Photo of the Pine Islet Lighthouse before being relocated to the Mackay Marina in 1985 and restored to full working condition.
Mackay is 971 kilometres north of
Pine Islet is part of the remote Percy Islands Group 135 kilometres south-east
of Mackay. Brisbane
In 1927 the authorities decided to build a new Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage on the island and the only available flat land was a grave site. The headstone identified the grave as belonging to Dorethea McKay, who died in 1895, the wife of a Lighthouse Keeper. Dorethea’s body was exhumed and reburied some distance away and the new cottage was built on that site.
Dorethea was obviously not going to take that lying down. Soon mysterious footsteps and faint mutterings were heard. The Lightkeeper would go to the door in answer to a knock and no one would be there.
The ghost’s visits continued until the 1980s when the lighthouse was automated and the last time anyone heard from Dorethea was just before the last Lighthouse Keeper departed. There was no knock on the door this time, just footsteps through the cottage and into the lounge, stopping above her original grave.
The Lighthouse Keepers hoped that Dorethea was satisfied she would be left in peace and had found her way back to her original resting place.
Suzanne-Jo Leff Patterson
Pine Islet lighthouse relocated to Mackay Marina