The American Lighthouse Foundation held its annual lighthouse gala at the Four Points by Sheraton in Eastham, MA, on April 28, 2012.
The organization’s signature event featured some wonderful lighthouse camaraderie, fundraising, a great meal and some Cape Cod lighthouses open for climbing (Nauset, The Three Sisters and Highland), but the highlight of the evening event was the presentation of awards to well-deserving individuals and groups for their amazing dedication to lighthouse preservation and education.
One of the awards presented was ALF’s “Distinguished Community Service Award,” which went to Deane Rykerson of Kittery Point, Maine, for his many contributions to the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses in their effort to begin preserving Whaleback Lighthouse.
The following text was read to the Lighthouse Gala attendees in honor of Deane Rykerson’s above and beyond dedication…
“Deane Rykerson has been involved in building, environment, and design for over thirty years — from his background in preservation house carpentry in the 1970s and wooden boat restoration at Mystic Seaport to his present expertise in historic preservation.
Deane has degrees from the State University of New York, Boston Architectural Center, and Harvard University, and he has taught at the Wentworth Institute of Technology and Boston University.
Deane became involved with the effort to restore Whaleback Lighthouse in Kittery, Maine, soon after ownership of Whaleback was transferred to the American Lighthouse Foundation in June 2009. Deane was the primary author of the Historic Structure Report on Whaleback that was completed with the help of a team of experts in early 2010.
Later in 2010, Deane donated a great deal of his time to help develop an exhibit on the history and preservation of Whaleback Lighthouse that was featured at the Portsmouth Historical Society’s Discover Portsmouth Center. Deane also gave a public presentation on Whaleback in conjunction with the exhibit.
Since that time, Deane has been integral in the development of plans for a docking system at Whaleback. He has worked closely with representatives of the American Lighthouse Foundation and its chapter, Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, on these plans.
As a Kittery Point resident, Deane has taken a strong personal interest in Whaleback Lighthouse. His passion for the project has led him to make a number of trips to the lighthouse, in spite of the lack of landing facilities. Once, when it was realized that loose glass blocks in one of the tower’s window could allow water to enter and cause damage, Deane traveled out by himself in his small inflatable boat, made the difficult landing at the ledge, and sealed the glass blocks securely so that they would stand up to winter storms.
In recognition of his dedication and expertise, and for the countless hours he has donated to the Whaleback Lighthouse project, we honor Deane Rykerson with the American Lighthouse Foundation’s 2012 Community Service Award.”