International Weekend for Lighthouses and Lightships

The third full weekend of August has become the regular date for the International Weekend for Lighthouses. Countries all over the world have become involved in lighthouse activations on HF. A few years ago the United States Congress declared the 7th of August as their National Lighthouse Day and during the event amateur radio operators in America set up portable stations at lighthouses and contact each other. Their objective is to encourage Lighthouse managers, the keepers and owners to open their lighthouse or lightstation and associated visitors centres to the public, thus raising the profile of lighthouses, light vessels and other navigational aids, and preserving their maritime heritage.

This event is known as the US National Lighthouse Week. In Britain the Association of Lighthouse Keepers, ALK, conducts their International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend on the same August weekend as the ILLW. It came into being in 1998 as the Scottish Northern Lights Award run by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group.

The ILLW usually takes place on the 3rd weekend in August each year and attracts over 500 lighthouse entries located in over 40 countries. It is one of the most popular international amateur radio events in existence, probably because there are very few rules and it is not the usual contest type event. It is also free and there are no prizes for contacting large numbers of other stations. There is little doubt that the month of August has become "Lighthouse Month" due largely to the popularity and growth of the ILLW.

The East Leinster Amateur Radio Club EI0EL will activate St Johns Point in Downpatrick ILLW Reference Number UK0087 on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 August.. We will be operating phone on 80m, 40m, 20m, 4m (FM and SSB) and 2m. QSL via QRZ 

St. John's Point (Irish Rinn Eoin) is a cape at the southern tip of the Lecale peninsula of County Down Northern Ireland, separating Dundrum Bay from Killough Harbour, which forms its northern extremity. The cape is mostly surrounded by the Irish Sea and derives its name from a now ruined church dedicated to Saint John, being recorded here since at least 1170. A well known beacon in the north-eastern Irish Sea, St. John's Point Lighthouse, built in 1844, sits near its southern tip and, at 40 m (130 ft), is the tallest lighthouse in Ireland (the Fastnet Lighthouse, though taller, is offshore).It is listed as one of twelve the "Great Lighthouses of Ireland" by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, who operate it as one of the 65 active lighthouses on the Irish coast

We look forward to making contact with you and with any other lighthouse and lightship


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