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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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1295 items

1295 items

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Crossing the Line ceremony

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A pair of wineglasses - The Mission to Seafarers Melbourne

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A pair of small clear glass standard wineglasses comprising an oblong bowl on a short stem and mounted on a round base. (1667.a, 1667.b).

Historical information

Created as an organisational promotion and fundraising product for sale in the Mission gift range. Late 20th -early 21st C.

Significance

A unique example of memorabilia glassware with MTS logo as a promotional device.

Inscriptions & Markings

Printed in white on each wineglass is 'The Mission to Seafarers Melbourne' and the Mission's symbol of the Flying Angel.

Photograph - Young courier carrying parcel in front of the Siddeley Street Mission

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small monochrome photograph of boy holding satchel/bag under his arm and smiling at camera

Historical information

Young courier carrying parcel in front of the Siddeley Street Mission

Poster - ANL Art Prize 2008

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two page letter written in blue ink on one page of lined cream paper (0845.a). Letter written to Allan from his mother is dated 20.08.1950. Off white envelope (0845.b) is addressed to Mr A Quinn, M.S. Mongabarra, c/- Transatlantic Shipping Agency, 235 Boston House, Strand Street, Capetown, South Africa. Envelope is post marked Melbourne and bears a one and sixpence stamp.

Historical information

Mrs Quinn writes that she is to marry 'Kit'. She also mentions that '....Things look very grim in Korea.....'

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Letter commences 'Allan Dear' and concludes'...'God Bless always, Mum'

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"

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Single-page, double-sided letter on unlined paper (0358.a) written from the New York and dated 23/09/47 with blue-lined,unstamped envelope (0358.b).

Significance

Quinn Collection

Photograph - Father, Lillie, Olive & Gwen Duncan

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Self-folding letter written on both sides (0804). The letter, dated the 12/2/49, is headed M.S. Fenris and written at sea.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

The letter is post-marked Newport News, VA

Korean doll

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A brightly-coloured, dancing, Korean doll made up of natural and synthetic fabric attached to a metal and laminex base by a steel pin.

Photograph - Three Asian seamen playing pool in the billiard room

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

large b & w photograph of three Asian seafarers playing pool in the billiard room

Photograph - Carl Walker

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Carl Walker standing in front of a car in uniform

Photograph - Missions to Seamen Building in Port Melbourne

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Colour photograph of Port Melbourne Missions to Seamen demolished in 1995.

Historical information

The photograph taken in 1995 before it was demolished shows the Art Deco style building also known as the King George V memorial Building, commissioned by merchant and philanthropist, Alfred Michael Nicholas (1881-1937) and designed by prolific Melbourne-based architect Harry A. Norris (1888-1966) in 1937 best known for his commercial work in Melbourne city centre.

Significance

Architect Harry A Norris, one of Melbourne's early designers in the Moderne style had a strong relationship with the wealthy Nicholas family who made their fortune on the production of Aspro, a replacement for the German Aspirin when it was made unavailable during WWI. After the Nicholas Building on Swanson Street (1926), the Nicholas Factory in South Melbourne, and the mansion 'Burnham Beeches' in the Dandenongs (1931), the former Missions to Seamen building in Port Melbourne (1937) was a gift from Alfred Nicholas to the Church of England. “The new Institute will be a modern two story building in brick, with a high clock-tower, a memorial chapel, a hall for talking pictures, lounges, and billiard-rooms. It will stand in about an acre of ground between the two piers at Port Melbourne. The building of the mission has been made possible by a bequest of about£15,000 by the late Mr. A. M. Nicholas.” – The Argus 19th May, 1937. The building had a cruciform floor plan which contains a chapel, a large hall, other recreation rooms, sleeping accommodation on the first floor and a sundeck and living quarters for the chaplain and the caretaker. After being left derelict for years, it was demolished in 1994 to

Photograph - Group of young men at the Mission

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Seamen on a mast

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small monochrome photograph (faded) of seamen aloft a sailing ship

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Three page letter (0327.A1-A3) written in blue ink. Dated 09/10/46 written while at sea.

Historical information

Letter written from Allan Quinn to his mother in 1946 which depicts his time spent in Montevideo and discusses how warm the weather has been.

Significance

These letters are of historical, social and interpretive significance as they provide information about the life of a seaman during the mid 20th century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Air Mail symbol in top left hand corner of paper

Photograph - New York to Cape Town - S.S. 'Morgenster'

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A colour photograph of the S.S Morgenster, sailing from New York to Cape Town, dated 19-2-48.

Historical information

This photograph is part of series of colour photographs taken by Allan Quinn while sailing to Cape Town from New York on the S.S. Morgenster. This ship is mentioned in some of Allan's letters (such as Object 0152).

Significance

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

Constitution - Document

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small booklet with hand writing in the top right corner on the front reading "Mrs G. Austin" which is crossed out and followed by "Done. Gen. Sec." An ink stain on the bottom right corner. Heading reads, "THE VICTORIA MISSIONS TO SEAMEN. CONSTITUTION OF THE LADIES' HARBOUR LIGHTS GUILD." and is followed by 16 detailed rules.

Inscriptions & Markings

"THE VICTORIA MISSIONS TO SEAMEN. CONSTITUTION OF THE LADIES' HARBOUR LIGHTS GUILD." "Mrs G. Austin" crossed out "Done. Gen. Sec."

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 has been in constant use since being constructed in 1907. It is used during church services in the chapel. The brass plaque on the front of the lectern suggests that it was gifted to the organisation at the time of the previous building which was located directly on the banks of the Yarra River.

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

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two page, single-sided, undated, letter written on cream, lined paper (0396.a1-a2). Cream envelope (0396.b). The stamp/stamps have been removed.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Letter headed C/- Australia House, London, commences 'My Dear Allen' and concludes 'love Vera'. The envelope is post-marked Chelsea and dated 29th November 1948.

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two-page, double-sided letter on unlined paper (0363a1-a2) written on board S.S.Morgenster, Mozambique dated 04/12/47 with blue-lined envelope (0363.b). Envelope is unstamped.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Envelope addressed C/- Mrs Blackmore 140 Brunswick Road, West Brunswick, Victoria

Envelope, Letter & Photograph sent to Harry Hall

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Envelope with hand written address in ink, to H Hall Esq. Postmarked April 1938. Letter hand written in ink dated 30.04.1938 adorned with the Waldorf Historia crest (New York), signed by Irwin. The letter mentions Olive and has a photograph enclosed. Small photograph of ship's deck and two crew inscribed in same ink with "Roy's best Love".

Historical information

This letter and photograph illustrates the broad social circle of Harold and Olive Hall (nee Duncan), who was a member of the Ladies Harbour Lights Guild. The photograph affords a view of a ship's deck, circa 1938.

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.

Inscriptions & Markings

Waldorf Historia letterhead

List - Cadets...Apprentices...Midshipmen...

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A list of training establishments for Marine cadets, apprentices and midshipmen.16 page paper document typewritten, with double hole punch on the left side; single sided pages ; page numbers at central top edge of each page with handwritten edit notes throughout.

Historical information

Used by Lay Reader David Conolly at the Mission to Seamen in the 1950s

Significance

Provides an overview of training establishments for young seafarers in the 1950s. Establishments abbreviations are provided. The list gives an indication of the extensive links of the Mission with key stakeholders in maritime training of the 20th C.

Inscriptions & Markings

Handwritten edits in blue ink

Photograph - Reverend John Ashley, D.D. - Pioneer Chaplain in the Bristol Channel

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Sepia toned photograph of John Ashley mounted on dark blue card. Text at the bottom section of the photograph reads "THE REV.JOHN ASHLEY, D .D. /Pioneer Chaplain in the Bristol Channel:

Historical information

Reverend John Ashley was the founder of the Mission to Seafarers (Mission to Seamen/Seamen's Mission) in the Bristol Channel.

Significance

John Ashley was the founder of the organisation and this is the only image of him in the collection at the Mission to Seafarers Melbourne.

Crew Photograph - S.S. Tasmania's Football Team

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph of S.S. Tasmania football team in 1922. The photograph is mounted onto a grey green cardboard frame with the text, 'S.S. "Tasmania's" Football Team 1922' on the top. The bottom reads, 'The Happy Thirteen', handwritten in black ink. The photograph itself is of 13 men in three rows, 6 on top row standing, 4 in the middle row sitting on a bench and 3 on the bottom row sitting with their legs crossed. All men have their arms crossed across their chest. On either side of the front row is a lifesaver with the text "S.S. Tasmania/Plymouth". The men are posed on the ships deck.

Historical information

This is a photograph of crew members that formed the football team of the S.S. Tasmania. Taken place on the deck of the ship, it is a snapshot in time

Significance

An addition to the collection of crew photographs in the MTSV Collection with all crew members featured in the image named and dated with name of ship making it a useful research and reference image.

Inscriptions & Markings

On front mount with photograph: 'S.S "Tasmania's" Football Team 1922' / The Happy Thirteen Inscribed back:of mount names in ink : Thomas Holohay / William Bridges / James. H. Stone / George Angus / James Arthurs / George Arthurs / C. Quinell / C. (Lawrence/labence ?) / W. Manon / M. Zard / I. Ancell LT/JL ?. Chipperfield / F. Franks

Leaflet - City Light Chinese Methodist Church in Australia- 2907-2018 Mass

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Folded A4 black ink print of church congregation leaflet/programme.

Photograph - Reverend C.W. Reeves officiates at a service of Holy Communion in the Schiedam Mission

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

medium sized rectangular b/w photograph in landscape format

Historical information

Reverend Reeves was chaplain in the Schiedam, a city part of the Rotterdam metropolitan area, from 20/09/1961 to 11/09/1966

Inscriptions & Markings

description typed on paper and stuck to back of photo: "The Rev. C.W. Reeves, Chaplain at Schiedam Mission (20.9.61 - 11.9.66) officiates at a service of Holy Communion in the Mission Chapel."

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Badge , The Ladies' Harbour Lights Guild - Harbour Light Guild, Melbourne

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small round white and gilt lapel badge denoting Ladies Harbour Lights Guild and its association with Mission to Seamen (Mission to Seafarers). The badge incorporates the logo flag of Mission to Seamen.

Historical information

The lapel badge was worn to signify membership of the Ladies' Harbour Lights Guild.

Significance

The Ladies' Harbour Lights Guild was instrumental in securing funds to construct the current building at 717 Flinders Street. They were also dedicated volunteers who organised many social functions and events to offer visiting seafarers an opportunity to relax, have fun and socialise away from the ship.

Inscriptions & Markings

Gold lettering around the edge of the badge: "HARBOUR LIGHT GUILD MELBOURNE" Gold lettering inside central Mission flag: "THE MISSION/TO SEAMEN" Maker's mark on reverse: "K.G. Luke/Melb"