of the fog alarm keeper’s house at Gustavsvärn was renovated last summer

The voluntary works continued at Gustavsvärn Island near to Hanko city, where the fog alarm keeper’s house has been under renovation since 2005. First year the roof was repaired and in 2008 the traditional windows were prepared in the spirit of the house by carpenters and glazed and painted by voluntary workers. Last summer there were timber works and renovation of outer boarding. Last summer the Society completed the renovation of the façade of the building.

The Society organized the Nordic Lighthouse conference in Mariehamn on 5 – 6 June 2009

The highlight of the year 2009 for the Finnish Lighthouse Society was to host the Nordic Lighthouse conference, which was organized in Mariehamn on 5 – 6 June 2009. The representatives of the Nordic Lighthouse Societies and administrations discusses the current and future state of lighthouses. There were, in addition diversified presentations by specialists, free-of-charge movies and an exposition called “Lighthouse experiences”, where historical nautical charts, lighthouse postcards and lighthouse stamps were on view.

Active publishing increases awareness about lighthouses

Lively publishing activities of the Society continue. In summer the glossy calendar “Lighthouse Islands 2010” came up; the versions of previous years have become popular among other calendars. The profits of the calendar selling will be used for the renovation work of the lighthouses. The Society also took part in publishing the Swedish version of the children’s book on lighthouses, “Fyrar ohoj”. The popular poster, “Finland’s lighthouses 1910” has also been reprinted.

Diversified activities and lighthouse experiences to members

The Finnish Lighthouse Society gathers the lighthouse enthusiasts together. It is possible to act in the Society many ways. The members sell products, take part in voluntary work, organise members’ gatherings. The lighthouses are being photographed and documented regularly. Highlights for the members are the visits to lighthouses difficult to reach in Finland and abroad, these visits are really rich of experiences.