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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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1349 items

1349 items

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Three-page letter written to Allan (0817.a1-3) from his father, Stanley Quinn, on three sheets of lined cream-coloured paper, headed Liddesdale Avenue, Frankston and dated 25.07.49. The envelope (0817.b) is buff-coloured. Also found in this envelope is a single-sided, two-page letter written on thin off-white lined paper (0817.c1-2) to Allan from his friend Norm headed 1 Selwyn Street, Artarmon, dated 27.07.49. Enclosed with 0817.c are two small black and white photographs (0817.d1-2). 0817.d1 shows a small boy with a model airplane and 0817.d2 the model airplane from a different angle.

Historical information

Letter 0817a; the writer refers to Allan's 21st birthday and his recent letter from Rio. He also writes of prices rising in Australia, the coal strike, and that 'Sydney especially is badly hit'. He also recommends Allan see a film called 'The Secret Land', a record of an American Naval Expedition to the South Pole, if he gets the opportunity. Letter is signed 'Your loving Dad, Stanley Quinn'. Writer of 0817d also refers to Allan's 21st birthday and the coal strike which has affected manufacturing and the availability of materials, especially bricks as all the brickworks are closed down. The letter is signed 'Your Pal Norm'.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Letter 0817a is written on the reverse side of three pages of the Melbourne Stevedoring Company's Cargo Tally sheets. The envelope is pre-stamped with an embossed profile of King George V and a crown in white on a red, oval background. Postage is two and a half pence. Envelope is addressed to Allan C/- Swedish Seaman's Union, 156 Montague Street, Brooklyn, New York, USA. The postmark is torn. There is a blue air-mail sticker on the upper left-hand corner. 0817d; On the left wing of the model airplane is printed MAA, on the right wing - 17. There are pencilled marks on the back of each photograph.

Photograph - Two chaplains

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two page, double sided letter (0307.A1-A2) written on blank paper with blue ink and envelope (0307.B)

Historical information

Letter from Allan Quinn to his mother which depicts his journey from Adelaide to San Francisco.

Significance

This letter is of historical, social and interpretive significance as it provides information about the life of a seaman during the mid 20th century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Top right corner of letter: "M.I Goonawarra San Francisco/ U.S.A 25.10.45" Envelope: "Mrs S Quinn/San Lorenzo/63 Ocean beach/Manly NSW Australia" There is one postage stamp in the top right hand corner and three ink stamps.

Photograph - Couriers in front of Seamen's Institute

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small monochrome photograph, quite faded/poor contrast

Historical information

Two young couriers with their bikes are ready to deliver their parcel - letters or newsletter - picked up from the Seamen's Institute, Siddeley Street. The Reverend A Gurney Goldsmith is standing on the stairs in the lobby.

Clothing - Men's Flying Angel Neck Tie

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Men's polyester fabric necktie, in dark blue, covered with subtle black flying angel insignia patterns, in various sizes, and two more prominent white smaller flying angel insignia patterns

Historical information

Necktie of MTS member, used for more formal or representational occasions.

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Crossing the line on the Ariston

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph of various members of the crew of the Ariston participating in the "crossing the line" ceremony in 1946.

Historical information

The crossing the ceremony was an important part of maritime lore and marked a sailor's first crossing of the equator. This photograph was taken by Allan Charles Quinn and therefore it is presumably not his first crossing but the photograph does depict aspects of the ceremony.

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 after World War II.

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Pennant - Missions to Seamen Greetings from Australia

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A triangular felted, dark blue pennant with printed cursive inscription and motifs including: the Mission to Seamen Flying Angel flag, an outline of Australia; a Koala wearing a captain's hat; an insignia emblem for the Merchant Navy. A looped cotton binding along left edge of the triangle to thread the flag on a stick or cord support.

Historical information

This Pennant was presented by a sailor to the 4 yr old daughter of the resident Caretaker at the Mission to Seamen Victoria, 717 Flinders St., Melbourne from 1943-1949. The gift was presented to the Mission Collection by the daughter, June, now in her Eighties.

Significance

A number of souvenir gifts and small boxes were apparently available through the Mission To Seamen in the 1940s. This acquisition adds to the small collection of items from the period which could be used to form the core of an informative exhibition.

Inscriptions & Markings

The printed inscription reads: Greetings from Australia.

Photograph - Copacabana Beach with Sugarloaf in the Background

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Colour photograph of Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro, dated 25-12-48. The photograph has been mounted on a 7.4x9.8 white card.

Historical information

This photograph is part of series of four, the only colour photographs taken by Allan Quinn while docked in Rio De Janeiro on-board the M/S Fenris. The photographs are mentioned in one of Allan Quinn's leters 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.

Book - The Borough and Its People - Port Melbourne 1839-1939

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Soft cover book of 293 pages; Appendix, Sources of Images, Endnotes, Bibliography and Index, by Margaret and Graham Bride. Front cover is sky blue and features a 2.5 cm wide strip of five small photos above the cream coloured title. Organisational logos on the back; Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society, City of Port Phillip, Port of Melbourne

Historical information

History of Port Melbourne's first hundred years since the arrival of white settlers in 1839 to the beginning of World War II.

Photograph - Reverend Weller with the ordinary crew members SS Marken Rotterdam

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

The head of a hatted Reverend Weller from the Mission to Seamen can be seen second from the left of this group photograph with ship's crew, of the SS Marken, of Rotterdam.

Magazine - Feedback - Chirp Maritime

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Menu Card - The Australian National Line Menu

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Buff-coloured menu card. Front; 'The Australian National Line' printed in blue above the ANL insignia with 18 names and telephone numbers (17 pencilled, 1 in red ink) written in place of a menu. Back; this appears to be a typed internal directory with 4 names and telephone numbers added (3 in pencil, 1 in blue-green ink). Garlick is one of names in the typed directory.

Historical information

Several items were given by a seafarer, Mr Nicholas Garlick (1926-2009) into the care of Father Brady who retired from St Pauls Cathedral, Melbourne in 2018. Father Brady later donated the collection of; objects, documents and an extensive collection of cruise ship menus (1937-end of 20thC) to the Mission via the intermediary William Hastie, volunteer at the Mission for Seafarers.

Inscriptions & Markings

See media

Photograph - Allan Quinn Collection - M/S "Mongabarra" Goteborg, Nilsson and Peter Stone

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph of Nilsson and Peter Stone on the M/S "Mongabarra" Goteborg from the U.S. to Australia in December 1950. The two men are undertaking ships duties pulling ropes on the deck of the ship.

Historical information

This series of photographs captures life at sea and the conditions on the ship M/S "Mongabarra" Goteborg in 1950.

Significance

This photograph is part of the Allan Quinn collection, which is a pictorial autobiography, and it represents one of many moments of his time abroad as a seafarer.

Inscriptions & Markings

On the back of the photograph is the text "Nilsson & Peter 4/12/49" in blue pen and what looks like "K 9 B" in pencil upside-down.

Painting - Departure 7

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Large scale Oil on Belgian Linen depicting dockside and ships.

Historical information

Finalist Robert Klein-Boonschate in the ANLMAP 2003

Significance

An early entrant to the Mission to Seafarers annual Maritime Art Prize

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A single sheet of very thin paper folded in half, book form, with writing on the first and third pages only (0854.a). Written in green ink it is headed Oslo and dated 14/12/50. The air-mail envelope (0854.b) is bordered with alternating purple and yellow diagonal stripes. There are three Norwegian stamps, one green and two purple, in the right upper corner. It is post-marked Oslo and addressed Mrs K Hayes, 14 Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia.

Historical information

Allan writes that he has left the ship M S Mongabarra in Sweden and traveled by train to Oslo where he will stay for about 14 days before travelling to London. He has sent "...a very big carton, a smaller one - a trunk and coffee table back to Australia."

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

The letter is from Allan to his mother.

Documents - ANL Art Prize 2006: catalogue (1475A), invitation (1475B) and vote for People's Choice (1475C)

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Attending a service in St Peter the Mariner chapel

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

small b & w photograph of seated congregation at service in St Peter the Mariner chapel

Inscriptions & Markings

stamp: 8940, photographic paper markings ILFORD

Photograph - Picnic at Orchard House, Cup Day 1907

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small monochrome outdoor photograph, clearly focussed, depicting a group of 20+ seafarers gathered to pose for the photograph.

Historical information

Typical outdoor photo of group of seafarers benefitting from a mission excursion out to one of the larger properties, in this case Orchard House, South Yarra

Programme - Centenary Victoria Melbourne 1934-1935: Centenary Thanksgiving Service

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A 4-page buff-coloured programme produced for the Centenary Thanksgiving Service held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday 14th October 1934. The official Melbourne Centenary insignia is featured on the front above the heading with some of the attendees listed below. Printed on the back under the heading 'Notification' is information concerning the arrangements for the day. The Order of Service is printed on page 2 and 3.

Historical information

Several items were given by a seafarer, Mr Nicholas Garlick (1926-2009) into the care of Father Brady who retired from St Pauls Cathedral, Melbourne in 2018. Father Brady later donated the collection of; objects, documents and an extensive collection of cruise ship menus (1937-end of 20thC) to the Mission via the intermediary William Hastie, volunteer at the Mission for Seafarers.

Brass candle stands

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

This brass candle stand or floor candlestick holder is one of a set of a pair. The candle holder is shaped like an open flower. There is elaborate brass ornamentation, floral in nature. Below is an angel figure holding a sword with both hands with the tip pointing toward its feet. The base of the candlestick is a tripod with three winged dogs, forming the feet. There is elaborate ornamentation that in turn connect each of the dogs together.

Historical information

The origins of the brass candlestick holders are unknown. However, they both are on permanent display in the St Peter the Mariner chapel and in continuous use. Since opening in 1917 the chapel has been the site of many religious ceremonies and events and the candlestick holders are an important aspect of that usage.

Significance

The St Peter the Mariner's Chapel is a crucial part of the Mission to Seafarers Melbourne building complex, underscoring the relationship between the organisation and the Anglican Church, as well as being a site of continuous usage since the building was opened.

Photograph - Ship Moreton Bay

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A single page of unlined blue paper folded in book form to give four pages of writing (0896.a). Letter is headed Oslo, Norway. The first half of the letter is dated 25.05.1950, the second half the 26.05.1950. Buff-coloured envelope (0839.b) is addressed to Allen Quinn Esq .M.S. Mongabarra, C/- Alex M. Petersen, 14 Meyr, Antwerp, Holland. Envelope bears one grey/blue Norwegian stamp. Post mark appears to be Gotenborg but is indistinct.

Historical information

Interesting historical note: the writer of the letter suggests a meeting with her friend Lord Sinha who will give Allan a tour of the Houses of Parliament and lunch. Lord Sinha is the son of Satyendra Prasanna Sinha, 1st Baron Sinha, the first (and only) Indian ever to be given the hereditary peerage and the first Indian member of the House of Lords. The peerage was created by Lloyd George in 1919.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Letter commences "My Dear Allen,' and concludes "Love Vera".

Lectern

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

The head of the lectern is supported by three wooden cross sections each engraved with a criss-crossing leaf pattern. The legs of lectern have a similarly carved decorative panel forming an arched shape. Each corner of the panel has gum leafs and nuts carved into it. The foot of the lectern is less ornate although there are three decorated wooden panels mimicking those supported the head.

Historical information

The lectern was gifted by Mary Georgina Howard Northcote in 1907 for the Siddeley Street mission (see Annual Report 1907: list of gifts for the new institute page 8). It was moved to the St Peter the Mariner Chapel, Flinders Street, and has been in use ever since. Mary nee Reynell in Cheltenham, England, was the wife of Edward Northcote, ex master mariner and general manager of the Adelaide Steamship Company between 1899 and 1926, before his death on 4 November 1926. Edward Northcote was the cousin of Henry Stafford Northcote, Governor General of Australia (1904-1908). Lord Northcote laid the stone of the Siddeley Street Seamen's Institute on Tuesday 5 February 1907. Mary died in December 1932, in her will she made a donation of £25 to the Mission.

Significance

The Mission to Seafarers Victoria has been in operation for over 150 years in Victoria although experiencing many name and location changes. The current site at 717 Flinders Street is also the most enduring and many artefacts from previous locations have been relocated to this site. This lectern underscores the relationship between the Mission and the Anglican Church and the way in which the chapel has been a social and spiritual hub since its opening.

Inscriptions & Markings

Brass plaque on lectern: FOR THE GLORY OF GOD/THIS LECTERN/WAS PRESENTED BY/MARY HOWARD NORTHCOTE/DECEMBER 1907

Memorial Plaque - Memorial to Catherine Florence Aviss

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Large engraved brass plaque mounted onto brick wall commemorating wife of sea captain.

Historical information

Links to another image in the collection previously unidentified now known as at 2018 to be the children of a seafaring family of Captain and Mrs Aviss. In 1918 the family was re-united with Mrs Aviss' parents after a dangerous journey by sea the first time that the children met their grandparents, Captain and Mrs Frampton also seafarers . The story demonstrates the respect and support of the Mission for two remarkable families of seafarers and the dangers of the influenza epidemic post WW1.

Significance

An example of lives and tribulations of a seafarer family who survived the Great War but who also had to deal with the Influenza epidemic prior to 1920.

Inscriptions & Markings

To the Glory of God / and in memory of Catherine Florence/ the beloved wife of Captain Herbert Aviss/ (Barque Inverneill) who died at St John. N.B./ Nov 3rd 1918.

Photograph - Waterside Riots Port Melbourne Nov 1928

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Construction of the Siddeley Street Seamen's Institute in 1907

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Sepia toned photograph depicting the Siddeley Street facility under construction. There are two women dressed in white wearing picture hats and carrying either cloaks or coats to the right of the photograph and a group of five men standing in a row beside them. They are all standing in front of the entranceway with arched windows to either side all of which is covered in scaffolding.

Historical information

The Siddeley Street institute, designed by renown architect Walter Butler was built in 1907. The foundation stone was laid in February 1907 by Lord Northcote and the institute was opened in December the same year.

Significance

The Siddeley Street Seamen's Institute is the first central structure to be built in central Melbourne on the banks of the Yarra River as the shipping was moving to Hobson's Bay to the city centre.

Inscriptions & Markings

Pencil mark on reverse of photograph: "2"

Document - Arthur Oswald Dixon Certificate of Competency Extra Master

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Officially printed document, and official copy of an original certificate of competency issued by the office of the Register General of Shipping and Seamen recognising Arthur Oswald Dixon as an Extra Master. At right angles to the certificate is a small margin at left indication the current document is an approved copy in 1919 of the original certificate issued in 1904.

Historical information

This document one of several papers and objects from the estate of Mr Arthur O. Dixon, an ex-master mariner and later smallhold farmer. Other correspondence and papers gifted to the Mission indicates the year 1919 (post his service in World War 1) was a time of some changes for Mr Dixon, possibly leading to his subsequent re-location to Australia show that he served as a crew member on the Merchant vessel "Hororata" a vessel which is noted in the MTSV records including an image of the crew in the early 1920s. (see VC record ).This vessel is also mentioned in a narrative poem by a de-mobbed Soldier of WW1 as the transport for a number of returning servicemen and families. The poem is held in the National Library of Australia.

Significance

Unusually for the early 20th C. era of Mr Dixon's service at sea two images of Mr Dixon were included in the gift of papers. Personal objects included an unusual small travel size New Testament (see VC record ) heavily annotated provide further insights into the experience of early 20th C. seafarers.

Inscriptions & Markings

See image for both sides of the document for extensive text.

Card - Free Bus Service

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Chaplains

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands