Way back in the 90′s two ham radio operators, Mke Dalrymple (GM4SUC) and K2JXW of the ARLHS organization formed the ILLW. Back then, it was a single day event.
Fire Island Lighthouse
Today, August 1st through August 9th is officially called the International Lighthouse and Lightship Week.
The ARLHS (Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society) based out of Merchantville, New Jersey, have an extensive Web site dedicated to the connection between Amateur Radio and Lighthouses.
“Congress designated National Lighthouse Day on Aug. 7, 1989, marking the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Lighthouse Act and the commissioning of the first Federal lighthouse in the United States. The purpose was to provide recognition for the important role which lighthouses played in the history of our country, and the values of safety, heroism, and American ingenuity which they represent, as well as honoring and encouraging continued restoration efforts for existing lighthouses, many of which had fallen into disrepair.”
ILLW was created to to raise public awareness of lighthouses and lightships and to publicize the historical nature of light keepers and their dedication to maritime safety.”
Raising public awareness and the need to preserve lighthouses as historical monuments, promoting the spirit of amateur radio and fostering International good will is what ILLW is really all about.
ILLW, along with other organizations sponsor August’s week of operating radio from Lighthouses and Lightships from around the world. For those who may be interested, becoming an ILLW member is 100% free.
There are two ways you can participate in ILLW.
The Special Event:
The special event is not a contest. As a result, there are no operating restrictions. The purpose of the special event is to have fun and to take the time to work the young ham, slower paced operators, and QRP stations. On the air activities do not have to take place on Lighthouse grounds but have to be in visual contact with an approved lighthouse to keep with the spirit of the event.
The ILLW QSO Party:
With so many lighthouses on Long Island, it’s an event some members of my club, SCRC, now plan to be part of this year.
Other Lighthouse sites to visit:
Have you participated with an ILLW event in the past?
What is you opinion about preserving historical lighthouses?
Have you visited a lighthouse or light ship and what was your experience?