The Ladies Harbour Lights Guild

What would have happened without the gracious and generous time and help given by the women from the Guild?

The Early Origins exhibition pays homage to the Mission’s valued volunteer organisations, in particular the Melbourne chapter of the Ladies Harbour Lights Guild, and will be the largest and most complete collection of Ladies Harbour Lights Guild material in Australia. The Guild played a very significant role in the establishment and operation of the current site, having funded most of the construction of the original building in 1916 and continued to service the Mission for over 50 years.

Formed in Australia from the activities of the Mission to Seamen in 1906, this women’s volunteer group soon gained the support of thousands of members around the country, many of who came from prominent society backgrounds. Eventually, in 1963, the Guild merged with the worldwide Flying Angel League, resulting in a joint male and female volunteer base that continues today.

The exhibition covers key periods in Australia’s maritime history, including the Second World War, when social activity at the Mission was in full swing, and the 1960s, when the arrival of containerisation dramatically changed business processes of the shipping industry across the world.