Historical information

A Williamstown local, Ethel Margaret Musther nee Barber (1872-1956) was the daughter of Captain John Henry Barber (1842-1924), a sea pilot and Janet Lidell (1846-1891)
Her grandfather, Captain Lidell, was also a seaman.
In 1900, she married Nathan George Musther,(18..-1933) a chemist, and dentist in the Navy. They had two daughters: Rosamund Janet Musther(born 1903) and Nanoya Gwendoline Musther (born 1906).

She was the principal of the Ladies' College in Footscray.

She was involved in many philantropic associations especially for sailors but also during WWI and WW2. She worked for the Anzac Club, the Red Cross, She formed:
1941: the R.A.N. Friendly Union of Sailor's Wives and Mothers.
1943: the Lightkeepers Auxiliary to help the Mission raised funds.

The plaque was a gift of the Lightskeeper Auxiliaire and unveiled on 30 July 1959 at the St Nicholas Chapel, by her eldest daughter, Mrs Jean McDonald. It was originally on stained and polished hardwood mount made by Mrs Murdoch (AR1959, page 24).

On the day, a desk service-book was also dedicated in memory of Dr John Thompson at the request of his daughter, Mrs Sparrow.


In early 1943, Ethel Margaret Musther formed the Lightkeepers' Auxiliaire and raised funds for the third building purchased for the Williamstown branch of the Victorian Seamen's Mission, the former E,S & A Bank.
Thanks to her philanthropic work, she was rewarded with a Medal of the British Empire in 1953 for all her charitable work.

Physical description

Large rectangular with decorative clover corner

Inscriptions & markings

"In affectionnante and grateful memory / of / Ethel Margaret Musther, M.B.E. / Founder of / The Williamstown Lightkeepers Auxiliary / Of the / Victoria Missions to Seamen / Remembered always for this and many other / Philantropic works / Died 17th of September 1956 / Her deeds live after her.