Lighthouse keeper Peet Pajus

Peet Pajus was lighthouse keeper during 1978 – 1998.

When Elmar and Indy Kares retired in 1978, they handed their position in the shipshape lighthouse over to their goddaughter Helle Kares, who came together with her husband to perform the responsible work as a keeper of the light.

Peet Pajus was born on 14 March 1941 in Häädemeeste. Peet’s grandfather Aleksander Martinson was a sea captain and settled on the coast after a shipwreck on the Atlantic Ocean. Returning home after the shipwreck he found that his wife had re-married, and he started a new life with a widow Aliide. 
During the war several generations lived together in a temporary hut behind the dunes in Sooküla.

As a youngster Peet came down with tuberculosis, ending his major dreams. After recovering he started studies in Oru technical school, and later he worked as an engineer in Lavassaare–Tootsi peat industry. Meeting with his future wife Helle brought along a change in his life and Peet came to learn the trade of a lighthouse keeper under the guidance of Elmar Kares in 1977. 

Peet became the lighthouse keeper in 1978 and his daughter Kristiina was born in the autumn.

New equipment used for managing the renewed nautophone in the Ninamaa fog siren station was installed in the technical building of the lighthouse in cooperation with specialists from West Germany in 1979–1980. In addition, new equipment was installed for the Suurupi rear lighthouse lantern ASA-50 (AСA-500) and spare lantern EM-300 (ЭM-300). New generator with a power supply sufficient for the lighthouses and the nautophone was also installed.  The lighthouses were functioning and everything in the lighthouse and the town was in impeccable order.

The lighthouse family kept animals, grew vegetables and flowers for their own use and for extra money.

The 1990s were characterised by uncertainty about the future.  Navigation marks were only handed over to the Estonian Republic in 1993, and it was unclear what was to become of the lighthouse keepers. How many would still have a job; receiving a salary on payday, was not certain either.  New technologies were tried out in Suurupi lighthouses and there was talk about possible lighthouse tourism. The Suurupi front lighthouse saw an overhaul in 1997. The renovation of the Suurupi rear lighthouse was started in 1998, rendering was removed and the light room of amortised metal, as well as the details of the balcony, were replaced.

Peet Pajus.

Peet died suddenly due to a burst aorta of the heart at the age of 57 on 21 November 1998.

His wife Helle continued as the caretaker of the Suurupi lighthouse until the end of the renovation works, being one of the last three lighthouse keepers in the Estonian Republic.

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