International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend, or ILLW, is an annual event held on the third full weekend of August each year. The event was the brainchild of John Forsyth and Mike Dalrymple who were members of the Ayr Amateur Radio Group in Scotland. The event started in 1998 and has developed into an international gathering of amateur radio operators from an estimated 95 countries. In Britain the Association of Lighthouse Keepers, or ALK, conducts International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend on the same weekend as the ILLW in August. The ILLW is currently managed by an Australian amateur radio operator, Kevin Mulcahy, who has been involved since 1998.
On August 20 of this year, two amateur radio operators broadcast from Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse on the New Hampshire Seacoast, Randall Bashta and Patrick Morrison. They are interviewed in this episode.
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Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org
2 thoughts on “Light Hearted Special Edition – International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW)”
My friend Don W7WLL forwarded your podcast on to me and I thank you for producing it. To answer one question that arose and that is about the two founding members of the ILLW. John Forsyth is alive and well but did not remain involved in the ILLW shortly after it got of the ground due to business commitments. Mike Dalrymple sadly passed away in 2005 and the Ayr club was left holding the baby so they asked me to take it over as I was doing most of the work with the web site anyway. I was happy to do that as I saw the future of the event was going to be one of a popular event due to its unique basis. It has been a real honour and privilege to have managed this event for most of its 25 year history. Thanks for the PR.
Thanks for filling in that history, Kevin! And thanks for all you’ve done to keep the ILLW tradition alive and well for so long.