Historical information

The memorial tablet was unveiled in the St Nicholas chapel at the Port Melbourne mission (Beach Cnr Nott St) on Wednesday 24 June 1936. The ceremony was performed by her nephew, Reverend John Smerger Drought - her sister's son.

Another plaque was erected the same month in the Williamstown Institute. (Annual Report 1936)

Along with the windows in the St Peter chapel in the Central Institute, those were the 3 memorials similar to the ones erected in memory of Miss Tracy.

Miss Ethel Godfrey was born in 1861 at sea on the vessel called Copenhagen. Daughter of a pioneer, and settler Frederick Race Godfrey MLA and subsequently Lay Dean at St Paul's. Ethel Studied in Melbourne and abroad at Brussels and became a singing teacher and performer. In 1906 she took on the role of Honorary General Secretary to create and lead the volunteer organisation "The Ladies Harbour Lights Guild" and subsequently helped establish similar groups in Newcastle, Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide and also established the mission in Southampton in the UK. The structure of the LHLG was used as a model framework by similar groups supporting Missions around Australia and the Globe. A key achievement was the fundraising campaign for the memorial chapel in St Peters built in 1917 by Walter R.Butler.
She died the 7 July 1935, and is buried in the St Kilda Cemetery.


On her retirement in 1930 after some 25 years, Miss Godfrey together with Chaplain Gurney Goldsmith was recognised in the journal The Church and the Sailor, as a key influence and promoter of the formation of Harbour Lights groups across the suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria and Australia, the Ladies Harbour Lights Guild, Melbourne being the first such auxiliary group in the world.

Physical description

Clay base rectangular plaque with inlaid blue ceramic regular tesserae surrounding the ceramic centre rectangular ceramic panel with inscription and decorative glazed detail tiles. Support is a metal frame with inset wood pieces .

Inscriptions & markings

To the Glory of God and in memory ops/ a much loved leaderAthel Augusta Godfrey, / one of the founders/ of the ladies Harbour Lights Guild/ of which she was honorary general secretary / Until 1930./ This memorial erected in the year of her death."