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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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1264 items

1264 items

Photograph - Presented by the Firemen and Trimmers of S.S. Virgilia Christmas 1920-21

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Studio Mounted Black and white Photograph of 12 crewmen on board ship with ship kitten and with primary and secondary inscriptions

Historical information

Various ports in all parts of the world would provide a photographic service documenting ship crews and passengers. The crew members in this photograph would have primarily worked in the engine rooms of the Steam ship Virgilia.

Significance

Appears to have been presented to the Mission possibly in appreciation of the services these crewmen had used or events they had attended. The photograph is valuable as all the crew featured are named with surnames and may crosslink with documented records of their visits also held in the archive collection.

Inscriptions & Markings

In black ink: See Title; also crew names handwritten in ink above image: Trevanna, Jones, Jeffries, Mathews, Gunther, / Dingle, O'Callaghan, Finn, Whittaker, Duffey, / below image O'Leary, Furlong; In pencil handwritten lower centre: S.S. VIRGILIA; on Verso in pencil Lwr right quadrant PH-SC 24

Letter to Olive and Lillie Duncan from their Mother

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A letter hand written in black ink from Colaris Eglinton Street, Moonee Ponds addressed to "My Dearest Girls" and signed "Your loving Mother, A.D."

Historical information

This letter was written by Aida Duncan, to her daughters Lillie and Olive Duncan following the death of a family member - possibly an Uncle.

Significance

This letter is 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.

Inscriptions & Markings

The reverse of the letter has something barely legible written in pencil, believed to be a name. Below this inscription is also a sentence that reads "Lillie's Mother married to David Hood Duncan".

Photograph - 1906 Cup Day Heidelberg

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small monochrome photograph

Historical information

Gathering of seafarers and MTS clergy and LHLG members, at Heildelberg property, 1906

Badge - The Missions to Seamen

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Round enamel badge with navy Flying Angel flag on a pale cream ( originally white?) background and "The Missions to Seamen" inscription. A pair of identical badges.

Historical information

The manufacturers K.G. Luke were a well known Melbourne Jeweller and manufacturer of badges buttons, silver and dec art objects for the home.

Significance

Badge is visual representation of ongoing support and/or association with MTS.

Inscriptions & Markings

"K. G. LUKE MELB" stamped on back

Clothing accessories - Mission to Seafarers Epaulets

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Pair of small white rectangular Epaulets with blue oval logo of the Mission with flying angel embroidered.

Historical information

For use by MIssion in more formal or representative capacities

Photograph - Quad at Seamens Institute Flinders Street

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Sadie Wilson with former members of the Ladies Harbour Lights Guild at a reunion

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Colour photograph of a group of eight senior age women four standing and four seated

Historical information

Features a number of post-WW2 members of the Ladies Harbour Lights Guild. Two of the Ladies standing centre back are Sadie Wilson and one other, Berenice who provided personal memories of their time as young hostesses at the Mission on the DVD 'The Lightbearers' produced by Csilla Tsongaray circa 2005

Significance

The donations of Sadie Wilson are key sources of dates and information re the role of LHLG members mid to late 20th Century at the Mission, this photograph is thought to originate from one of these gifts of selected personal papers presented (date unknown) by Miss Wilson.

Inscriptions & Markings

Blue Ball point pen handwritten on verso: Jessie, Marg, Sadie, Berenice, / & Eunice / Pat, Mable, Nora, Sheela [sic] / Joan took the photo / Jan 1984

Visitor logbook - Visitor logbook 1995-1996

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Soft-covered red Collins notebook with columns ruled for date, name, ship name and nationality of visiting seafarers.

Historical information

This book provides details of the origins of visiting seafarers.

Significance

The logbook provides an insight into which ships and the origins of their crews were visiting Melbourne in 1996-1997.

Inscriptions & Markings

On the cover are the words: Visitors book 28-2-95 to 20-4-96

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Pale green self-folding letter written with green ink (0831.a) headed San Francisco and dated 28/11/49.

Historical information

Allan writes it is three months now that he has been ashore waiting to sign onto another ship and most of his savings have been used up. He has met up with several old friends when their ships have docked in San Francisco. He has spent some time with is friend Norm Cowley, who has married and settled in San Francisco.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

The letter is from Allan to his mother.

Photograph - Group photograph of seamen and Ladies Harbour Light Guild

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small monochrome photograph (faded) of a group of seamen and LHLG members

Book - Visitors Book 1907 - 1951

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A small book with padded covers are red faux or very thin morrocco leather, stamped in gold across upper left corner with the word "Visitors"' . Corners worn and the spine detached (see condition report below for details). The inner edges of the covers are embossed gold.with a tiny patterned edge at the inner edges and finely flowered print endpapers. Pages are cotton stitched at spine and also gold edged and with rounded corners.Each page with three print ruled columns and headed in black ink as: Date, Name, Address. A loose piece of green blotting paper wrapped in tissue found between pages.

Historical information

The books was used as a visitors book for the early Mission to Seafarers. The first date in the book is the 13th of December, 1907, although there are almost six pages of signatures before this. The last signature is dated the 28th of June, 1951. The book documents the Opening Ceremony of the "new" Mission to Seafarers building in 1917. The book also contains a the signature of HRH Edward, then Prince of Wales, and a newspaper clipping, detailing his visit, during his Australian tour in 1920. The visit to the mission of the Governor General HRH the Duke and HRH the Duchess of Gloucester in 1945 are also registered as are the Australian Chaplains conference attendees of 1936 and 1949.

Significance

The book is a very useful record of the visitors to the Mission to Seafarers between circa 1907 to 1951. It reports the Opening Ceremony of the current Mission Buildings of both 1907 and 1917 on the Yarra and attending visitors. The book also documents a visit from Edward, Prince of Wales in 1920, travelling on the H.M.S "Renown". There are many significant visitors to the Mission registered throughout the first half of the 20th Century from the royal, Vice regal and Political through to international Members of the Mission to Seafarers, diocesan conferences and AGMs..

Inscriptions & Markings

Printed in gold on the front cover: VISITORS.. First name registered and handwritten: "Northcote" in black ink ; Last name entered "Paul Morra"

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Digital Image - Rev Frank Oliver on a ship visit

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Father Frank Oliver wearing uniform including officers cap walking up a gangway and being met by a group of four men. There is a fifth man standing slightly to the left of the photograph.

Historical information

The photograph shows a ship visit. It is historically significant and thought to be one of a series of photographs linked to a publicity campaign circa 1955-1956 promoting the work of the Mission. The campaign partly inspired by the Centenary year of the Mission in Australia (1956) also resulted in the production of a black and white short film "The Flying Angel", featuring and Padre Oliver and the work of the Mission was deposited in 2016 with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, (ACMI) Federation Square, Melbourne.

Significance

Padre Frank Oliver, Chaplain to the Mission to Seafarers 1930 - 1960 led the Mission through a period of significant changes through the mid 20th C. This image is one of a series of key images showing the work of the Mission Chaplain in the Post WWII period.

Inscriptions & Markings

Discolouration on the bottom left and top centre of the photograph.

Photograph - Men using the Celia Little Room

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A black and white photograph of two men in the Celia Little room at the Mission to Seafarers Melbourne. The top left of the photograph is a bell fixed to the wall that has a bell pull with a long piece of decorative knot-work attached to the clapper. The room is set up as a lounge area with at table left of the centre against the wall. The table is laden with magazines and papers on top of a tablecloth. A picture frame is sitting on the table and leaning against the wall that has a 'shield' or 'coat of arms' displayed. (see also VC records 221 and 0608) One of the men is standing central in the photograph, in a white jumper holding a magazine and half turned towards the wall.The second man is sitting in a chair in the bottom right side of the photograph and appears to be reading. A few tops of chairs are seen at the very bottom of the photo and on the wall are a plaque to the left, a framed picture to the right of the first man's head and another in the far right top corner. The room appears to be lit from the left.

Historical information

The image portrays how the Celia Little room (Celia Little plaque on the wall) was used mid 20th C. and date of similar image (see record 0221) The inclusion of the bell from the 'Moreton Bay' vessel dates the image to post 1957 when the bell was presented to the Mission. Used as a sitting room or lounge area at the Mission to Seafarers Melbourne. The image also shows the style of dress and style of magazine covers of the time. On the table stands the shield for the annual competition by crew of merchant ships presented by Wally Nancarrow, Sydney. (see item 0608)

Significance

The photograph is significant in that it captures the essence of the Mission to Seafarers mid-20th century. It identifies the main use of the Celia Little room as a reading area. It also helps date and track locations of other objects in the heritage collection.

Photograph - Mrs Buchan, hosting, Reverend JR Weller

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Historical information

mr and Mrs Buchan organised many picnics on the ground of their house Finhaven, Kew.

Motbok (Passbook) - Motbok for Allan Charles Quinn

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A small book with pale blue covers, stained with dark blue ink. There are six pages held together with two staples.

Historical information

The entire passbook is written in Swedish. It was used between the 28 of Febuary 1945 and the 30th of November 1945 and seems to record Allan Quinn's wages. Allan visited Sweden many times, and eventually learnt the language.

Significance

This is a passbook belonged to Allan Quinn, and is part of 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

Cover: STARBOARD BOAT NO P. (typed) / MOTBOK / FOR (printed) / JUNGNAN (handwritten)/ UPPASARE (crossed out) ALLAN CHARLES QUINN (typed). In the top right hand corner is a paragraph of writing in Swedish. Reverse: PRINTED IN U.S.A U92260 printed in black ink.

Photograph - Ship Mahia

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Stained-glass window

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Colour photograph of a stained-glass window and surrounding brick wall in the Saint Peter the Mariner's Chapel. The window shows a yacht in the foreground with a large ship in the background just on the horizon. Above the large ship is a section of blue sky and above that are storm clouds, and symbols of A Celtic cross (SYC logo) and the Maritime Masons are seen at the very top of the window in front of the clouds. To the bottom of the photograph you can see the top of an existing pew against the brick wall that encompasses the stained-glass window

Historical information

The window in this photograph was commissioned by the Sandringham Yacht Club in conjunction with a Masonic Lodge and work carried out by Gerry Cummins, late 20th C. In the background is the S.S. 'Kanimbla' built 1935, Belfast for McIlwraith McEacham and was the last large passenger ship built specifically for Australian owners. Designed to carry 400 passengers , she plied her trade around the Southern and Eastern Ports of Australia. In WW2 she was an armed merchant cruiser and served in Indian waters and escorted the 1st convoy out of the Singapore after the Japanese invasion. She later operated in the Pacific after the war and after repatriation duties she was decommissioned and subsequently sold to be renamed 'Oriental Queen' which eventually caught fire and sank. . The small yacht in the foreground refers to the Sandringham YC.

Significance

The stained-glass windows in the Saint Peter the Mariner's Chapel are a visual history of the Mission and the people associated with it.

Photograph - S.S. Northern Star

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Decorative wood or bamboo carving (with Korean good luck message tbc) - display gift

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Wooden rectangular base painted black with two display pieces. One a black oval frame with a three dimensional bird scene with tree's and other foliage. The other a red piece of rectangular paper with gold Korean or Japanese writing surrounded by a gold bird and dragon design. The paper is held between two sheets of plastic which is held up by a small wooden mount that has a thermometer, reading in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. There is also a small label with "ASTRONOMY" written on it and with Korean or Japanese pictograms writing underneath. There is also two mystery screw bolts just above the label.

Inscriptions & Markings

small label with "ASTRONOMY" written on it and with Korean? writing underneath

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Welcome to Archbishop Mr Lees on arrival of RMS Mongolia at Port Melbourne

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A two-page three-sided, type-written letter on buff-coloured, lined paper (0373.a1-a2),written in Durban and dated 5/04/48 in a buff-coloured envelope (0373.b). Enclosed is a type-written letter on a single sheet of matching buff-coloured, lined paper (0373.c) also from Durban dated 27/03/48.

Historical information

Indicates a friendship at that time

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

0373a commences "Hullo Allan, ....." and concerns a debt owed to Allan by the writer. He also mentions the forthcoming Royal visit to Australia. It concludes with "....Happy Sailings, Wynn." 0373b is torn where the stamps would have been and what remains of the type-written address is "Utility Man ALLA., s.s. "Morgenster", c/o South African Marine Corporation Ltd. Pier 51, North River, NEW YORK CITY, U.S.A." There is a blue 'Par Avion' stuck diagonally across the lower left corner. 0373c is a type-written copy of a letter to Mr E. W. Coppack from the accountant of The Foreign Exchange Dept., Standard Bank of S.A. Ltd. West Street, Durban concerning the debt.

Photograph - Seafarers with a model ship

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Group of seamen

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 attendees seated at St Peter the Mariner chapel

Inscriptions & Markings

handwritten number 8, stamp: 8940, photographic paper markings ILFORD

Photograph - John N. Thompson ( in Teens) from North Shields, England plays Table Tennis

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and White gloss Photographic Print

Historical information

One of three images featured in an article about the lonbely life of a Sailor and the entertainment at the Mission to Seamen Melbourne

Significance

An identifiable image of a visiting seafarer at the Mission to Seamen, Melbourne in the 1950s

Inscriptions & Markings

on verso: indigo blue ink stamp : COPYRIGHT PHOTOGRAPH .../ .../ The Argus MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA / Negative no [in pencil] AG991(B) Reference No [ blank] At lwr right corner in pencil: "PH-8"

Book - The Significance of Ribbon Colours On Medals Worn Since 1815 by Australians / Rick Grebert

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

This 136-page hard cover book with identical dust cover, written by Rick Grebert. The cover is black with the title and author's name printed in white and features a selection of eight medals worn by Australians. Back cover features a coloured photograph of Field Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey

Significance

This is the first publication that documents the significance of the colours chosen in the design of the ribbon supporting the medal.

Inscriptions & Markings

Printed inscription reads 'Dedicated to Australians who wear Medal Ribbons'.

Book - Minute Book

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A hard cover book containing the minutes of ninety-three meetings. about half of these minutes have been handwritten into the book, while the other half have been typed and pasted onto the pages. The covers of the book are a dark green with a watermarked pattern. The spine and corner are dark red.

Historical information

Documents the minutes of the Victorian Seamen's Mission from Thursday 8th of October 1925 to the 4th of July 1934. The minutes are a record of all members of the Victorian Seafarers' Mission during this time, as well as a record of the decisions and accounts of the committee.

Significance

This is a formal record of proceedings within the Victorian Seafarers' Mission between 1925 to 1934. Entries in the book make reference to events which took place at the Mission, individual members and other parties, such as the Ladies Harbour Lights Guild.