Historical Photographic Collection of Lighthouse Images

The Ralph Meakins Collection


I was fortunate to make contact with Maureen Cardew, whose husband Ralph Meakins sadly was killed in a work accident on Eclipse Island in 1971. Ralph worked as a mechanical engineer on the M.V. Cape Don Lighthouse Tender. Maureen heard of my interest in lighthouses through a mutual friend and loaned me her collection of slides taken by Ralph whilst he worked tending lights travelling on the Cape Don. All of the photos were taken pre 1971, however, we are unable to specifically date each image.

Fortunately my husband who is a cartographer worked as part of a survey team back in the 1970s and has a great knowledge of land formations and access to detailed maps to help in the tracking down of just which light was which. It has been a slow but rewarding job scanning all the slides, establishing their localities and enhancing the images and I am delighted to be able to showcase these images with this page featuring the Ralph Meakins Collection.

To the right is a picture of Ralph caring for a young Osprey nicknamed Blaze, which  was found in a nest built in the light tower at Mt Blaze. The stick nest of course had to be removed from the tower as part of the maintenance cleanup by the MV Cape Don crew.

Below are lists of the range of Lighthouses and surroundings covered in  Ralph's slides. When you click onto a link, it will take you to a page with images and historical information about that Light. There may also be images sourced from elsewhere on that page. Much of the background information about these lights are taken from a publication Lighthouses on the Western Australian coast and offshore islands by DA Cumming, M Glasson, & M McCarthy published by the Western Australian Maritime Museum in 1995. (NB: Where specific details are quoted from this resource, they will be acknowledged with Ref: Cumming et al)


Gantheaume Point


Browse Is

Degerando Is

Adele Is

Tanner Is

Cape Leveque

Imperieuse Reef

Gantheaume Pt



Mary Anne Reef

Bedout Is

Mt Blaze

Jarman Is

Legendre Is

North Sandy Is

Great Sandy Is

Mary Anne Reef



Steep Point

North West Cape

Vlamingh Head

Fraser Is

Point Cloates

Quobba Point

Cape Ronsard

Cape Inscription

Steep Point


The MV Cape Don

Source: SMVCD Website

The Cape Don crew at work

Source: National Archives of Australia