Historical information

The reports were produced and readily distributed annually to a number of organisational stakeholders and included reports from the Committee, Chaplain, extracts of letters, Ladies auxiliary and a list of subscribers.

In the Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Saturday 24 February 1900, page 15:


The annual meeting of the Victorian Seamen's Mission was held in the institute at Port Melbourne last night. There was a fair attendance, the large proportion being ladies, and the chair was occupied by Sir Frederick Sargood MLC. Mr Hugh R Reid, the president of the institute, was also president.

The annual report, which was lead and adopted, stated that the Seamen's Institute at Port Melbourne, and also the Sailors' Rest at Williamstown, had sustained their reputation for usefulness and attractiveness. The attendances had been very large at each place and 114 seamen had taken the pledge at the Port Melbourne Institute. Regreat was felt that owing to the preliminary steps having met with opposition in Parliament the building of the long contemplated additional institute near the Melbourne wharves was deferred but the project had not been abandoned. Large parcels of literature had been distributed gratuitiously among ships' crews and the concerts held for the entertainment of seamen had been very successful. The mission had been in existence for over 40 years. It aimed at promoting the temporal and spiritual welfare of seamen. It had been the means of completely eradicating "crimping" and the sailors' "boarding masters" curie, and otherwise removing many of the abuses which still exist in other ports.

The Chairman, in moving the adoption of the report and balance sheet, referred to the great benefits which seamen derived from the institute. He was particularly struck by the fact that during the past year close on 2,000 letters had been written by visiting seamen from the institute namely, 1,720 at Port Melbourne, and 261 at Williamstown. It was also a very note-worthy feature, which perhaps the residents of Williamstown might be able to explain that, whilst out of 49,567 attendances at the Port Melbourne institute 114 had taken the pledge there, there was not a single instance on record of the pledge having been taken at the Sailors' Rest, Williamstown, out of 8,218 attendances. (Laughter) Referring to the projected new institute near the wharves, he was amazed to find that its construction had been, according to the report, orefused by some of the labour members. He did not know the details of the matter, but was of opinion that there was no institution more deserving of the support of labour members than the one advocated. In his opinion, the representatives of labour should disown the action of their delegates in Parliament in this matter. (Cheers )
Selections of vocal and instrumental music were given during the evening.


These reports were produced annually and include a number of smaller reports from the Executive Committee, Chaplain and auxiliary. They sometimes included photographs and a list of subscribers and amounts pledged. These reports provide an organisational overview as well as many stories of the people who populated the Mission to Seafarers.