George Poynter Heath ( 1830 - 1921)

Poynter was a Royal Navy captain and the first port master of Queensland. It was under his supervision and administration that the 2,086 mile of coast of the Queensland coast, its numerous river and creeks, were marked for navigational purposes by means of buoys, beacons, and lights. This included establishing 33 lighthouses, 6 lightships and 150 small lights and marking 724 kilometres (450 mi) of the inner route through the Great Barrier Reef.

He was educated at Cheltenham College. He entered the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1845, and served in the Channel Squadron and on the south coast of South America.

Heath first visited Australia while serving on HMS Rattlesnake, when she was engaged in surveying the south-east coast of Australia and of New Guinea from 1846 to 1850 under Owen Stanley. He also served on HMS Fantome, and HMS Calliope. He was also employed by the Sydney Hydrographic office in drawing up charts of the Pacific Ocean. On his return to England, Heath was employed by the British Admiralty drawing charts of the areas surveyed by the Rattlesnake.

In late 1859 he was appointed marine surveyor in the Colony of Queensland, which had just been established. Heath was an optical expert in the matter of lighthouse work. With the exception of the Cape Moreton lighthouse erected in 1857, Heath selected the sites, and prepared specifications of the appliances required for all lighthouses on the Queensland coast until 1890, when he retired. The last site selected by him was at Booby Island Light. In 1864 he was involved in surveying Cleveland Bay near Townsville. In addition to holding the positions of port master, he was also a member of the Marine Board, of which he became chairman in 1869.

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