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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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1110 items with images

1110 items with images

Black and White Photograph - Pastor Oliver and three Seafarers

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph of Pastor Oliver and three seamen with a Mission to Seafarers Flag in the background. The photograph depicts Pastor Oliver holding an open book, a man in naval uniform standing and two other men seated.

Historical information

The Mission to seamen provided special services and support for cadets and officers of the merchant fleets. Officers had access to accommodation at the Mission and were encouraged as senior crew to improve pastoral and counselling skills that may benefit crews at sea.

Significance

This image depicts Chaplain Oliver and three young seafarers possibly all officers / cadets at the Mission circa 1944.

Register - Register No. 1, No. 1-11, December 7th 1915 to July 27th 1921

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Blue register, 11 pages, certificates of marriage, hand-written on parchment. First entry 7th December 1915. Last entry 27th July 1921. Loose certificate kept in back flap dated 23rd November 1925.

Historical information

This is a register of weddings performed at the Mission to Seafarers at the Port Melbourne site. The register names all parties involved including bride, groom, celebrant, witnesses, bride and groom's parents and addresses at the time. It also outlines previous marital status, employment details and other personal details.

Significance

Historical record of marriages performed at the Mission to Seafarers commencing in 1915.

Inscriptions & Markings

Purple stamp in top left-hand corner of a flag with a flying angel. "From the Mission to Seamen Melbourne"

Letter - Letter to Lillie from Ted

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Handwritten letter in four part consisting of a white envelope with three blue 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

Two postmarks on bottom left hand corner. The first is indecipherable and the second reads: ORAN PREFECTURE/indecipherable/17 40/2 -11/indecipherable

Letter - Letter to Lillie from Julius Kokx

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Letter addressed to Miss L. Duncan, 11 Paxton St, East Malvern, Melbourne, Australia from J. Kokx, U.S.S. Medusa, c/o Pm San Francisco, 5th Div Cal consisting of two parts. Part 0074.1 Envelope Part 0074.2 Letter Both the envelope and the letter are creamy yellow in colour with black curly writing on one side of the envelope and both sides of the letter. The letter begins with "Dear Lillie, I received your letter..." and concludes with "Bundles of love, Julius Kokx, x Little Melbourne girl x"

Historical information

Lillie Duncan was a member of the Ladies' Harbour Lights Guild, the women's auxiliary group of the Mission to Seafarers organisation. The LHLG was formed in 1902 and organised social events for visiting seafarers and were directly responsible for much of the fundraising for the construction of the facility at 717 Flinders Street. As a member of the Guild, Lillie was expected to entertain and support visiting seafarers, although within a strict set of rules. This letter, along with a number of others, was sent to Lillie from abroad.

Significance

This letter, along with a number of others sent to Lillie Duncan by visiting seafarers, underscore the social conventions of the time and the work of the Mission to Seafarers in provide comfort and support to visiting seafarers. The letters speak of the many events and activities undertaken at the Mission and provide a snapshot of the era.

Inscriptions & Markings

The envelope is torn across the top and part of the flap for access to its contents. It has two 2 cent red stamps with the text "United States Postage" and "Washington" on it, and one green 1 cent stamp with the text "U.S. Postage 1 cent 1"

Book - Statistical Register

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Hardcover book with coloured cover and red binding along spine.

Historical information

This handwritten ledger lists all annual meetings by date and includes all those in attendance. There is also a register of elections and other committee information. Stuck in behind all this statistical data are flyers advertising functions and events at the Mission.

Significance

This ledger outlines the people involved in decision making at the Victorian Seamen's Mission in the late 19th C , the forerunner to Mission to Seafarers and 10 years prior to amalgamation with the group led by Gurney Goldsmith. The Ledger includes meeting dates as well as flyers advertising events and functions at the venue.

Inscriptions & Markings

Stuck to front cover and handwritten in ink: "The Victorian Seamen's Mission/Statistical Register/Attendance Record & General Memoranda./W.H.C. Darvall/Honorary Secretary

Engraving - In the Anxious hours of waiting

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Wood framed and glazed engraved print of Jesus Christ with sailor in the foreground and printed inscription on mount below

Historical information

Gifted to the Mission for display in the new Chapel opened 1917 in the Central Mission at 717 Flinders st Extension.Documented in the ' Quarterly Jottings from our log" LHLG Newsletter no 47 midwinter 1917.

Significance

The print was gifted by the Misses Godfrey influential and long term members and supporters of the Ladies Harbour Light Guild. At the time of the completion of the St Peter's, the Mariners' Chapel in September 1917, it was dedicated to the memory of all merchant seamen serving in the long war.The print subject, of the sailor guarded by Jesus was no doubt intended to inspire faith and hope but also acknowledges and reflects the anxious days of waiting not only of the sailors and seafarers negotiating the dangerous waters and oceans but also the challenge for families, experiencing the widespread anxieties of a world at war.

Inscriptions & Markings

Signature of artist lwer left of print.: G M Langley Printed on mount at lwr right: "In the Anxious hours of waiting"

Photograph (2 copies) - Palm Sunday Siddeley Street chapel

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small monochrome photograph, chapel interior, Siddeley Street Institute

Inscriptions & Markings

'Palm Sunday Chapel in old Institute'

Pennant - The Mission to Seafarers

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Mid-blue polyester fabric Mission to Seafarers (with flying angel motif in white) pennant, with synthetic mounting rope.

Historical information

Pennant displaying the flying angel motif

Register - Register no 4 Marriages 1931-1945

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A medium sized square book, with faded blue paper covers and a dark blue cloth binding. The right hand edges of the covers are torn and water-stained. There are twenty registration pages. This register covers a six year period between 1935 to 1941.

Historical information

This register was used by the Mission to Seamen, in the St. Peter's Seamen's Church from the 14th of December, 1935 to the 3rd of May, 1941. It records the weddings that took place at the church, along with all the information necessary to legalise the marriage under Australian law.

Significance

The register details weddings conducted at the St. Peter's Seamen's Church between 1935 to 1941.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front cover: REGISTER NO. 4 / 14-12-35 / TO / 3-5-41 handwritten in ink. In the top right hand corner of the the front cover is a Mission to Seamen, Melbourne stamp, in blue ink.

Photograph - Volunteer at the Hastings Seafarer Centre

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Woman sitting at a table preparing Christmas cards.

Photograph - Dutch corner of the dutch seaman's center - Rotterdam mission

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Large b & w photograph. A desk covered with magazines and chair make the "Dutch corner of the dutch seaman's center" as indicated in dutch on the wall "hollands hoekje van de nederlandse zeemanscentrale". The calendar indicates it was taken in 1966. "projuventute oranje kalendar 1966" with photograph of Queen Julian of the Netherlands.

Inscriptions & Markings

stamp: "Melbourne Harbour / Trust Photograph / Negative Number ..... [blank]"

Photograph - Chaplains Convention

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Magazine - Flying Angel News (FAN)

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A 16 page full cover magazine. 160th Anniversary issue No 18 October 2016. Features anniversary logo and the Mission to Seafarers oval logo on the front cover.

Historical information

Main newsletter of the Flying Angel issued from Central Mission in the United Kingdom.

Significance

Published in the 160th Anniversary Year of Mission work.

Inscriptions & Markings

The short title is FAN which stands for Flying Angel News.

Cufflinks

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Three round stainless steel cufflinks each comprising one larger disc attached by a link to a smaller security disc. Outer face: the larger disc has a matte finish with a shiny silver relief of a container ship in the middle and a shiny silver serrated edging. Inner face: in a square on one side of the link attachment is a small ship and the letter 'C'; on the other side of the attachment the letters 'E.P.' also in a square. Outer face of the security disc is ribbed and shiny. The inner face is identical to that of the larger link. Cufflinks are housed in a branded black gift box.

Historical information

Several items were given by a seafarer, Mr Nicholas Garlick (1926-2009) into the care of Father Brady who retired from St Pauls Cathedral, Melbourne in 2018. Father Brady later donated the collection of; objects, documents and an extensive collection of cruise ship menus (1937-end of 20thC) to the Mission via the intermediary William Hastie, volunteer at the Mission for Seafarers.

Significance

Inchcape Shipping Services traces its origins back to 1847, when two Scottish merchants from Campbeltown, William Mackinnon and Robert Mackenzie met in Calcutta and formed a general merchanting partnership, Mackinnon Mackenzie & Company (MMC). Today, the company is one of the largest maritime services providers, with some 300 offices in 68 countries and a team of over 3,000 professional and committed staff.

Inscriptions & Markings

The Inchcape insignia, the letter 'I' in bronze colour, is displayed on the outer face of the smaller disc.

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

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Picnic at Orchard House, Cup Day 1909

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Small monchrome photograph, fading to upper righthand quarter

Historical information

Gathering of seafarers and MTS clergy and LHLG members, at Malvern property, Orchard House, belonging to Mr George Higgins, in November 1019.

Significance

Mr Higgins was a civil engineer, MCE, engineer in chief for the Victorian Railway, he also managed the contractors for the Princes Bridge.His sister Ina Higgins was first woman to graduate in Horticulture at Burnley and may have known another graduate there, Frederica Godfrey who established the Mission garden circa 1917-18. This image adds to the record of significant supporters and hosts across Melbourne that the Mission could call on to entertain seafarers in the early 20th C.

Register - Marriage Register

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A large grey-brown paper covered book, with e red material binding on the spine. Both covers of the book are quite dirty, and are bent completely in half, with the right hand side opening in line with the spine. It has 24 pages, and supporting documents. The register spans the seven year period between 1945 to 1962.

Historical information

The register documents twenty-one weddings that took place in the Mission to Seamen's church district between the 22nd of June, 1945 to the 1st of December 1962. Each certificate is a record of all the information needed to legalise a marriage under Commonwealth law, such as names, dates of birth, marital status, parents and employment. Within the register, there are two letters confirming that grooms are bachelors, and one Statutory Declaration signed by a bride, declaring she is a spinster.

Significance

The register is a historical record of weddings performed at the Mission to Seamen church between 1945 to 1962.

Inscriptions & Markings

Handwritten in black ink on the front cover: REGISTER NO II (underlined) / MISSION TO SEAMEN / PORT MELBOURNE / NO 19 - / 22-6-45 - / (REGISTER NO 1. / 6-4-29 - 19-3-42 IS KEPT AT / CENTRAL).

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 - Former ladies for the Ladies Harbour Light Guild with Padre Oliver in the late 70s

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Badge - The Missions to Seamen

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Round enamel badge with navy Flying Angel flag on a pale cream ( originally white?) background and "The Missions to Seamen" inscription. A pair of identical badges.

Historical information

The manufacturers K.G. Luke were a well known Melbourne Jeweller and manufacturer of badges buttons, silver and dec art objects for the home.

Significance

Badge is visual representation of ongoing support and/or association with MTS.

Inscriptions & Markings

"K. G. LUKE MELB" stamped on back

Digital Image - Graylings and Godfrey street signs

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Street signs in St Kilda East depicting the area surrounding what was the Grayling estate owned by Frederick Race Godfrey until his death in 1910.

Historical information

Graylings estate was purchased by Frederick Race Godfrey around 1872 on return of a family trip to England. Reverend Gurney Goldsmith met Ethel Godfrey here while he was invited for lunch and rose her interest in the cause of the sailors. The Godfreys organised two picnics for sailors on their property, one in 1905 and one in 1910. The estate was auctioned and subdivided in 1910 after Fredrick's death.

Manual - Austin Lifeboat Engine

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Commercially printed well handled small handbook or manual with rounded corners; for an Austin 8 HP engine for a lifeboat.

Historical information

The website: austinmemories.com provides a list of extracts from the Austin Motor company archive and makes mention that in WW2 some 3,500 lifeboats were provided for ships. In the link above there is also reference to airborne lifeboats. It seems that the Austin 8HP so-called lifeboat motor was very often re-used by boating enthusiasts which would account for the publication or e-issue? of this manual in 1986. It seems likely that this temperamental engine was still of interest to people like ship's engineers.

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 image for front cover

Photograph

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Postcard - The Pisagua, Dover, 16 March 1912

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Historical information

The Pisagua was a four-masted barque built in 1892 at Geestemünde, Germany. In 1901, Pisagua sailed from Lizard point to Port Pirie in 79 days. On March 12th 1912 she collided with the P&O steamship Oceana in Sussex. Pisagua was towed to Dover, Kent for repairs. The Oceana sank. P&O sued the Pisagua owners but judgment using the 'steam gives way to sail' obligation/rule found the Oceana to be at fault. The Pisagua never sailed again and was converted into a whale factory....

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

Poster - Special Lantern Services 1917

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph - Seamen carrying tubs

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Photograph was taken on the same ship as photograph 1660 and 1858

Photograph - Chaplain's quarter: entrance hall

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Motbok (Passbook) - Motbok for Allan Quinn

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

A small book with thin pale blue covers. There are six pages in the book, held together with two staples in the spine.

Historical information

The entire passbook is written in Swedish. It was used between the 31st of December 1945 and the 18th of April, 1946 and seems to record Allan Quinn's wages. Allan visited Sweden many times, and eventually learnt the language.

Significance

This passbook belonged to Allan Charles Quinn and is part of 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

Cover: printed in black ink MOTBOK / FOR handwritten in black ink ALLAN QUINN / FORTSATTN In the top right hand corner is a paragraph written in Swedish. Reverse: printed in black ink PRINTED IN U.S.A U92260

Photograph - Queen Mary leaving New York

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Black and white photograph of the bow of the Queen Mary taken from a "street-level" view. On the very front of the ship there is a person visible as well as several people to the left of the photograph, peering over the railing.

Historical information

Alan Charles Quinn went to sea at the age of 16 and photographed his work and the places he visited. In keeping all of his photographs he created a pictorial autobiography. Also included in the Alan Charles Quinn Collection are letters written to and from his mother during his time at sea.

Inscriptions & Markings

Blue/green ink, handwritten on reverse of photograph: "14.9.49" Handwritten on original page within photograph album: "Bow on at pier ninety"