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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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1383 items

1383 items

Quinn drawing - drawing

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Drawing (0341.C1) by Allan Quinn of South America. Titled 'XMAS 1946'.

Photograph - Some of the Ruined Churches from the War - Rouen

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph of the ruins of church bombed during World War II. It shows the arch of the church left standing in the foreground, with a tower in the background. There is a narrow white boarder about the image.

Historical information

This photograph was taken on the 5th of June, 1946, and shows the destruction of the Second World War. Allan has also written letters home from this period, describing France as a "mess" at this time. This photograph was exhibited by the Mission to Seafarers as part of the exhibition "Letters from Abroad" in 2012.

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.

Letter - Letter to Lillie from Ted

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Hand written letter in five parts consisting of a white envelope with four white pages of handwritten text in black ink using only the face of the page.

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

There are two post marks, one at the top and central on the face of the envelope, the other at the top right. The first reads: 31 AU 28 3.50/ PORT SAID/A". The second post mark reads: "31 AU28 0.50/ PORT SAID/A""

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

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Booklet - Serving Seafarers of All Nations Since 1834: A Brief History

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Tennis court opening

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Historical information

The picture was taken during the opening of the tennis court Saturday 18 September 1926. On the photograph are from left to right : two unknown ladies, Lady Creswell, Reverend Weller, Charles Holmes, and unknown man. Lady Adelaide Creswell was invited to officially open the court and about a 100 persons attended the ceremony.

Mug - The Mission to Seafarers; Caring for Seafarers since 1857

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Pale gray ceramic drinking mug with a mid-blue lining and a large handle (1668). Colour image transfers decorating outer walls.

Historical information

Production of the mugs was inspired by the interest of visitors in purchasing a mug or cup was generated by an artist installation in 2017 in the exhibition Sounding Histories.

Significance

This mug added to the Mission collection as a contemporary example of MTSV memorabilia and promotion and features bth current logo and image of the building complex.

Inscriptions & Markings

The Mission to Seafarers logo in a blue oval with 'Caring for Seafarers since 1857' printed in blue underneath is printed on the front. On the back in dark gray is a stamped effect of a street scape with Mission buildings with 'www.missiontoseafarers.com.au . On the underside a paper lined is adhered with a printed barcode and price of $12.00.

Cutlery - Fork

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

table fork with four tines and spatulate handle.

Historical information

Found early 21st C with a variety of other cutlery and objects in a box listing the contents as Ladies Harbour Light Guild objects and documents

Significance

Possible remnant of the dinner equipment used at mealtimes for seafarers at the Mission to Seafarers during the first half of the 20th C. and hosted and prepared by Ladies Harbour Light Guild members.

Inscriptions & Markings

stamped on the handle at an angle: MHT

Photograph - French sailors in Brighton 1915

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

sepia photograph depicting four sailors, a lady and two young girls standing in a park.One of the sailors is handing an apple to them.

Historical information

On Easter Monday 1915, the Mission organised a picnic on the St Andrew's Church grounds in Brighton. Some French and Swedish sailors ere invited to take part in sports. In the centre is probably Ethel Godfrey, Honorary Secretary of the LHLG, who was just back from England where she visited her brother, Dr Frank Godfrey and his family in Scarborough. Along with her sisters Federica and Winifred, they saw the German attack on the English town.\ located on the North Sea. Article published in the Herald, Monday 12 April 1915, page 3: "SAILORS ENJOY OUTING In the spacious grounds of St. Andrew's Church, Brighton, on Easter Monday, the Seamen's Mission held an enjoyable outing, which culminated in a tug-of-war between French and Swedish sailors, and a race in fancy costume. In the evening, at the mission house, on the Australian Wharf, a welcome home was given, after the chapel service, to Miss Ethel Godfrey, who addressed the men, and related some of her adventures at Scarborough, where she was staying when the English seaside resort was raided by German warshlps."

Significance

The Godfrey sisters and their step-mother had done the voyage to Europe to visit their brother just before the war stars. They witnessed the outbreak of the war, the attacks on Scarborough. When they came back to Australia, the voyage was dangerous as Germans were attacking vessels. Barely arrived in Australia, Ethel Godfrey who could speak French, having studied in Belgium, was already helping with the picnics, eager to share her story and support French sailors.

Inscriptions & Markings

French sailors in Brighton 1915

Photograph - Loading Fish Flour

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A black and white photograph of bags of flour being hoisted from small row boats up onto the ship. The deck of the ship can be seen on the left side, and eight boats, filled with people and flour bags, towards the right hand corner.

Historical information

The photographs shows how the fish flour produced in Angola was loaded by the local people onto ships for exportation. This photograph was exhibited by the Mission to Seafarers as part of the exhibition "Letters from Abroad" in 2012.

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.

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Group of ladies from the Ladies Harbour Light Guild

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Blue, self-folding letter (0376), dated 22/06/48 and written on S.S.Lali, whilst in New York

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Letter is addressed to Mrs S Quinn, C/- Mrs Blackmore, 140 Brunswick Road, West Brunswick, Victoria. Post-marked New York, NY. Return address is S.S. Lali, C/- Thar Ekert & Co. 19 Rector Street, New York C

Photograph album - Ports of call with M/S 'Mongabarra' on African trip 16th June - Dec 1950 ( Voyage starts and ends in Sweden)

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Album with metal spiral spine and beige fabric cover with gouache printed colour design featuring Gothenburg landmarks. Photograph album contains 25 pages of b/w photos .

Historical information

The item tells the story of Allan Quinn's voyage to Africa on a round trip departing returning to Gothenburg aboard the Merchant Ship Mongabarra..

Significance

The album preserves a 1950s perspective of a Merchant Seaman and his experience of the respective Ports at that time. The Collection is especially useful when viewed along with contemporary Quinn family correspondence.

Inscriptions & Markings

In Aqua coloured ink on the inside front cover is a handwritten itinerary / index of the 25 ports visited on the voyage on adhered sheet of paper. Inscription: Title (see above)/ follows with Header line: " Port Country Arrived Departed / 1. Gothenberg.../ 16. Bel Congo.../25. Gothenburg / Signed off in Gothenburg 12 December 1950"

Journal - The Log: Volume 1, number 3, issue 213, 2018

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A self-folding letter written in green ink (0863.a) headed Oslo and dated 29/03/51. It is addressed to Mrs K Hayes, 14 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Victoria. The return address is Allan Quinn, C/- G.P.O., Oslo, Norway. There are some numbers penciled below the return address and some penciled to the right of the return address.

Historical information

Allan writes "...Have landed a terrific job with the Allied High Commission Office for Germany ......in the permit section." He works a 36-hour week, 9 am to 4 pm and prefers this to working in the factory. He is planning to attend a concert by the Australian pianist Eileen Joyce.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Photograph - Chapel of Port Melbourne Mission

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

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.'

Badge - The Mission to Seafarers

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small cast-metal pinned badge in the shape of a flying flag, with inlaid blue enamelling, which bears the flying angel motif and words 'The Mission to Seafarers'

Historical information

Identifies a MTS member and/or supporter

Inscriptions & Markings

Fattorini 0121-236 1307

Photograph - GW Duncan with fellow crew member

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

small b&w photograph depicting head and shoulder of two men in uniform

Historical information

Collectively the G W Duncan material donated in 2017 and includes: photographs, professional data memorabilia and written and commercially printed resources from the mid 20th C.

Significance

Mariner Duncan had a particular regard for the Mission to Seafarers. This plate for display in the MTSV on a specially commissioned new table acknowledges his bequest and the material donated. The memorabilia relates to his career at sea and in particular the role of an engineer, including a handwritten manual of notes and references relating to the mechanical and engineering aspects and areas of responsibility for maintenance.

Clipping - Punch: To Help the Missions to Seamen and St John's Guild

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A large whole page (p.34) clipping from Punch journal featuring a photo-essay of an event at a garden fete at Norla in 1922. The page is annotated in places with identifying names in handwritten ink;

Historical information

This vital fundraiser event was held at Lady Fraser's house, opened by Lady Forster and featured in respective issues of Punch and Table talk , October 12th 1922. Also reported in the Argus on Monday 9th of October 1922.

Significance

The event raised important funds towards the costs of opening the Dome Gymnasium at the 717 Flinders St Mission to Seafarers. The building became known eventually as the 'Norla Dome Gymnasium"

Inscriptions & Markings

Some hand-inscribed annotations in blue ink some indecipherable: "Lady Lyle" and "Lady Miller" are clear.

Visitor log book

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

5cm thick clothbound notebook containing the names, ships' names and addresses of visiting sailors.

Historical information

Visiting sailors, both merchant marine and naval, signed in to the mission. This visitor's Book was presented to Mission to Seafarers, Williamstown by Miss Betty McAleese, as per inscription on the front page.

Significance

The logbook provides an insight into which ships and the origins of their crews were visiting Melbourne and or Williamstown in 1945-1947

Inscriptions & Markings

The front cover has the words Visitors Book embossed on it. Handwritten on a label on the red spine are the words Williamstown MTS Visitors 1945-7

Photograph - Women and children drinking tea

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Magazine - Sea Breezes, October 2006

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

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

Photograph - Ship Samsylvan

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - The mission motor launch on the Yarra River

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A group of ladies and seamen sitting on the "Southern Cross", the Mission's motor launch, leaving the Australian Wharf and crossing the Yarra River. In the background we can see the "Robber Tea House" warehouse and the south wharf.

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Football team

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands