The Finnish Lighthouse Society in action
Finnish coastline is adorned by circa 60 lighthouses, third of which are historically important works of architecture also internationally renown.The Finnish Lighthouse Society was founded to secure and preserve the lighthouses and other safety instruments of seafaring on seas and lakes of Finland. Importance of lighthouses diminished with the development of navigational techniques. Lighthouses were automated and left on their own one after another. Humidity and mold slowly started to erode the buildings left cold. The decay of Finnish lighthouses had begun.
We bring the situation of lighthouses to publicFinnish Lighthouse Society actively participates in decisions regarding Finnish lighthouses and brings the word to public about their alarming state. Society is also working towards founding a national museum of lighthouses. Being an active participant in discussions, the Finnish Lighthouse Society has made its mark and is a prominent factor in lighthouse preservation. Some of the lighthouses have been properly renovated. For example the lighthouse of Bengtskär near Hanko is now living a new life fully restored. Also the lighthouse of Söderskär in Sipoo archipelago has gotten a new opportunity in private ownership. Many of the lighthouses are still waiting for their turn in recovery though.
Protective work of endangered lighthouses
GustavsvärnIn year 2005 Finnish Lighthouse Society rented the hundred-year-old foghorn keeper’s house in Gustavsvärn lighthouse and fort island near Hanko, from Metsähallitus. It has been mended and renovated by members of our society. The exteriors of the building have been restored and we are currently working to bring the interiors back to the state they were in before renovation in 1960’s. We are also trying to manifest the worrying state of stonewalls in Gustavsvärn. During summertime we give guided tours in the fort island and educate tourists about the history of Gustavsvärn and it’s buildings.
\"Save Märket!\"Year 2007 saw the beginning of project Rädda Märket (Save Märket!), which aims to preserve and repair the Märket lighthouse located in Ahvenanmeri region. The main lighthouse building of Märket had been deteriorating for over thirty years all alone when the project started. Hundreds of our members have now been refurbishing the lighthouse for seven summer seasons. The exteriors have been painted, some humidity and other damages have been repaired and interiors have been overhauled embracing the old styles. Devoted work is still going on. The future looks bright for both subjects. Since 2013 Gustavsvärn and Märket have been fully manned for the summer season and the remaining repairs are mostly carried out inside the buildings. Gustavsvärn and Märket are both open for public and our beeworkers are also working as guides, happily receiving guests on location.
Support is needed to keep us goingFinnish Lighthouse Society is funding its actions by membership fees and publications. Biggest share of the renovation work is funded with sales of Majakkasaaret (Lighthouse-islands) calendars. Society is also selling postcards and Finnish Lighthouses 1910 posters. We have received significant grants and donations. Public and private funding is necessary to keep up the preservation work in the long run. In year 2013 Finnish Lighthouse Society won the Vuoden Veneilyteko-award for making lighthouses again a part of Finnish national heritage.
Vuoden Loistavin Teko -honorary mentionEvery year Finnish Lighthouse Society is giving out Vuoden Loistavin Teko -award to honor the beneficial work done in favour of lighthouse preservation.
- 2016 Marcus Granér for hard work in Gustavsvärn in Märket
- 2015 Jussi Koskela for participating in many construction projects in Gustavsvärn and Märket, including Sauna in Märket and the dock in Gustavsvärn
- 2014 Loistokaveri -award for Pertti Rahkonen for organizing the construction in Gustavsvärn and actively arranging the trips to lighthouses
- 2013 Hannele Vehkakoski for being the bee organizer in Gustavsvärn
- 2012 Ulkosaariyhdistys ry, for the precious results in renovating Lyökin kivipooki
- 2011 the City and Harbour of Raumanfor renovating the lighthouse of Kylmäpihlaja and pooki of Santakari
- 2010 no award was given
- 2009 Rönkönharju architectural office for their work on lighthouse preservation
- 2008 entrepreneur Susanna Seppä for life’s work on lighthouse ship Relandergrund; on saving, renovating and opening it to the public
- 2007 no award
- 2006 Paula Wilson, life’s work on Bengstkär lighthouse
- 2005 Ari Laamanen and Sebastian Lönnqvist for repairing Söderskär lighthouse
- 2004 the City of Raahen for saving the beacon of Tasku island