Beacon of the Night. BY " OPENLIGiT." t" Well, what Is it to be-go or not? " o This was the plain question put to me by a friend one recent Sunday morning. r as I stood delihetating upon a course of action. The church bells were ringing, and Chrislians and would-be Christians were congregating In their respective places of wo'ship. Would I join them, as I some times did, or answer my friend in the t] aflfrmativo? Another moment decided d me. I would stray away again from the l congregation of the just-and the unjust -and take a pleasant and beneficial walk in God's sunshine and air, the glory of P which is the gift of the Almighty to Christian and heathen alike. i Our objective was Cape Nelson Light- t house-a popular attraction both to locals and visitors-and we set out on foot for about an eight-mile journey from Port land. up hill and down dale, along formed I and unformed tracks (mostly the latter), through bog-holes and wire fences, and in among the heath, the attractlveness of which compensated for the obstacles en countered. r] At length a tall, white structure hove in sight, which kept disappearing and re-, g appearing with amusing frequency as the uneven ground was being covered. We were glad when the see-sawing ended, for the last lap is deceiving as regards dis tance, aqd reminds one of the conflicting calculations of " Hodge " along the coun try highways,- when every section tra velled takes you further from the goal I Situated 4J miles from Cape Grant: 71 miles from Cape Bridgewater, and 21 miles from Lady Julia Percy Island, stands the Nelson Lightbouse, which, with Spit Point, possesses the fourth largest tower in Victoria. the largest being that of Gabo Island Lighthoise, whilst Cape Ever ard and Dromana towers hold second and third place, respectively, in point of height. Both the Nelson Lighthouse and the living quarters are built of stone, the tower itself being of blue stone, of rather poor quality, quarried some four miles away, on the Portland side of the Cape. The lighthlouse, which was erected in 1884 and lit the same year, stands 106ft high. By the kind permission of the Chief, we ascend in spiral manner over a hundred selps, and reach a point close to the top of the tower, where, looking down from the railing on to the huge cliffs - themselves nearly two hundred feet in height and. rising abruptly from the water's edge-we spend a pleasant half hour surveying the scene, a thick mist precluding the posslbilty of our vision penetrating for seaward, But it sulliced to gaze down that 300ft to where the foam of the breakers was pitching over the rocks at the foot of the bluff, momentarily covering these huge boulders as with a white tableclnth, whose cleanly appearance would satisfy the eye of the most fastidious housewife. Large geyser like columns of water would persistently shoot skyward, as if .bent upon emulating the dizzy height of the motionless sentry near by, only to tumble down defeated, then gather volume for. a more vigorous effort. And to humanity they set the fine example: "Airm high if you would shoot over the trees," Yet a few steps more to finish our climb. and we come up level with the powerful eye of the Nelson (temporarily closed while " Old Sol'" carries on). Hero the keeper kindly removes the protection from the huge reflector, which ls.l2ft in diameter and 14ft high,. and, under ordinary weather conditions, throws a light to sea for 23 miles. The light itself is ineandes tent, vaporising its own gas from kero sene oil. As we gaze we contemplate. What a tremendous power for good has this monster upon which we stand I How welcome must be the well-known gleam to the ships that pass In the nlghtl How science has leapt and bounded, like the very waves themselves, and triumphed over a.pace-in the piping tipnes of peace, as in the great roar of battle I Why has science ever been used as a power for anything else but good ? Maybe the poet would write again "Wherefore weariest thou thyself With thy vain imaginings." The Nelson light was opened by Mr Fish, as head keeper, with Assistants Murray and McBain. Mr Fish is still alive, although over 90 years of age. He also opened the Cape Everard Lighthouse some four or five years after Cape Nelson, retiring from the service about 1889. During the 36 years' existence of the Lighthouse, the changes to the staff have been numerous. The only permanent as d sistant at the present time is Mr H. a Dickson, who came to the Nelson in Au - gust, 1917, being transferred fromn Cape Everard. The present head keeper at a Cape Nelson, Mr H. Stafford, joined the lighthouse service the same year that Cape Nelbon light was lit, being trans- ferred from the Victorian Navy to the lighthouse service in July, 1884. He was in charge of the Nelson light from 1894 to 1895, and again from the 3rd November. 1917, to the present date. To use his own humorous phrase, he is going "on the scrap heap' at the and of the year, having attained the retiring age, Con- gratulations to the Nelson's popular Chief, and Providence long grant him health and strength, that he might enjoy, after the gong sounds for "downing tools," a much deserved rest from duty well done, which achievement is the consolation and pride of the individual, Keepers may come and keepers may go; but the mighty and indispnenable beacon of the night-the brilliant, fixed star whose busy astrono- mers are the seamen on the bridge-must continue iridefirnltoly her beneficent work, like an untiring giantess, guiding ye wearie mariner over the trackless deep, through "the silent watches of the night."