46[Hardie, Jennie, Bert Clark revisits Port Hedland (unpublished), 1978, Port Hedland Library, LH335]
...two jetties, one which had been built in 1898 and the other that had just been completed when he'd arrived in the town as a keen young watchmaker in 1910. And gone was "his" 50ft. lighthouse that had once stood across from the Esplanade Hotel and was a favourite spot for local "shutter bugs" to take panoramic shots of the town. From this tower, after a flight of 50 steps he'd hang out the big cane baskets on the East West yardarms when the tide reached 12ft. With every foot of rising tide the baskets would be changed on the yardarms. At 19ft. the ships waiting outside, having steamed-up, would come in over "the bar" and enter the tricky little Harbour.
As he looked out from the comfort of the modern tower where signal lights are turned on with buttons and radio connects ship to shore, he was reminded of the tragic March 20th day in 1912 when the Koombana was lost.
With a cyclone approaching, the Koombana and Bullarra, both in port at the same time put out to sea. And anxiously from his windy tower he watched them go; the Bullarra heading before the cyclone, and the Koombana going north into the teeth of the "blow".
"Normally ships going northbound were out of sight within 30 or 45 minutes" he reminisced "but this day as the storm was getting stronger I stayed up there in the tower watching the Koombana pitching and rolling for nearly two hours."