When The (Australia) National Trust recently hosted a conference on the future of Melbourne’s maritime heritage, it was acknowledged that the domed roof of the Mission to Seafarers is iconic to Melbourne’s port. It is an unmissable beacon to seafarers and landlubbers alike. Docklands News reported:
Maritime heritage links the North Wharf and South Wharf areas. The Shed 5 and Mission to Seafarers on the North Wharf have together served in history and today present unique opportunities to restore the balance back towards preservation of maritime history. The iconic dome structure of the mission building is a notable landmark for seafarers and many visitors daily. The dome and Shed 5 are earmarked for restoration and will become even more noticeable.
“But “, Docklands News asks, ” what if the mission building was not there?” The building, it says, will be preserved as part of the City of Melbourne’s heritage.
“…The vision for Melbourne’s Docklands was developed as a result of an extensive consultation program conducted by VicUrban (now Places Victoria) and the City of Melbourne. The vision recognised and builds on Docklands’ unique qualities and positions it to play a vital part in maintaining and enhancing Melbourne’s role as a global city.”
We who work from these buildings know that the structures themselves, though significant part of the local architecture, are merely the spaces from where the love of God is made apparent in acts of hospitality and the pursuit of justice for all people of the sea. It is for our fellowship and faith that we are remembered and valued by seafarers.