A crusty Burlington salt will show a short feature film on the Beach Canal lighthouse.

Event 100By Pepper Parr

February 27, 2015


If you can get yourself over to the Central Library on Sunday the 8th of March you will have a chance to meet one of those old timers who has done it all but doesn’t know quite how to hang up his spurs.


Sandy Thomson recalling some history for Burlington |Gazette reporter Walter Byj

Sandy Thomson, the great-great grandson of Captain George Thomson, a Berwick, England native who was the Burlington Beach Canal’s lighthouse keeper and diarist for 29 years in the 1800’s has produced a short film on the lighthouse.

The diaries became the base documents for the short film that Sandy and his small film crew have completed.

The diaries were preserved and are at the Brant Museum along with the lenses from the lighthouse.

Sandy Thomson still drives a motorcycle and has a small film operation – Cine 16 that keeps him busy.

Burlington canal light house

The Burlington canal lighthouse

The original Burlington Canal Lighthouse and Light station were built in 1838 to guide ships into Hamilton Harbour. The current stone structure as it stands today was built in 1858 and sits adjacent to the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge under the Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway.

The Burlington Canal Lighthouse Group (BCLG) is a non-profit organization formed by Hamilton and Burlington community members to preserve the Burlington Canal Lighthouse and Lightstation. Current member of the BCLG, Sandy Thomson says, “It is important to preserve the lighthouse that has both historical and educational importance. Other lighthouses have been restored on the Great Lakes and this is the only one left to be restored on Lake Ontario.”


Captain Sandy Thomson at the wheel of a Russian tug

Thomson is the owner of marine-parts manufacturer, Thordon Bearings, in Burlington. He provides innovative products to the marine industry around the world. While building a market for his propeller shaft bearings, Thomson captained a Russian steam tugboat, Rudokop, and toured all the major ports in Europe in the 1990-2000’s promoting Thordon’s propeller shaft and rudder bearings to ship owners and shipyards in the Baltic, North, Mediterranean and Black Seas.
“My great-great grandfather maintained the lighthouse for those vessels entering Hamilton Harbour on those dark and stormy nights, and as a former sea-captain, I can appreciate what a welcome sight that light is”.

The video will be shown during the BCLG’s general meeting at the Burlington Central Library on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 2:00pm. The public and new members are welcome!

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