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Mission to Seafarers Victoria Docklands, Victoria

As an island Nation, Australia relies on seafarers. The work of the Mission to Seafarers is a way of acknowledging their work and hardships, by provision of support.

All seafarers and port workers are the unsung and unknown front line key workers for the movement of essential cargo to keep all countries’ wealth and health stay afloat during this extraordinary time.

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Contact Information

location
717 Flinders Street Docklands Victoria 3008 (map)
phone
+61 03 9629 7083

Opening Hours

10am-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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1382 items

1382 items

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two letters written in 1945.Letter #1 (0313.A1) from 08/02/45 and is a singular page consisting of blue ink on lined paper. Letter #2 (0313.A2-A4) from an unknown date consists of three pages of blue ink written on blank beige paper. Envelope (0313.B) dated 04/06/45.

Historical information

Two letters from Allan Quinn to his mother written in 1945. Letter #1 Allan writes to his mother as he leaves Melbourne Letter #2 Allan depicts his time spent at the mouth of the Brisbane River

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

Envelope: Mrs. S. Quinn/Sanlorenzo/63 Ocean Beach/Manly N.S.W The envelope also has an airmail stamp dated 1945 and an Australia postage stamp.

Photograph - The Golden Gate (The Entrance to San Francisco Bay)

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A black and white photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge, in San Francisco, dated 4-12-49.

Historical information

This photograph is part of series depicting Allan Quinn's travels through San Francisco in 1949. This photograph shows the Golden Gate Bridge.

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: 4-12-49 handwritten in blue ink, K9 /B handwritten in pencil sideways below.

Photograph - Looking Forward at Sea

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Colour photograph of the ocean and deck of the M/S Fenris, looking forward to the sea. It is dated 30-12-48. The photograph is 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 Brazil on-board the M/S Fenris. The photographs are mentioned in one of Allan Quinn's letter 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.

Quinn Letter - letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two page letter (0301.A1-A2) from Allan Quinn to his mother, written on lined paper in 1944.

Historical information

A letter written from Charles Quinn to his mother in 1946 depicting his time spent in Burnie before heading back to Melbourne

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: "M.I. Goonawarra/Burnie Tas 11-2-45" in black ink, followed by letter content

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

The two page letter written on a single sheet of pale blue paper (0849.a) is dated 1/10/1950. There is a matching envelope (0849.b). The forwarding address is typed on a brown sticker that partly obscures the original address. The forwarding address reads Messrs. Miller & Co. S. A. Apartado 12, Las Palmas, Grand Canary. There is a red Swedish stamp in the top right corner. Across the middle of the envelope (in red) are; a rectangle shipping stamp enclosing a ship ensign with the letters R, B, T, A in each quadrant, a postmark and a franking stamp.

Historical information

Indicates a friendship at the time.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

The letter is written in Swedish except for 'Hello Allan!'. In the signature position is written 'Andersson' (tbc).

Memorial Plaque - Olive Cramer

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

small rectangular plaque mounted on a wooden board.

Historical information

Olive Cramer who passed away in August 1966, this plaque along with an Organ Lamp were dedicated to her on the 2nd of April 1967. Two vases were later added as well.(see record 0670 this database)

Inscriptions & Markings

In loving memory of Olive Cramer who gave over 40 years of devoted service as organist of this church. 2nd April 1967

Photograph - Women in their coat at the beach

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Print, framed - Holy Communion on the battlefield

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Reproduction ( Lithograph?) framed mounted and glazed print. The Image shows a group of soliders kneeling before a makeshift altar during World War One in Flanders field with a Red Cross flying on a flag pole at the far right of the composition. A Union Jack flag is being used as an improvised altar cloth. A priest or chaplain in a surplice, also a soldier , administers the sacrament to the reverent congregation. The print is glazed with a substantial window mount and housed in a dark wood frame with eyelet screws and very rusted hanging wire.

Historical information

The original was painted by William Yates Holt Titcomb (1858-1930). He was a professional painter and one of his specialties was religious paintings. The original is in Clifton College Chapel, Bristol, England (visible in their virtual tour online).

Significance

This print was donated by an LHLG member Miss Bolton in 1918 and was intended for display in the Memorial Chapel of St Peter. See file for research details of artist - see also 'Jottings from our Log' issue no 51 Midwinter 1918 under heading ón p.3 'Thanks'. The print was probably intended to complement the print "In the anxious Hours of Waiting " donated by the Misses Godfrey in 1917.

Inscriptions & Markings

Preserve Thy Body + Soul

Photograph - Chaplain Weller with crew members of SS Marken from Rotterdam

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Christmas outing for seamen 1915

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Seamen gathering in front of the Central Institute, Siddeley Street, where buses are waiting for them to take them on an outing.

Historical information

The sailors, officers and Reverend Gurney Goldsmith (centre) were picked up from the Siddeley Street mission by two double deck motorbuses. On the buses is written: "Motor Tyre, The place for tyre, 400-3-5 Swanston Street, Melbourne - Red Cross Hospital - The Globe". The Mission flag and the Union Jack are brought with the men to the St John's College, St Kilda East. In the Age we could read: "SAILORS' PICNIC. The seamen from ships in port, were hospitably entertained on Christmas day by friends of the Victoria Missions to Seamen. The day was spent at St. John's College, East St. Kilda, by invitation of the warden and Mrs. Hart. The sailors enjoyed the treat, and entered heartily into the sports held during the afternoon. The evening was spent at the institute on the Australian wharf when every sailor received a Christmas' present from 'the brig." The photograph was used in the "Jottings fro our log" quarterly publication of the Mission in 1916.

Photograph, Black and white mounted - Theological Faculty - King's College - London University - June 1919

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white mounted group photograph. Many in the group are wearing military uniform

Historical information

Possibly an image of a family member of the Olivers or close friends. The students in military uniform suggest around the time of the Great War 1914-18. The handwritten date is slightly illegible but most probably 1919. According to his autobiography Frank Oliver, senior Chaplain from 1930-1960 at MtS, studied primarily at Trinity College, University of Melbourne after war service in the Army Medical Corps. The group may alternatively belong to a relative of Mrs Moira Oliver whose father Rev'd Good was minister at St Jude's Carlton.

Significance

Established in 1829 under the patronage of George IV, King's College is one of the oldest and most distinguished centres for the study of classical languages, literature, thought, religion, art, archaeology and history in the UK.

Inscriptions & Markings

In black ink along the lower edge of mount: Theological Faculty - King's College - London University - June 1919

Ceremonial trowel

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Ceremonial trowel : decorative carved ivory handle with silver diamond-shaped spade is decoratively engraved with floral and fernery designs above an engraved detailed inscription.

Historical information

This trowel was used by Her Excellency Lady Stanley in the absence of her Husband the State Governor of Victoria due to illness , at a ceremony in 1916 to lay the foundation stones of both the main Mission to Seafarers building designed by architect Walter Butler . A substantial photo story of the event appeared in a local newspaper see Links field for details. The trowel was discovered to exist around the centenary of the building owned by the Moss family in Toronto Canada. The trowel was gifted to the MTSV in mid 2019 courtesy of Professor Uma Kothari, of Manchester University, and the Ross family who met at the Chapel of Mission to Seafarers, London for the presentation.

Significance

This re-discovery and gift of this decorative arts object provides a link with the historic and ceremonial occasion of the laying of foundation stones for the first phase of the Mission to Seamen ( the chapel and main complex ) which opened in 1917 and has operated continuously at 717 Flinders Street. Significantly patron of the LHLG at the time, The State Governor's wife, Lady Stanley actually officiated and a record of this can be seen in contemporary press coverage in 1916.

Inscriptions & Markings

Upper surface of trowel engraved: THE VICTORIA SEAMEN's INSTITUTE /MELBOURNE / To commemorate the Laying /of the/ FOUNDATION STONE / OF THE NEW BUILDINGS /BY / HIS EXCELLENCY / The Hon Sir Arthur L Stanley / K.C.M.G. / GOVERNOR OF VICTORIA / Nov.14th 1916 underside surface of trowel engraved stamped with: hallmark and maker's mark ( semi obscured and worn).

Register - Register no 3, Marriages 1923-1935

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Book with blue paper covers, spine bound win darker blue material, containing twenty registration pages on which weddings are recorded. It covers the twelve year period between 1923 to 1935.

Historical information

All the weddings performed in the St Peter the Mariner Chapel from September 1923 to May 1935 are documented in the register. Each page records the necessary information for the marriage to be registered legally in the Commonwealth of Australian.

Significance

The register is a record of the weddings conducted at the Peter of the Mariner Chapel between the 15th of September, 1923 to the 1st of March, 1935.

Inscriptions & Markings

Handwritten in black ink on front cover: REGISTRATION NO 3. / NOS 22- 40 (SEPT 15TH 1923 TO MAY 1ST 1935. Stamped in purple ink in top left corner: FROM / THE MISSION / TO SEAMEN / MELBOURNE.

Photograph, Black and white

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

b/w photograph of Charles Page and his wife Lavinia on their wedding day, standing outside in a doorway. Full length shot.

Historical information

Charles Page (31), was a boatswain, when he married Lavinia Dodd (28) on 25 September 1933, in the St Cleopas Church, Toxteth Park, Lancashire.

Inscriptions & Markings

hand written date of Sept 25 1933 in ink on back of photograph

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two page letter written on two sheets of buff coloured paper (0833.a1-0833.a2) headed New York and dated 1/12/49. Pale blue envelope (0833.b) is edged with alternating red and blue stripes.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Inscriptions & Markings

Letter commences 'Dear Friend!' and concludes '..So Long! Your friend Peer...'. The envelope has been re-addressed from C/- Scandinavian Shipping Office, Transport Building, Embarcadero at Mission Street, San Francisco to M/S Mongabarra, Gen. S.S .Corp. Ltd, 432 California Street, San Francisco California. Post-mark on the front is New York and the red stamp is franked Bronx General Station.

Photograph, Black and white - Portrait of Charles Page

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph of seaman in attire sitting on funnels on the deck of a ship

Photograph - Crossing the Line ceremony

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Sailor is holding a sign reading: June 7, 1927, Lat 000, Long 171 W: Are we dry? indicating they are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Buoy - Marra Melbourne Buoy

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Round buoy decorated in red and yellow sections with the word "Marra Melbourne" painted on the front. There is a rope that is strung through sections of the exterior.

Historical information

This is an example of a life buoy used regularly on ships.

Inscriptions & Markings

In black paint on the front of the buoy: "MARRA MELBOURNE"

Letter - Reference Letter for Arthur Oswald Dixon from the New Zealand Company

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two-page letter on unlined paper (0356.a1, 0356.a2) written 'at sea' dated 07/08/47 with blue 'Correo Aereo', stamped envelope (0356.b). 0356.a1 is double-sided, 0356.a2 single-sided.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Photograph - Melbourne Gasworks Flinders Street Extension

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two page, double sided letter (0322.A1-A2) written on beige paper in black ink and dated 25/04/46 from Sweden. Envelope (0322.B) has five stamps is beige with a blue and red edging.

Digital photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph depicting the two foundation stones of the former Seamen's Institute located on Siddeley Street.

Historical information

The bottom stone was the foundation stone for the main building laid Tuesday 5 February 1907, and the middle stone was the foundation stone for the chapel, laid Tuesday 1 December 1908. The two stones were inserted on the wall of the current Mission building probably when the Siddeley Street institute was demolished. The stones are located in the courtyard on the wall of the former chaplain's office. next to the chapel.

Significance

The stones are the few remnants of the first Central Institute.

Quinn Letter - Letter

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Two and a half page letter written on two sheets of unlined buff-coloured paper (0810.a1-2) headed M.S.Fenris, Baltic Sea and dated 03.05.49. The blue-grey coloured envelope (0810.b) has a 7cm border of diagonal light blue and white stripes. There are two Norwegian stamps, one olive green and one orange, postmarked Stockholm.

Significance

Quinn Collection

Photograph - Peter Seamen, his wife Robyn, Marjorie Duckett and Reverend Bill Dalling.

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Colour photograph

Historical information

For Ship To Shore newsletter published in Autumn 2004. Depicts both Reverend Dalling and Mrs M.Duckett a key supporter of MTS who worked with Opportunity shops raising funds for the Mission to Seafarers. The house of the Duckett family of Riversdale, Hawthorn was host to seafarers for picnics and outings in the 1920s.

Significance

Mrs Duckett nee Maclennan was linked to families of both names who according to membership records appear to have provided long standing support to the Mission through much of the 20th and into the 21st century.

Inscriptions & Markings

From Left to right: Peter Seamen, his wife Robyn, Marjorie Duckett and Reverend Bill Dalling.

Photograph - Crossing the Line ceremony

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Crossing the Line ceremony

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and White Photograph - Crew of the Nyanza - Glasgow, Coronation Day May 12 1937, Melbourne, Australia

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph of the Nyanza crew on the day of Georges VI coronation.

Inscriptions & Markings

Coronation Day May 12 1937, Melbourne, Australia

Booklet - Sermon Notes and Prayers - Sea Sunday 2001

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Leaflet - Maritime Museums of Victoria

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands