Join us!

Help preserve this historical gem in the City of Hamilton. Your membership or donation will enrich our community immeasurably. Please join the BCLG!


Subscribe to the BCLG Newsletter to receive news and information from the BCLG. You can unsubscribe at any time. Or check out the BCLG blog for current and upcoming events.

BCLG Executive

The Beach Canal Lighthouse Group is a not-for-profit organization incorporated by the Ontario Historical Society. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors. The officers of the Corporation, Chair, Vice-chair, Secretary, and Treasurer are chosen from the Directors.

For 2017–2018 the directors are:

George Thomson, Chair

George's great-great grandfather, also named George Thomson, was the Burlington Canal lighthouse keeper of the 1850’s, who saw the destruction of the old, wooden lighthouse and construction of the current tower. George grew up in the Aldershot area and then pursued higher education in California, earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After a brief period working for a Boston firm he returned to Canada to take over the family business, the Thomson-Gordon Group, with its head office in Burlington. George has sailed for many years as a Captain on a deep sea salvage tug, sharing his ancestor’s love of the sea. Also a pilot since the age of 17, George is an Honorary Director and past Vice Chair of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

Stewart Patch, Treasurer

Stewart graduated from Queens' University with a degree in engineering and worked for Bell Canada in Ottawa for nearly thirty years. After taking early retirement in 2004, he moved to Dundas and married into the Heritage Architecture community. He first became involved with the BCLG when discussing the prospect of developing a web site for the group and now, with his wife, Ann Gillespie, continues to act as web master for the group.

Ann Gillespie, Secretary

Ann graduated from Carleton University with a masters degree in Canadian Studies, specializing in the history of Canadian architecture. She was subsequently employed for 16 years by the City of Hamilton as a Heritage Researcher/Planner. After taking early retirement in 2001, she established Gillespie Heritage Consulting to provide professional assessment of the heritage status of buildings; she is a member of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals. For a number of years she was an active member of the Hamilton Region Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. Ann is a founding member of the BCLG.

Sharon Clark, Director

Sharon works for the Hamilton Port Authority as a Community Relations Officer.

Bruce Hoyle, Director

Bruce attended McMaster University and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and joined the Credit/Legal department at Simpson-Sears. He was a Director of the Canadian Credit Institute. He continues to work in commercial finance at various companies including Chase Manhattan Bank, Deutsche Bank, GE Capital, and currently DLL/Rabobank. He has previously served as BCLG Treasurer and is a long-term resident of Burlington.

Patti Hoyle, Director

Patti was born and raised in Hamilton, attending the nursing program at Mohawk College. She qualified as a Registered Nurse and worked for many years at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton. Since retiring she has pursued many interests, including volunteer work, dancing, and travelling. Patti has been involved with the BCLG for over 15 years and her instinct for sales has been of great value in our fund-raising activities.

Robin McKee, Director

Robin is a graduate of McMaster University with a B.A. in history and of Mohawk College with a certificate in Broadcast Television. He worked as an on-air studio man at CH-TV, beginning in 1978. Robin is passionate about Canadian history, especially that of Hamilton. He was a founding member of The Lower Grand River Land Trust Inc., which was successful in acquiring and preserving Ruthven Park in Cayuga. Robin created Historical Perceptions which organizes tours of the historic stone of Hamilton Cemetary on York Boulevard. In 2018 Robin received the Reverend T. Melville Bailey Heritage award for lifetime achievments in the promotion and preservation of Hamilton's history and heritage.

Gloria Pffeferle, Director

Gloria, now semi-retired from a publishing career, became interested in lighthouses when working part time painting miniature lighthouses. She joined the BCLG after reading a newspaper article about the planned restoration of the Lighthouse on the beach. Gloria has, for many years, been responsible for coordinating BCLG memberships, including maintaining the membership roster, encouraging members to renew their membership, and recruiting new members.