Digby’s mayor is serious about getting our lighthouse back.

“I don’t tell jokes,” says Ben Cleveland. “As mayor we have to deal with streets, we look for opportunities to create jobs, and we have a role to play in protecting our history and culture.”

Cleveland wants Digby’s Pier Light returned to its rightful spot on the Digby waterfront. The 27-foot tall landmark stood at the end of the pier in Digby from 1903 until the early 1970s. For some reason it was then moved across the Bay of Fundy to the Saint John waterfront.

Cleveland says it was stolen.

“They stole a cultural icon from the town of Digby,” says the mayor. “We appreciate the way they have looked after it for the last 50 years but now that we’re going to have a spot for it, we want it back.”

Cleveland is referring to plans to build a breakwater and eventually a tidal power service site along the Digby shoreline.

The mayor says he is pretty confident Saint John will return the lighthouse. He began working on its return during his very first meeting with then mayor of Saint John Ivan Court three years ago.

“My first words to him were ‘I’m Mayor Ben Cleveland, we want our lighthouse back’,” says Cleveland.

Cleveland says Mayor Court was receptive to the idea because Saint John is redoing their waterfront and has already relocated a one-room schoolhouse from the waterfront. Cleveland does admit the decision rests the Saint John Common Council.

“I’m meeting with representatives of the Saint John Waterfront Development Commission on Monday (Aug. 13) and they will prepare a report for council.

And if they don’t vote to return the Digby light?

“Then I’ll muster up a crew of privateers, sail across the bay and recover our light,” says Cleveland.

Story by: Jonathan Riley
The Digby County Courier
August 15, 2012