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Mission to Seafarers Victoria Docklands, Victoria

For their safe and efficient operations, ships depend on seafarers working far from their home and family for months, sometimes years and often in harsh, isolated and dangerous conditions. The Mission to Seafarers Victoria supports seafarers in the most practical way, by provision of support. Mission to Seafarers is an international organisation that began in 1836, with 26 facilities operating in Australia.

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Contact Information

location
717 Flinders Street Docklands Victoria 3008 (map)
phone
+61 03 96297083

Contact

Opening Hours

9am-10pm

Entry Fee

Free

Location

717 Flinders Street Docklands Victoria

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The collection focus is on the Mission to Seafarers Victoria organisational history and the communities surrounding it - seafarers, the Anglican chaplaincy and philanthropic groups, such as the Ladies Habour Lights Guild. The collection spans from the late 1800s to the present day. It comprises documents, books, photographs and objects.

Significance

The Mission to Seafarers' heritage collection and building is of at least state significance (architectural). The buildings and several collection items are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (H1496) and the National Trust Register (B4588) due to their representativeness of the Arts and Crafts and Spanish Mission styles. The collection holds historical significance because of its importance to Australia's cultural history through its representation of national maritime welfare and migration themes. The collection holds social/spiritual significance as a place of strong or special association with national and international seafaring community, and with the national and international Anglican Church movement and prominent philanthropic groups and individuals.

Margaret 12 October 2016 5:42 PM

I am researching a Mariner who arrived allegedly on the "Essex" - date unknown but it would have been before 1872 when he married at the Fitzroy Registry Office. His name was Alexander Bothwell from Aberdeen Scotland. Would there be any records going back that far? Do you research for queries ? If so, how much ? Thanks.

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1305 items

1305 items

Flyer - Sea Shanty Workshop 23 Sept 2017

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small flyer predominantly blue wash with variable text advertising an event.

Historical information

The flyer advertises a complimentary event to be held on the 23rd September 2017 in association with the Sounding Histories Exhibition at the Mission to Seafarers, 717 Flinders Street, Melbourne. One of several events held to celebrate the Mission to Seafarers 100 years of service at the Flinders Street building.

Significance

One of the few physical records of the event. The event generated some gifts and donations.

Inscriptions & Markings

See image for details. The printing advertises an event to be held under the general title of Sounding Histories. There is a small logo in the lower right hand corner.

Photograph - Port Melbourne Mission

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Colour photograph depicting the Mission to Seamen, Beach Street, Port Melbourne in 1988. In front of the building is a sign for an art exhibition: " Zeitgeist - Spirit of the Times - paintings by Phil Edwards, Robert Ewing and Anthony May, Sculptures by Andrea Griffin, August 18- September 8 1988."

Photograph - David Conolly and Catherine Herron dining out

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small rectangular (landscape orientation) monochrome photograph depicting a gentleman and lady sitting informally at a restaurant table.

Inscriptions & Markings

'Another night on the town. David Conolly, Stipendiary Lay Reader at the mission, dining out with Harbour Lights Guild member Cathy Herron - a practice frowned on at the time. Circa 1957.'

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Three-page, double-sided letter on unlined paper (0357.a1-a3) written from the Seamens Institute, New York and dated 31/08/47 with cream, stamped envelope (0357.b).

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Envelope inscription notes change of address to 140 Brunswick Road, Brunswick, Victoria.

Photograph - "Sea Mites" Young children on board a ship

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small monochrome photograph of two small children, a girl and a boy posed in front of the ship's wheel of a sailing vessel

Historical information

The LHLG newsletter of 1918 features this image and notes that they accompanied their shipmaster father Captain Aviss, of the Barque Inverneill who with his wife Catherine Florence Aviss, travelling through dangerous European waters, brought the family of three children to visit Melbourne. The two children featured are Margaret and Ronald, born at sea in 1915. Their young sister, Ruth Neil, was also born at sea on the 27 August 1918. The family re-united with a first meeting for the children and grandparents, Captain and Mrs Frampton, who "had lost two ships to enemy submarines and were now on their third". The family participated in "a happy Communion service in our chapel , in which the parents and grandparents joined this formed the keystone of their visit to Melbourne". Unfortunately one year later in 1919 Mrs Aviss succumbed to influenza and a memorial plaque in her name unveiled in the chapel at the Mission.

Significance

One of the rare stories of seafarer visits illustrated with a photograph of the children of a family accustomed to life aboard ship. The impact of influenza also affected this family and others are recorded amongst the supporters of the Mission and reflects the widespread impact that the epidemic of the post WW1 period had on people, Mission activities and restrictions affecting public events.Both Framptons and Aviss are noted in the annals of the Cape Horne society.

Photograph - Working on Stern

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A black and white photograph of work being donw on the stern of the M/S Fenris while in dry dock, in Stockholm, dated 18-5-49.

Historical information

The photograph is part of a series of six, depicting the Fenris in dry docks in at Finn Boda ship yards, in Stockholm, Sweden, between the 4th and the 27th of May, 1948. This photograph shows the stern of the ship.

Significance

This is a photograph from the Allan Charles Quinn collection which is a collection of letters and photograph depicting aspects of life at sea for a young man in the era immediately following World War II.

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: STOCKHOLM / 18-5-49 handwritten in blue ink. Below this is an indecipherable mark in pencil.

Photograph - Conversation in Celia Little Room

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

The image depicts a group of people in the foreground of the Celia Little Room at Mission to Seafarers Melbourne. A Priest is sitting to the left of a table with a number of tea cups and saucers. There is a man sitting in the middle with his arms crossed with his elbows on the table. A lady sits to the right of the table and she is holding a cup and saucer. Another man is sitting between the lady and the man with his arms crossed, he is bald. There are two men in the background who appear to be reading, one man is partially blocked from view by the man at the table with his arms crossed. The walls are timber lined.

Historical information

This photograph is a snapshot of how the Celia Little Room was used in the late 1950s, and the people who visited the Mission to Seafarers Melbourne at the time.

Significance

The Mission to Seafarers Melbourne is a place of respite for visiting seafarers since 1917. The image shows a particular point in history in the Celia Little Room at the Mission, where the services provided to seafarers are being used.

Inscriptions & Markings

The reverse side of the photograph in the top right corner is an "O" with what appears to be a "9" in the middle of the "O".

Photograph - Officers and Crew of SS Peterton

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small black and white photograph of informal group of seafarers with one member of crew dressed up as a king with crown (possibly Neptune). Photographed on deck of ship while in a Port

Historical information

The S.S. Peterton a steamship was built in Glasgow and launched 1917.

Inscriptions & Markings

Handwritten in black ink on page or mount beneath image " Officers and crew of the S.S. Peterton"

Maroon leather photo album with loose and fixed photos

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A large photo album with photos mounted on pages as well as 22 loose photos in the front of the album. There are 10 pages with mounted photos on them. The pages have all come loose as the fittings are missing.

Historical information

Nothing is known of the context of these photos.

Significance

This item and photographs has little significance without further information being determined.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Three page letter written on two sheets of buff coloured lined paper (0832.a1-0832.a2) headed 5 Pollington Street, St Kilda and dated 31/11/49. Matching envelope (0832.b).

Historical information

Mrs Quinn writes of receiving a photo album, some books and an ashtray Allan has sent. She tells him how proud she is of her son.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Letter commences 'Allan Dear' and concludes '...Fondest love from your Mum...'. The envelope has been re-addressed from C/- Scandinavian Shipping Office, San Francisco to M/S Mongabarra, San Francisco. Post-mark on the front is Melbourne and the Australian stamp is one shilling and sixpence. There is a San Francisco postmark on the back of the envelope and also a promotional stamp 'Save the East. Buy U.S. Bonds in payroll savings.'

Photograph - Studio portrait of man with bowl hat

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Studio portrait of a man sitting, with moustache, wearing a 3 piece suit with buttonhole spray, walking cane ad bowler hat.

Historical information

This portrait could be of Captain Daniel McCallum. In the Williamstown Chronicle dating back Saturday 16 March 1895 we could read: " An interesting ceremony will be performed at the Sailor's Rest next Thursday 21st. inst., when a large photo of the late Captain D. McCallum (which has been presented to the Rest) will be unveiled, in the presence, it is expected, of several of those who assisted Captain McCallum in his good, work amongst the sailors, and others who were closely connected with the Mr Ronald Reid a will supply the musical part of the pogramme." Captain McCallum was secretary of the Williamstown Sailors' Rest, located in Ann Street, and had himself saved the rest paying some of its debt. He died in 1887.

Inscriptions & Markings

Signature in red ink in the bottom right corner: "CHUCK-artist"

Photograph - St Peter the Mariner Chapel altar

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Painting - 'Heading to a Safe Port' by Jack Woods

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Oil painting on linen covered wooden frame

Photograph - Bar and lounge inside the Hastings Seafarer Centre

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Crossing the Line ceremony

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Booklet - Port of Geelong 1964

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A blue two-colour booklet with red colour title 'Port of Geelong 1964' features a graphic of a globe of the world. Along the top border of the booklet is a narrow sepia photo of a port.

Historical information

Presents an overview of shipping and freight statistics for the Port of Geelong 1964

Significance

Provides a statistical overview for a single year during a time of transition and change in shipping practice and the move to containerisation.

Inscriptions & Markings

Two-page booklet also contains printed information on the inside of both cover pages. Pages are unnumbered. In the lower right corner; 'Trade Statistics...'.

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

One and a half page, double-sided letter type-written on cream, unlined paper (0395.a1-a2), dated 21/11/48 and written at sea on board M.S Fenris. Cream airmail envelope (0395.b).

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Envelope bears three Brazil stamps and is franked Rio.

Photograph of Lillie & James Morgan with friends

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A professional photograph of Lillie Morgan (nee Duncan) and husband James Morgan dining at Marios' restaurant in Melbourne with three unidentified friends. The printed image is professionally mounted in a Marios' display folder.

Historical information

The photograph shows five seated individuals dining at Marios' restaurant, Melbourne. The ladies are wearing finery and corsages which suggests that this may have been a post-marriage celebration following the wedding of Lillie and James Morgan. Their marriage certificate records the date as 26th of April, 1969.

Significance

This is a photograph of social and historic significance, being part of a sub-collection of material that provides a snapshot of the type of individuals involved in the Ladies Harbour Lights Guild and the activities carried out by that organisation. The image is also an insight into fashions of the time as well as into the relationship between Lillie and James.

Inscriptions & Markings

The front of the display folder reads "Greetings from Marios' Continental Restaurant Melbourne - Australia" Insignia of the restaurant is printed beneath the photograph and the photographer's name 'Renouf' is printed alongside. On the reverse "Fully air-conditioned" and "Photography by Renouf of Marios'" is printed in red ink. There is also a sketch in blue biro of a cat and a horse and rider.

Card - Mission Christmas Card

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Mostly from the time of Joan of Arch - Rouen

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph of a historical building and street scape in Rouen, taken on the 5th of June, 1949.

Historical information

This photograph is one of a series taken by Allan while travelling through France in mid-1946. There are several letters relating to this journey.

Significance

This is a photograph from the Allan Charles Quinn collection which is a collection of letters and photograph depicting aspects of life at sea for a young man in the era immediately following World War II.

Inscriptions & Markings

On reverse: ROUEN 5-6-49 handwritten in blue ink. Below this is a mark "ItI"in pencil, written sideways.

Photograph - Docks (possibly in Melbourne)

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

(see item 1955)

Memorial Plaque - Merchant and Navy service Memorial Plaque

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small rectangular plaque made of steel mounted on wood. The plaque features helm representing Merchant seamen and an anchor with a crown on top representing the Navy. Both are gold plated.

Historical information

The plaque was dedicated in 1981 to the men who gave their lives during the World War Two period in the merchant and navy services.

Significance

The chapel continues to be a place of commemoration for both merchant and naval services.

Inscriptions & Markings

To the glory of God and In memory of those who went down to the sea in ships 1939-1945 24 Dec, 1981.

Decorative Arts - Ceremonial trowel

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Ceremonial trowel : decorative carved ivory handle with silver diamond-shaped spade is decoratively engraved with floral and fernery designs above an engraved detailed inscription.

Historical information

This trowel was used by Her Excellency Lady Stanley in the absence of her Husband the State Governor of Victoria due to illness , at a ceremony in 1916 to lay the foundation stones of both the main Mission to Seafarers building designed by architect Walter Butler . A substantial photo story of the event appeared in a local newspaper see Links field for details. The trowel was discovered to exist around the centenary of the building owned by the Moss family in Toronto Canada. The trowel was gifted to the MTSV in mid 2019 courtesy of Professor Uma Kothari, of Manchester University, and the Ross family who met at the Chapel of Mission to Seafarers, London for the presentation.

Significance

This re-discovery and gift of this decorative arts object provides a link with the historic and ceremonial occasion of the laying of foundation stones for the first phase of the Mission to Seamen ( the chapel and main complex ) which opened in 1917 and has operated continuously at 717 Flinders Street. Significantly patron of the LHLG at the time, The State Governor's wife, Lady Stanley actually officiated and a record of this can be seen in contemporary press coverage in 1916.

Inscriptions & Markings

Upper surface of trowel engraved: THE VICTORIA SEAMEN's INSTITUTE /MELBOURNE / To commemorate the Laying /of the/ FOUNDATION STONE / OF THE NEW BUILDINGS /BY / HIS EXCELLENCY / The Hon Sir Arthur L Stanley / K.C.M.G. / GOVERNOR OF VICTORIA / Nov.14th 1916 underside surface of trowel engraved stamped with: hallmark and maker's mark ( semi obscured and worn).

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two and a half sheets of lined, buff-coloured paper, folded in book form, written as seven pages (0383.a1, a2). Letter dated 27/07/48, written in Swedish by Britt Johansson/Johausson (spelling tbc) . Buff coloured envelope (0383.b) with one green and one purple Swedish stamp. One small black and white photo (0383.c) of a woman and two children enclosed in letter.

Historical information

Indicates a friendship at that date

Significance

Quinn Collection

Photograph - Ladies Harbour Lights Guild

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Group photograph of the Ladies Harbour Light Guild

Historical information

Sitting in the centre, wearing black is Ethel Godfrey. see item 1653

Photograph - Crossing the line on the Ariston

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph of the "crossing the line" ceremony aboard the Ariston on 19 September 1946.

Historical information

This photograph depicts the ritual of "crossing the line" which marks the point at which a sailor first crosses the equator. Allan worked aboard the M.T. Ariston during 1946 and worked between Sweden, Central America, North West Indies and South America.

Significance

This photograph is from the Allan Charles Quinn collection which is a collection of letters and photographs depicting life at sea for a young man in the period immediately following World War II.

Inscriptions & Markings

Black ink on reverse: Crossing the equator on Ariston/ 10.9.46

Black and White Photograph - Crew of the Nyanza - Glasgow, Coronation Day May 12 1937, Melbourne, Australia

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph of the Nyanza crew on the day of Georges VI coronation.

Inscriptions & Markings

Coronation Day May 12 1937, Melbourne, Australia

Photograph - M/A Fenris loading coffee

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A colour photograph of the M/S Fenris , docked in Paranague , Brazil, and being loaded with coffee. it is dated 29-12-48. The photograph is mounted in a 7.5x9.7 white card.

Historical information

This photograph is part of series of four, the only colour photographs taken by Allan Quinn while docked in Brazil on-board the M/S Fenris. The photographs are mentioned in a letter Allan Quinn wrote to his mother (Object 0150).

Significance

This is a photograph from the Allan Charles Quinn collection which is a collection of letters and photograph depicting aspects of life at sea for a young man in the era immediately following World War II.

Group certificate 16 January 1945

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

This is a tax certificate marked No. 535441

Historical information

A typewritten group certificate.

Significance

This document tells us how much Allan Quinn was paid in 1945 and how much tax he paid. It provides information on earnings at that time.

Inscriptions & Markings

The employer is listed as The Darling Island Stevedoring and Lighterage Coy Ltd. The tax withheld was 2 pounds 12 shillings on total earnings of 79 pounds 10 shillings.

Scrapbook - Victorian Seamen's Mission Scrapbook No 1

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A large stitch bound book containing newspaper clippings, advertising flyers, concert programs, drawings and memorabilia relating to the Victorian Seamen's Mission (Mission to Seafarers)

Historical information

This scrapbook holds numerous newspaper clippings recording events, functions and visits to the Seamen's Mission starting in 1896 through to 1902. On the inside of the rear cover of the book a plan of Williamstown has been pasted although no date has been provided.

Significance

This scrapbook outlines the many events, concerts, important visits and social occasions held at and by the Mission during this time frame. It includes the names and activities of many prominent Melburnians and shows the vivacity of the work at the Mission.

Inscriptions & Markings

Sticker on the front cover: "Victorian Seamen's/Mission/Scrap-book/No. 1/Commencing - Ending - January 1896"