Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 225 – Barry Porter, “Adventures of a Lightkeeper” (Newfoundland) pt 1 of 3

Barry Porter (courtesy of Barry Porter)

Barry Porter worked as a lighthouse keeper on the northeast coast of Newfoundland with the Canadian Coast Guard for twenty-three years, 1983 to 2006. Born in the small farming community of Porterville, Barry has worked in several professions, as a welder, a photographer, a lighthouse keeper, and later as the curator and manager of the By the Bay Museum in Lewisporte. His lighthouse adventures began at Surgeon’s Cove Head Light Station on Exploits Island. He also worked at the historic Long Point Lighthouse on Twillingate Island and Bacalhao Island Lighthouse, on an island near Twillingate.

Surgeons Cove Head Light Station in winter, courtesy of Barry Porter.

Barry’s new book, Adventures of a Lightkeeper, was published in 2022 by Flanker Press. The book describes the isolation, adventure, and beauty of these places, as well as the history of the lighthouses and their keepers. A chapter is devoted to Barry’s efforts to rehabilitate his beloved beagle, Gypsy, after an accident. Barry is an avid outdoorsman and a proud father of two children. He resides in beautiful downtown Porterville, Newfoundland, with his wife, Alice, and his present beagle, Lucy.

Long Point Lighthouse, Twillingate. USLHS photo by Ralph Eshelman.

Barry’s book, Adventures of a Lightkeeper, is available from online booksellers. If you would like to get an autographed copy directly from Barry, you can contact him directly through his Facebook page. This is part 1 of 3 parts. Listen to the podcast using the player below.

4 thoughts on “Light Hearted ep 225 – Barry Porter, “Adventures of a Lightkeeper” (Newfoundland) pt 1 of 3

  1. One of the reasons that Jack Roberts was so attached to the lighthouse is because he was born in it and lived there. His grandfather, Samuel Roberts was the first lighthouse keeper until 1892, when his son Robert Samuel Roberts “Bob Sam” became the lighthouse keeper.. He lived there with his parents and his brothers (one was my father) and one sister. Uncle Jack lived there until he left as a young man to go to the states. When his father passed, in or about 1927 he came back to became the keeper for approximately 1969. I have a pair of his binoculars that he gave my father. When they lived there, there was no causeway on or off the island. Only assessable by boat. It is a rugged and beautiful place!

    1. Hi Judith – Thanks so much for your comment. The Roberts had quite a legacy at that location, and those binoculars are a very special keepsake.

  2. Thanks for interviewing Barry Porter. I recently visited the Long Point lighthouse and am reading his interesting book. He has created an important historical record with great pictures. One of my ancestors was a lighthouse keeper in Nova Scotia and visiting the famous lighthouse in stunning Peggy’s Cove was a part of growing up and I took my children there to experience it.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Margaret. It’s so important to preserve this history, and Barry is a great storyteller. It’s wonderful that you have that connection in your own family, and yes — Peggy’s Cove is a very special place.

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