Lighthouse Story

“Service Awards”

Imperial Service Medals were Awarded to the First Two Lightkeepers on Lyal Island and another on Knife Island – John McKay, Walter Knight and Norman McDonald.

John McKay
John McKay was the first Lighthouse Keeper at Lyal (Big) Island in Stokes Bay.  He served from 1885, when the lighthouse was erected, until 1922.  He was awarded the Imperial Long Service Medal after his retirement by another Bruce Countyite, The Honourable James Malcolm, MP. John and his large family made their home on the island suffering with the cold, rattle snakes and the difficulties of island life.

Walter Knight
Walter Knight, a great war veteran, was appointed Lighthouse Keeper in 1922.  He served on the station until 1949.  When he retired he was awarded the Imperial Service Medal from His Majesty, King George VI “in recognition of the meritorious services which you have rendered.”

Norman McDonald
Norman McDonald was appointed lighthouse Keeper at Knife Island in 1920 after he returned from World War 1.  He had lost his left leg in battle at Amiens on August 30, 1918.  A year after becoming lightkeeper, he married Francis Bellmore of Pike Bay.  They lived together at the light station until 1956 when Norman retired.

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