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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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1313 items

1313 items

Photograph - Man praying during a service in St Peter the Mariner chapel

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small rectangular (landscape orientation) monochrome photograph of man praying in Chapel

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two and a half page letter written on one and a half sheets of unlined white paper (0805a1-2), headed MS Fenris, At Sea and dated 28.02.49. The envelope (0805b) is cream-coloured. A second envelope (0805c) is duck-egg blue with a green lining and a 5cm border of repeating diagonal stripes of green, white, yellow and white.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

.Envelope 0805b bears four 'Espana' stamps and is addressed to Mrs H Hayes, 14 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Victoria. The postmark is indistinct. There is a penciled addition on the back. Envelope 0805c bears one Brasil stamp and is addressed to Mrs S Quinn, 5 Pollington Street, St Kilda. The two postmarks are indistinct.

Casablanca police pass

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A police pass written entirely in French. "Permis D'Escale"

Historical information

This pass indicates Allan Quinn's travels to Africa.

Significance

This pass paints a picture of the regulations that would have covered sailors visiting ports.

Inscriptions & Markings

Written on it are: Allan Quinn Australian M/S Teuris (slight illegible) R.B. It is dated on the reverse: 24 Jun 1949

Photograph of Olive Duncan

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Sepia photograph of a woman in a cane chair in a garden, with fencing and trees in the background.

Historical information

The subject is not formally identified but it appears to be Olive Duncan, a Ladies Harbour Lights Guild member.

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.

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two page, double sided letter (0336.A1-A2) written in blue ink. Dated 15/06/46 from Sweden and envelope (0336.B).

Photograph - Wedding party photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

This is a copy of a black and white photograph of wedding party in the courtyard at Mission to Seafarers. The bride is wearing an ankle length gown with peep toe shoes and a floral headpiece with veil. The groom is in full naval uniform.

Historical information

As a wedding photograph, this photograph shows the fashions of the time, which can be traced back to the 1930s, based on the length and style of the dress. This photograph shows one of the many uses of the Mission.

Significance

This photograph shows one of many weddings held at the Mission to Seafarers. The image is relevant to the Mission and the services of the affiliated Anglican Church.

Inscriptions & Markings

Pin hole through the top centre of the photograph.

Postcard - The Mission to Seamen, Melbourne - Central Hall, Celia Little Lounge

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white gloss postcard depicts the Celia Little room furnished with several chairs, tables with flowers, and five seamen or club members sitting reading or writing.

Historical information

One of a series of Mission to Seamen postcards produced in the immediate post-war and post WW2 period. The other reason for creation could be the 1956 MTS centenary celebrations.

Significance

Visual record of the club area of Mission to Seafarers, 717 Flinders Street, Melbourne mid 20th C.

Inscriptions & Markings

Printed on back: 'POST CARD/CORRESPONDENCE ADDRESS ONLY/' . Stamp location is top right and is indicated by the word 'KODAK' on four sides

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Single page, double sided letter (0302.A1) written on beige paper and envelope (0302.B).

Historical information

A letter written from Charles Quinn to his mother in 1945 containing details about how homesick Allan Quinn is and how much he longs to see his mother in Brisbane.

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

Inscription on top right hand corner of letter: "M.I. Goonawarra/Brisbane Q 8-12-45" Inscription on envelope: "Mrs. S. Quinn/San Lorenzo/63 Ocean Beach/Manly N.S.W." The airmail symbol is evident on the top right hand corner of the envelope and there are three stamps in the same corner,

Photograph - Cleaning the binnacle

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small monochrome photograph, somewhat faded

Historical information

Photograph of unknown seafarer cleaning a binnacle

Photograph - Fitting New Plate

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A black and white photograph of a new plate being fitted on 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 showsa new plate being fitted to the Fenris.

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.

Register Receipts

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A large blue paper covered book, which contains ten receipts from marriage certificates. The receipts are stapled together. There are two staples in the top edge of the front cover.

Historical information

The receipts are dated from the 26th of August 1972 to the 1st of February 1975. They document some of the information needed on the actual marriage certificate, such as the date and location, bride, bridegroom and celebrant's names, as well as the date the each certificate was sent to registering authority.

Significance

Part of the record of weddings performed at the Mission to Seafarers between 1972 to 1975.

Inscriptions & Markings

Printed on front cover: COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA / CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE. The Australian crest is printed above this.

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Single sheet of lined, buff-coloured paper written on both sides.(0385). Letter dated 30/07/48, written in Swedish interspersed with some English words and ending 'So long dear regards from Astrid'. This letter was enclosed in envelope 0385.b.

Historical information

Indicates a friendship at that date

Significance

Quinn Collection

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Buff-coloured, self-folding letter (0377), dated 30/06/48

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Letter is written by Vera South, Australia House, London and addressed to "Mr Allen Quinn, S.S. Lali", C/- an address in "Rio Janerio, Brazil". On the back of the letter is written "Happy Birthday Allen"

Photograph - Former ladies for the Ladies Harbour Light Guild in the late 70s

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Book - Inward and Outward Mail, Artists payment

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Red hard cover account book, cover made of cardboard.

Historical information

MTSV log of inward/outward mail, donations and artist payments, 2001 - 2004. Shows typical daily office activities.

Significance

Record of ongoing involvement of MTSV involvement with the community, donors and artists.

Inscriptions & Markings

Three white labels on outside cover: 1. "INWARD MAIL DONATIONS + SUBSCRIBER LOG 2001 - 2004" 2. "OUTWARD MAIL LOG 2001 - 2004" 3. "ARTIST PAYMENTS 2003 P.167"

Photograph - Harry Stephens

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Catalogue and Guide - The Famous Australian Convict Ship: "Success" Melbourne

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Newspaper Clipping - The Flying Angel

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Letter - Letter to Lillie from Julius Kokx

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Letter addressed to Miss Lillian Duncan, 11 Paxton St, East Malvern, Melbourne, Australia from J. Kokx, U.S.S. Medusa, c/o Postmaster San Francisco, 5th Div - California consisting of six parts: Part 0097.1 Envelope Part 0097.2 Small certificate Part 0097.3 Letter page 1 Part 0097.4 Letter page 2 Part 0097.5 Letter page 3 Part 0097.6 Letter page 4 The back of the small certificate reads "This is a small copy of of the big certificate we got"

Historical information

The "letters to Lillie" show the international nature of the Mission to Seafarers. They are an important display of the handwriting style of the time, revealing courting attempts and give us an insight into life in 1925.

Significance

Lillie Duncan was a member of the Harbour Lights Guild and this letter forms part of a collection of letters sent to her by different seafarers.

Inscriptions & Markings

The envelope has three stamps, two 2 cent stamps (red) and one 1 cent stamp (green). All are United States Postage stamps. The 1 cent stamp reads Franklin under the image of a head and the two 2 cent stamps read Washington under the image of a head.

Photograph - Boxing Day 1920, group of Swedish seamen

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Sepia photograph of a trio of sailors in dress uniform – 2 seated on cane garden chairs one with piano-accordion being played. The standing sailor holds a camera

Historical information

Supporters of the Mission often made their homes and gardens available as venue for Christmas Boxing day and Cup day events or picnics.

Significance

A record of just one group of international sailors a long way from their home an country attending a Mission event.

Inscriptions & Markings

Pencil inscription on verso in pencil handwritten :" Boxing day 1920 / Group of Swedes" ; at right angles a number "893"

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A self-folding letter written in green ink (0846.a), headed M.S. Mongabarra, Durban and dated 1/09/1950. The letter is addressed to Mrs E. Quinn. Postmarked Durban the postage is sixpence.

Historical information

Allan described his shore leave in Capetown. He writes that on the return trip to Gothenburg the ship will be calling in at the Belgium Congo, Antwerp and Copenhagen. He expects to arrive in Gothenburg in mid October.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two page letter written in green ink on two pages of very fine unlined cream paper (0838.a1-2). Letter, written at sea, is headed M.S. Mongabarra, Capetown, S.A. and dated 8.05.1950. Matching air mail envelope (0838.b) is addressed in green ink to Mrs E. Quinn, C/- Mrs Greeves, 14 Victoria Street, St. Kilda, Victoria. There are three South African stamps; one valued at one shilling and two valued at threepence each. The post mark is Capetown.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Letter commences "My dear Mum" and is signed by Allan

Photograph - Floating church vessel the "John Ashley"

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

large rectangular heavy card b/w photograph in landscape format. Photo includes printed description as part of photo.

Inscriptions & Markings

Description printed beneath actual photo on front: "The floating church vessel of the Missions To Seamen, "John Ashley," has the river Thames as its Parish. In one year 17,000 men came aboard. To many seamen it was their first contact with the Church."

Identity card from Buenos Aires

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

The card is labelled: Ficha de identidad.

Historical information

Allan Quinn obviously needed an identity card to enter Buenos Aires when he visited there as a sailor.

Significance

A picture is created for what sailors had to do when entering foreign ports on visits and the requirements of local bureaucracies.

Inscriptions & Markings

Written on it is: Allan Charles Quinn Australian Age 18 years Height 180cm Colour of hair Cendre Colour of eyes Blue Complexion white Nose reg Inside the card is photograph of Allan Quinn and the date of December 14 1946 at Buenos Aires.

Letter - Letter to Lillie from Ted

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Handwritten letter in three parts consisting of a white envelope with two white pages of handwritten text in black ink, using only the face of the page. \there is a blue coloured postage stamp in the top right corner

Historical information

This is one in a series of letters written by various seafarers to Lillie Duncan. Lillie was a member of the Ladies' Harbour Lights Guild during the 1920s. She seems to have struck up a number of friendships with seafarers who used the facility. The Ladies' Harbour Lights Guild was responsible for much of the fundraising that constructed and maintained the organisation from its inception in 1902. They were also responsible for arranging dances and other social activities designed to make seafarers welcome in a strange environment.

Significance

The purpose of the Mission to Seafarers is, as it always was, to provide comfort and welfare services to visiting seafarers. This letter, and the series of which it is a part, underscores the importance of making relationships abroad for those who earned their living on the seas

Inscriptions & Markings

Two circular postmarks at the top of the envelope, one to the left and the other to the right. The first is reads: ALICANTE/4 MAR 29/indecipherable, and the second postmark is identical. Stamp horizontally through the circular postmark, is a third which reads: ESPANA/SOLO EXPORTA/ACEITE PURO/DE OLIVA. On the reverse side of the envelope is printed with: ANCHOR-BROCKLEBANK LINE/OF CALCUTTA STEAMERS

Photograph - The Petali

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

This photograph has been taken from the Brooklyn Docks and has a view of the Petali docked in port and downtown Manhattan in the background.

Historical information

This photograph is part of the Alan Charles Quinn collection of photographs and letters. Alan was sixteen years old when he went to sea and left behind a photographic autobiography.

Inscriptions & Markings

Blue/green ink, handwritten: 26.9.49 The corresponding page in the original photograph album reads: "Downtown Manhattan from the Brooklyn Docks."

Buoy - S.S. Koranui Buoy

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Life buoy from SS Koranui divided into four sections alternating between red and white colourings.

Inscriptions & Markings

Black writing on white sections of buoy: "S.S. KORANUI/MELBOURNE"

Memorial Plaque - In grateful Memory of Alfred Michael Nicholas Esq, (1881-1937)

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A heavy ceramic plaque with moulded metal alloy frame, polychrome glazed irregular ceramic tesserae design and memorial text in Gothic script in central lozenge set into a rectangular clay base.

Historical information

This plaque was made to commemorate the generous funds donated Mr A.M Nicholas in 1936 towards the building of the new Mission to Seamen at Port Melbourne opened in 1937. Mr Nicholas died in Feb 1937 and this plaque was dedicated and unveiled by his nephew Mr Nicholas Lightfoot in December 1937. (see also MTSV 0641 for exterior view of the building which was demolished in the late 1990s) ref: The Argus Dec 6th 1937. The plaque is really similar to the memorial plaque made in memory of Ethel Godfrey (see item 2053).

Significance

Mr Nicholas together with Mr HW Shmith organised rights to produce Aspirin aka ASPRO in Australia in 1915 during WW1. The Nicholas Family were significant philanthropists in Melbourne and Victoria and this plaque commemorates his gift to the visiting seamen between 1937 and late 20th C.

Inscriptions & Markings

in each corner design features initials: "ihs" / IN central lozenge of design text reads: " To the Glory of God/ and in grateful memory of/ ALFRED MICHAEL NICHOLAS Esq / through whose generous gift/ the whole of this Institute / and Chapel were built./ Died February 26th 1937"

Business Card - Reverend Ken Cahill Business Card

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands