Historical information

One of 2 volumes of late 19th early 20th Century letter books. Each volume provides us with extensive listings of correspondence with supporters, fundraisers, patrons, architects, Mission staff and business transactions carried out by the Honorary Secretary Mr WHC Darvall over the period of a decade. Queen Victoria, Governors of Victoria: Earl of Hopetoun, Lord Brassey, Sir George Sydenham Clark, Lord Talbot and Governors General: Baron Northcote, performers such as Nellie Melba, Kitty Grindley, Sir Samuel Gllott president of the Law Institute, Hugh Reid, Crawford Pasco R.N. FRGS are just a few.


The late 19th C - early 20th C period covered by the 2 vol collection of correspondence records together with annual reports and minutes documents a significant transition period not only across centuries but also towards a new framework of operations for the original mid 19th C founded Mission to seamen. The death of a long-standing Chaplain, Wesleyan, Ebenezer James in 1901 eventually led to a proposed merger in 1905 which resulted in the amalgamation of the Victorian Mission with the Anglican based Mission to Seafarers under the leadership of Rev'd Gurney Goldsmith who arrived in 1905. The new Mission was launched in 1906 with a long planned and much needed new central building opened in 1907 on the Australian Wharf. Mr Darvall, in his time produced a handwritten 40 page epitomised history, drawn from annual reports and was exceptionally meticulous in his efforts to cross reference related correspondence, press clippings, report material and documents. He was a strong supporter of public Libraries and first town clerk of Beechworth.