The grey painted heavy wooden, homemade box has a freehand inscription in black on outside, which reads ‘LEVINGS To MAAT IS’. The writing refers to Alan and Marlene Levings, who began their twenty-two year career in lightkeeping with a posting to Tasman Island, off Port Arthur, in the 1960s. After four years they moved to Maatsukyer Island off south-west Tasmania, Australia’s southern-most lightstation, followed by postings to South Bruny, Eddystone Point and Wilsons Promontory. The robust box journeyed with the Levings through their postings to five lightstations and came to rest at Wilsons Promontory when Alan retired. It is not known whether the box was used in an office or domestic context. The movement of people and objects is a significant and unique theme that runs through the history of Australia’s lightstations. This historical process relates Victoria to the much bigger story of Australia’s network of lightstations.
Alan Levings has been described as an extremely interesting character and artist. When Levings was a lightkeeper at Wilson’s Promontory, delivery of goods was by boat, then off the boat by a winch and onto the back of a truck. For this reason, packing boxes in earlier years had to be extremely robust. Today, anything that is not carried into Wilson’s Promontory Lightstation by foot, comes by helicopter, eradicating the need for heavy packing boxes such as Levings’.
This humble box has first level contributory significance for its reliable provenance which traces its journey through five lightstations; for its association with a former lightkeeping family; and for contributing to an understanding of the pattern of lightstation life.
Wooden box, light blue/grey painted. Made of horizontal pieces of timber with some tin reinforcment on the sides. Writing in black on side of box.
Inscriptions & markings
On side of box in freehand,"LEVINGS To MAAT IS"