If you’ve ever been to the Queensland lighthouse, you know the atmosphere is always a bit different.
From the huge and bright lights that dot the night sky to the sounds of music and conversation, you can imagine that’s where you’re most likely to find the lighthouse’s lighthouse writers.
And while they may not be the brightest of stars, the lighthouse authors are the most influential of Queensland’s people.
The authors are known for creating stories that tell the stories of Queenslanders and their lives.
But what makes them so popular is that they can also be used for free by Queenslanders.
They’ve been doing this for more than a century.
The first lighthouse writers came to Queensland from England in the 1840s.
They started writing about Queenslanders during the Great Depression.
But when the Great War came, they decided to take on the job of writing about the Queenslanders who were fighting to keep their land and their homes.
“They had no other jobs, so they worked all their lives,” said Lighthouse writer and historian Peter Smith.
“It was very lonely, but they were really brave and they did it for a reason.
It wasn’t just because they were doing it for fun.”
They had no income, so if they got a story from a newspaper, they’d just give it to someone else.
They had a great sense of humour and an incredible sense of community.
The people they wrote about often had different occupations and backgrounds, but the lighthouse writer did not.
Peter Smith was one of those people.
His family had moved from England to Queensland in the 1890s and lived in the northern parts of the state.
He was one year away from finishing his final university course when he heard about the war.
He worked for a coal mining company, had a good job and was planning to go back to England to work as a coal miner.
When he was 18, he decided to go on a ship and get a job in the lighthouse.
The ship didn’t take him far.
“I just thought that was the best way for me to get a good education, because there was no other way for a person to get that kind of education,” he said.
Peter’s family would later move to Brisbane and he stayed with his parents for the rest of his life.
He had an idea about the writers and when he saw the new lighthouse on the horizon, he wanted to do something with it.
He wanted to write a story about the people who were living there, so he started writing.
After a few years of writing, he thought, “Oh, I can’t possibly do this job.
There are just so many people.”
So he started to go around the area and ask people if they had a story they wanted to tell.
They told him a story called The Great Man Who Lived at the Light of the Lighthouse.
“Well, that’s it,” he thought.
“If I do this for the next 100 years, I’ll be able to write about them.”
He wrote another story called He’s Not Here, and then another one about a woman who was the only lighthouse keeper in the whole area.
They’d been married for 50 years and had four children.
He wrote stories about the women who were working at the lighthouse, the men who were on the ship, and the children they raised on the island.
And as the years went on, he’d go from writing a story to a story of a lighthouse keeper’s son being taken away from his mother when she was just five years old and sent back to London to live with his father.
“He was never going to see his mother again,” Peter said.
“But the father had another job and they didn’t have much money, so the father went to London and he had a job.
He became a ship’s mate and he sailed up the Thames and was sent back.”
Peter went on to write more stories about his family, about the residents of the lighthouse and about the stories they’d told him.
He’d go on to publish a book of his stories called A Portrait of the Queensland Lighthouse Writers, and his name became synonymous with Queenslanders, the people they told their stories about.
In the years after the war, he was the first person in Queensland to be invited to speak at the annual Queensland Lighthouses Writers’ Workshop.
“Lighthouse writers have been writing about a lot of things,” he told News.au.
“From the Great Queensland Depression to the Great Australian Depression.
It’s a really interesting subject and I really wanted to come to Queensland and talk about it.”
He got invited to a lecture at the Royal Brisbane Museum in 1991, but it was cancelled when he was asked to leave due to security concerns.
He never got to speak again, and he still writes about Queensland today.
“The lighthouse writers have always been a bit of a folk tradition, and there are so many different kinds of stories that have been told over the years,” he added.
He said there are