Historical information

The lectern was gifted by Mary Georgina Howard Northcote in December 1907 for the Siddeley Street mission (see Annual Report 1907: list of gifts for the new institute page 8). It was moved to the St Peter Chapel, Flinders Street, and has been in use ever since.
Mary nee Reynell in Cheltenham, England, was the wife of Edward Northcote, ex master mariner and general manager of the Adelaide Steamship Company between 1899 and 1926, before his death on 4 November 1926. Edward Northcote was the cousin of Henry Stafford Northcote, Governor General of Australia (1904-1908). Lord Northcote laid the stone of the Siddeley Street Seamen's Institute on Tuesday 5 February 1907. Mary died in December 1932, in her will she made a donation of £25 to the Mission.

As it was moved to the St Peter chapel when the Flinders Street Mission opened, it was added to the 1917 list of gifts.


The Mission to Seafarers Victoria has been in operation for over 150 years in Victoria although experiencing many name and location changes. Support and patronage by Governors general and State governors was key to official recognition of the work of the Mission.The current site at 717 Flinders Street is the most enduring and many artefacts from previous locations have been relocated to this site. This lectern underscores the relationship between the Mission and notable Victorians.

Physical description

The head of the lectern is supported by three wooden cross sections each engraved with a criss-crossing leaf pattern. The legs of lectern have a similarly carved decorative panel forming an arched shape. Each corner of the panel has gum leafs and nuts carved into it. The foot of the lectern is less ornate although there are three decorated wooden panels mimicking those supporting the head.

Inscriptions & markings

Brass plaque on lectern: