Gordan Lighthouse Overview in Ghasri, Gozo
Construction works on Gordan Lighthouse started in June 1852. It was built to a height of about 21 metres. On 15th March 1853, Sir William Reid, Governor of Malta inaugurated the lantern which worked with oil. Its beam flashed at a few seconds interval by means of a rotating reflector. Later on a residential quarter for the watchmen was added and the system of lighting changed. The whole project was officially inaugurated by Sir William Reid on 11th October 1857. Gordan lighthouse was then operated by means of 21 fixed kerosene lamps which threw their light on a rotating reflector.
Gordan Lighthouse was instrumental for the defence of the Maltese Islands especially during World War Two. The radar installed in the lighthouse could anticipate enemy attacks very early thus giving ample time for the air raid sirens to warn the people to take shelter from the forthcoming assault.
The lighting system was changed again in 1962, when electrical equipment was installed. It had the power of 895000 candles. The height of the beam was about 180.5 metres and stretched out for about 54 kilometres. It flashed every 7 ½ seconds. This system was officially inaugurated by the Rt Hon Dr Giovanni Felice, Minister for Industrial Development and Tourism on 7th March 1963.
Towards the end of June 1994, another system was installed. This system which is still in operation at present, works automatically and needs less maintenance and surveillance. The Maritime Authority is in charge of Gordan Lighthouse. However The Armed Forces of Malta and the Public Broadcasting Services also make use of the building which houses their essential equipment.
On 7th December 1996, Gordan Lighthouse saw the beginning of a new project which is being run conjointly between the University of Malta and the University of Cologne through an agreement with the Maltese and German Governments. An international study on atmospheric pollution and the effect of carbon monoxide on the ozone layer is in progress. Instruments that measure the amount of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, have been installed for this purpose.