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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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1111 items with images

1111 items with images

Enamel sign - Inspector Naval Ordnance Melbourne

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A rectangular black enamel sign on metal ground featuring polychrome insignia of Naval Ordnance Inspection and Design. The insignia shows circular border of ropework encircling a red ground depicting a black and white cannon with a large lynx type feline. The ropework border is surmounted by a stylised crown like structure comprised of: a split focsle?, two sails with red pennants or burgees and stern of a galleon and around the band of the crown a red 'jewel' flanked by two blue green 'jewels'

Significance

An example of elaborate enamel signage acquired as a result of the long standing close links of Naval forces with the Mission to Seafarers from 19th C onwards.

Inscriptions & Markings

Insignia wording in yellow on black ground in upper case letters: " NAVAL ORDNANCE INSPECTION / AND DESIGN / SAFETY AND QUALITY " Below insignia in white paint in upper case letters: "INSPECTOR NAVAL ORDNANCE / MELBOURNE"

Carved wood panel - The Last Supper

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Solid heavy wood panel carved in relief depicting 12 bearded figures, robed and seated around a table covered with a cloth. The table is laid with seven dishes, a loaf of bread, a wine cup in front of the central figure and a dish below the table on the floor at left, and a wine or oil jar at right. The sculptor has carved the wood in a style reminiscent of the medieval or early renaissance craftsmen. There are three modern steel screw attachments for hanging attached at verso on sides and centre top edge. The subject is the Last Supper of Jesus and his twelve disciples, with Judas at left end of the table seeming to cover with his hand a bag, perhaps the 30 pieces of silver.

Significance

This sculpture is very likely to have been made for and on view in one of the several Mission to Seamen buildings. The style suggests that it may have been part of the fittings of the newly opened 1937 George V memorial building at Port Melbourne.

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Letter - Letter from Allan Quinn to his mother

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Letter addressed to Mum, in two parts. Part 0150.1 Envelope Part 0150.2 Letter. Both the envelope and letter were white paper, which is now a creamy-white. The letter begins "Darling Mum, Here are the snaps I took during 1947-48..." and concludes with "P.S. We had six inches of snow today...". In the top right hand corner of the letter is "New York / Feb 2".

Historical information

The letter was written by Allen Quinn to his mother. Allen started working as a seafarer when he was 16 years old, and frequently wrote to his mother during his travels. He also created an extensive photograph collection, which corresponds with the letters.

Significance

The letter is part of an ongoing correspondence between Allan and his mother. This letter mentions of the of the albums of photographs Allan complied during his seafaring.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front of Envelope: MUM, handwritten in blue ink and underlined. The envelope has been opened at the back.

Book - Wind Jammer, Tales of the Clipper Ship, Loch Sloy

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Softcover Book, 442 Pages, Apps 1-9, Bibliography and Index, by Paul W Simpson. Front cover depicts the vessel in question in rough seas (oil painting), wide blue horizontal bands above and below the picture. Back covers is portion of a period photograph of the Loch Soy.

Historical information

This book outlines the travels of the Clipper Ship, Loch Sloy, 1878 - 1899. The Loch Sloy is one of the Loch line vessels, many of which have sailed to Melbourne and their crew visited the MTSV. Wind Jammers (Clippers) form an important part of early Australian maritime history.

Significance

The book's author Paul W Simpson, is a knowledgeable early Australian maritime historian.

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

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 - Seamen's transport for a picnic

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Rectangular (landscape style) colour photograph of people waiting outside of 717 Flinders St, to be taken by bus/wagon for a picnic

Historical information

Colour photograph of people waiting outside of 717 Flinders St, to be taken by bus/wagon for a picnic

Memorial Plaque - Florence Rule Memorial Plaque

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small rectangular brass plaque mounted on wooden board.

Inscriptions & Markings

In appreciation of the interest and generosity of Miss Florence Rule February 1885.

Photograph - Group of seamen in front of a Mission to Seamen shuttle bus

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

large rectangular b/w photograph in landscape format. Sailors stand in front of a bus marked "Missions to Seamen". On the side of the bus can be seen the words "The "Flying Angel" Seamen..."

Inscriptions & Markings

hand written inscriptions "Rotterdam" and "Reduce to 3" x 4"". Also reference numbers 5 and 28.

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.

Poster - Art, Labour and Working Life- Exhibition in May 2018

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Large yellow paper promotional poster, double-sided. Three-quarters of the front of the poster is covered with the repeated line "Art, Labour & Working Life" in large font, to form ten rows. These rows are in outline form except for picked out words which are in entirely black characters and these cascade down, a row at a time, a word at a time, to form the same line ("Art, Labour & Working Life").

Historical information

A poster printed by the RMIT in 2018, to promote an exhibition of works at the MTSV about the interelationships between labour, working life and artistic practice.

Significance

A record of the ongoing involvement of the MTSV in art, and working with the art community by providing a suitable venue and display space.

Inscriptions & Markings

Title: "Art, Labour & Working Life"

Card - Christmas card

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

White bifold card with decorative edging. Front half has a spray of holly and a spray of blue berries set in a gold oval. The area surrounding the oval is embossed. Small sprays of holly and of blue berries are scattered on the back half.

Inscriptions & Markings

On the inside of the card is a hand-written letter of thanks to Mr Bolt, dated January 1 2003 from Shirley and Bill Jackson. Title of the card, imprinted on the back is 'Carol's Rose Garden'.

Furniture - Stool

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small reddish wood stool with rails at either short edge supporting stretcher.

Historical information

Possibly one of a pair of piano stools acquired in the early 20th C. for use with pianos at the Mission.

Catalogue - The 2015 ANL Maritime Art Awards Exhibition

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Commercially printed full colour booklet. 8 pages. Includes catalogue list of exhibiting artists with thumbnail images of exhibited works.

Historical information

The Maritime Art Award is an annual event

Significance

This catalogue is published annually documenting the Maritime Art Award held at the Mission to Seafarers Victoria.

Inscriptions & Markings

Features major sponsor logo ANL and MtSV logo.

Photograph - Harry Stephens

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Crossing the line on the Ariston

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph depicting aspect of the "crossing the line" ceremony performed at sea on the Ariston. This ceremony was performed to mark a person's first crossing of the equator.

Historical information

"Crossing the line" ceremonies were routinely conducted when a crew member made their first crossing of the equator. This photograph depicts aspects of that ceremony and, as Allan Charles Quinn is the photographer, it is obviously not his first crossing. This photograph was exhibited by the Mission to Seafarers as part of the exhibition "Letters from Abroad" in 2012.

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Black ink on reverse: Crossing the equator 10.9.46

Photograph - New York September 1948

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A black and white portrait photograph of Allan Quinn as a young man. It is mounted on a cream cardboard frame, with a pale blue ornate boarder around the image. The photograph is held in place with clear and coloured tape. The top edge of the cardboard has been roughly cut, and the bottom edge has been cut with a wave design.

Historical information

This is a portrait of Allan Quinn, taken during a visit to New York, U.S.A, in September of 1948, when he was 20 years old. This is one of the few portraits of Allan, professional or otherwise, in the collection.

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

Front, right hand bottom corner: NEW YORK / SEPTEMBER / 1948 handwritten in faded blue/black ink. On the reverse is tape printed with the Knox Studio logo.

Photograph - Mr David Conolly and Ms Marjorie Stafford at a dance event at St Kilda Town Hall

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and White Gloss print photograph of a couple in evening dress

Historical information

Subject had a long standing connection with the Mission

Significance

Visual Record of a member of the lady of the Harbour...

Inscriptions & Markings

Hand written in black texta; David Conolly (Lay Reader) and Marjorie Stafford (LHLG) at a Dance in St. Kilda Town Hall Circa 1957

Menu - Shaw Savill Line SS Athenic, Maiden Voyage

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Single fold card menu cover with typed paper menu listing adhered to inside cover. The cover features an imaginary asian design featuring water lilies , willow leaves and a misty sun, colours are gold green pink.

Historical information

This menu appears to have been produced for the 1947 Maiden Voyage of the S.S. Athenic travelling between London and New Zealand via Curacao and Panama. This was possibly the first voyage on this vessel early in his career for engineer G. W. Duncan and therefore a souvenir. The commander of the vessel was D. Aitchinson. Also of interest given that the UK was still very much governed by post WW2 rationing, is the range of food available for the farewell dinner listed.

Significance

Mariner Duncan had a particular regard for the Mission to Seafarers. This plate for display on a commissioned new table at the MTSV chapel acknowledges his bequest and the material donated. Collectively the G W Duncan material includes: photographs, professional data memorabilia and written and commercially printed resources. 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.

Inscriptions & Markings

see images 1 and 2 attached

Photograph - Colour photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Picnic at Orchard House, Cup Day 1907

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small monochrome outdoor photograph, clearly focussed, depicting a group of 20+ seafarers gathered to pose for the photograph.

Historical information

Typical outdoor photo of group of seafarers benefitting from a mission excursion out to one of the larger properties, in this case Orchard House, South Yarra

Photograph - Crossing the line on the Ariston

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph of various members of the crew of the Ariston participating in the "crossing the line" ceremony in 1946.

Historical information

The crossing the ceremony was an important part of maritime lore and marked a sailor's first crossing of the equator. This photograph was taken by Allan Charles Quinn and therefore it is presumably not his first crossing but the photograph does depict aspects of the ceremony.

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Black ink on reverse: Crossing the equator/ on Ariston/ 10.9.46

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Historical information

Photographs generated in the late 20th C depicting events and people associated with the Mission to Seafarers.

Photograph - Colour photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Reverend JR Weller, Mrs Weller, Mrs Orley (holding a Kodak Brownie camera)

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

small black and white photograph mounted on an album page depicting clerically dressed male figure flanked by two females in 1920s dress posed in front of a large palm tree.

Historical information

Reverend Weller succeeded the senior chaplain role after Rev Gurney Goldsmith in the mid 1920s until the end of the decade. He was a keen photographer himself. Ms Orley depicted is thought to be member of the Ladies Harbour Light Guild.

Significance

Provides early 20th C. records of MTS senior personnel and images of LHLG supporters and members.

Inscriptions & Markings

On album page handwritten: "Reverend JR Weller, Mrs Weller, Mrs Orley (holding a Kodak Brownie camera)"

Pennant - Missions to Seamen Greetings from Australia

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A triangular felted, dark blue pennant with printed cursive inscription and motifs including: the Mission to Seamen Flying Angel flag, an outline of Australia; a Koala wearing a captain's hat; an insignia emblem for the Merchant Navy. A looped cotton binding along left edge of the triangle to thread the flag on a stick or cord support.

Historical information

This Pennant was presented by a sailor to the 4 yr old daughter of the resident Caretaker at the Mission to Seamen Victoria, 717 Flinders St., Melbourne from 1943-1949. The gift was presented to the Mission Collection by the daughter, June, now in her Eighties.

Significance

A number of souvenir gifts and small boxes were apparently available through the Mission To Seamen in the 1940s. This acquisition adds to the small collection of items from the period which could be used to form the core of an informative exhibition.

Inscriptions & Markings

The printed inscription reads: Greetings from Australia.

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.

Booklet - The Constitution, Standing Rules & Offices of the Vancouver Club of Senior Lightkeepers of the Missions to Seamen

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Light blue booklet outlining rules and offices of the 'Vancouver Club of Senior Lightkeepers of the Missions to Seamen'.

Historical information

Original owner Nora O’Connor the donor’s adopted aunt migrated to Canada during WW2 and also worked as volunteer at the Vancouver Mission to Seamen where she met her husband Edward O’Connor who later migrated to Australia.

Significance

This object is part of a sample materials that are associated to the wooden platter (Reg:601) and are about another branch of the international networks of the Mission to Seamen. This document states the rules and regulations about the institution.

Inscriptions & Markings

As described in photos attached

Photograph - "Downtown" - Rouen

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A black and white photograph of the down town area of Rouen, in France, taken on the 5th of June, 1949. A car is shown in the middle of the foreground, with people to the right and a road to the left. There is a narrow white boarder around the image.

Historical information

This photograph is one of a series taken by Allan Quinn while travelling through France in mid-1946. There are several letters relating to this journey.

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 the mark "ItI" in pencil.