- 1894 - (Creation)
- 1894 - 1966 (Accumulation)
Level of description
Name of creator
The Harbour and Light Department was constituted in 1880 under the Chief Harbour Master, Fremantle. The Department was responsible for control of all maritime matters, including lighthouses and other navigation aids and the administration of the shipping and pilotage legislation. The Department controlled the ports of Albany, Vasse (Busselton), Bunbury, Geraldton, Port Irwin and Cossack and it operated lighthouses at Bunbury, Bluff Leading Light, Breaksea Island, Cossack, Fremantle, Point Moore, Port Irwin, Point King, Rottnest Island and Vasse. The Department passed control of Fremantle Port to the Fremantle Harbour Trust in 1903 and to Bunbury and Albany soon afterwards. Control of lighthouses was passed to the Commonwealth in 1915.
Following the passing of the Marine and Harbours Act 1981, the name of the Harbour and Light Department was changed to that of the Department of Marine and Harbours in 1982.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
These records form a summary of returns sent to the Harbour and Light Department from officials in Western Australian ports of seamen who were registered as engaged, discharged, deserted or deceased.
The returns record the date, the name of the shipping vessel, the name of the seaman engaged or discharged and often the seman's age, their nationality, their position as a crew member, their character/disposition and additional remarks. For seaman discharged, the cause of leaving is usually stated.
(The returns in this Record Series were previously listed at the State Records Office at reference: AN 16/8; Accession 1316).