Thursday, 24 May 2012

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SOUTH AFRICA

Green Point Lighthouse is South Africa's oldest lighthouse and is located at Western Cape Beach Road, in Cape Town (33°54’04’’S 18°24’02’’E). It stands close to the Green Point Soccer Stadium (2010 FIFA World Cup) and to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a popular tourist and shopping venue. The postcard shows the residential Sea Point suburbs, the greenish Signal Hill and the spire of Devil’s Peak in the background. 
 The light was built by the German architect Herman Schutte and first lit on Monday evening, 12 April 1824. The lantern house was increased in height in 1865, when it was fitted with a circular plane and a cast-iron murette. The 16 m (52 ft) square brick tower, painted with diagonal red and white stripes, rises from the center of a keeper's house. Introduced in 1922, the present and active 3rd Order lens system produces a flash light visible in a range of 25 nautical miles. Since thick winter fog regularly obscures the land, a foghorn was installed in January 1926 in the light station. Useful and welcoming to the ships and noisy and disruptive to Capetonians, the foghorn was nicknamed “Moaning Minnie” or “Bellowing Bill” and was in operation until 1986, when was replaced by a nautophone.  Green Point Light was electrified in March 1929. Since June 1993, the lighthouse became the home of the Lighthouse Services Business Unit of the National Ports Authority and the light keeper’s house was converted into offices, visitor center and a small museum.

The South African Post Office issued on October 7, 2011 a miniature sheet to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first South African airmail flight.  On 27 December 1911, Evelyn Frederick Driver, considered to be a superb “instinctive navigator” and also a pioneer of British Royal Mail Service, delivered by air, 729 special postcards from Kenilworth to the Muizenberg.  According to the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society, the aircraft took off from the Kenilworth Race Course at 7:15pm and landed at Oldham’s Field in Muizenberg 8 minutes later, a distance of almost 13 km (approximately eight miles). This made Muizenberg Post Office the first in Africa to receive airmail.
The beautiful miniature sheet was released in the shape of the Blériot XI monoplane, the same aircraft depicted in flight on the stamp.

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