Historical information

Football matches were a popular onshore activity and Annual reports note Reverend Weller in the 1920s managed to establish a temporary pitch and a change room facility near Port Melbourne.

The donor, Wally Nancarrow, was a tailor in the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney (from Nov. 1927- Aug. 1935 on Trove) so the relation with the Melbourne Mission is unclear. The shield can be seen hanging above the canteen on item 1713 (dated c. 1950) and in the Celia Little Room.

The Annual Report 1936 mentions a shield (p11) seen on page 15:
"Football: The competition has been extended this year, and in the future is to include all matches played in Australian ports. The Victorian Missions to Seamen Shield is the present trophy, and the Assistant-Chaplain has been appointed Organiser and Honorary Secretary."

The shield may have been done after the one mentioned in the annual report and we can only speculate nothing was ever engraved because of WW2.


The collection holds many historic and later contemporary colour photos of crew football teams posed onshore and on decks. Sports and games were an essential part of the welfare services offered by the Mission when seamen had long shore leave.

Physical description

Wooden shield featuring two circular disk silver plaques one on each side at the top.
One with the engraving of a ship and the other with the engraving of a footballer.
At the top in the centre is an anchor in relief gilded with a rope attached, falling across the front of it and coiling at the bottom of the anchor. Two flags crossing over in the middle of the shield; one the Australian Navy flag and the other the Mission to Seamen flag. Laying over the top of the poles of the flags is a brass banner with the competition description engraved on it.
At the bottom is a brass scroll with an inscription about who presented it and where. The shield has 12 smaller, blank silver shields along the sides.
The shield is kept inside a wooden display cabinet with a glass front and navy material back ground.

Inscriptions & markings

engraved on brass banner: For annual competition by crew of merchant ships presented by Wally Nancarrow, Sydney