Ocean was his sanctuary

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
James Robinson stands in front of Point Moore Lightouse in the 1980s.
Camera IconJames Robinson stands in front of Point Moore Lightouse in the 1980s. Credit: Supplied

Point Moore’s last lighthouse keeper has died, aged 91.

James William Robinson was keeper of the lighthouse between 1980 and 1985, retiring just before the light in the Geraldton icon was automated.

The former Waggrakine resident spent half a century in lighthouses around Australia, including Eclipse Island, Cape Don, Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leveque, following his departure from the Royal Navy.

Wife of 54 years, Doreen Robinson, who kept her keeper company in every lonely patch he found, said her late husband loved the ocean.

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“I think he loved the isolation of it, the peace and the quiet,” Mrs Robinson said.

“He wasn’t a person to go out of his way to socialise. He was a very private person, but he also had a silly character. I remember once he tried to change the TV station with a telephone.

“He used to make me laugh and he used to write the most beautiful poetry.”

Mrs Robinson and her husband met during a “smoko” at a frozen fish factory in England in the 1960s. The couple met soon after Mrs Robinson escaped an abusive partner she married while young. She said Mr Robinson proposed about 12 hours after meeting her.

She married him swiftly and never looked back.

The passionate pair moved to Australia in the 1960s, where Mrs Robinson was overwhelmed by her new husband’s kindness. “I remember when we arrived in Australia, he was walking funny around the airport, sort of sideways a bit,” she said.

“I asked him what he was doing and he said he saw news of a plane crash plastered about and he didn’t want me to have to see it. He was just so thoughtful.”

After retirement in Geraldton, Mr Robinson struggled with bowel cancer but was reasonably healthy in his later years. Mr Robinson died on July 30 from fluid in his lungs.

Around the same time, his 28-year-old grandson died tragically in a car accident.

Mr Robinson is survived by wife Doreen, his daughter and three grandchildren.

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