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Achaque (Shipping company, France)

Last modified: 2016-03-06 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Achaque]

House flag of Achaque - Image by Ivan Sache, 8 August 2010

Antoine Achaque was a pioneer in coastal shipping in Algeria at the end of the 19th century. The set up of scheduled lines between Algiers and a network of small ports and beaches significantly contributed to the colonization of Algeria, especially after grapevine cultivation had been relocated in Algeria following the phylloxera crisis. Shipping was the only means of resupplying the rural colonies and to transport wine to Algiers for exportation towards Europe.

In 1894, Achaque operated four steamers (Notre-Dame d'Afrique, 190 t; Breton, 85 t; France-Chérie, 39 t; Mathilde, 70 t) on the Algiers-Bône (Annaba)-Bougie (Bejaya)-Ténès coastal line. The same year, he merged with another coastal shipping company, Franceschi, Schiafflno et Cie, to form Franceschi, Schiaffino, Achaque et Cie, increased in 1897 by another merger to the Société de Navigation Côtière Algérienne, Schiaffino et Nyer Sitgès.
The company merger also "included" the marriage of Achaque's daughter, Rose, with Charles Schiaffino. Rose's dowry was the Notre-Dame d'Afrique, probably the most famous civil ship of French Algeria. Built in Glasgow in 1891, the Notre-Dame d'Afrique experienced a blaze in 1916 but was revamped; motorized in 1935, she served as a patrol boat during the Second World War and contributed to the resupplying of Corsica from 1943 onwards. Back to Algiers in 1946, the ship was used as a training vessel for the local naval colleges; abandoned in Algiers after the independence of Algeria, the Notre- Dame d'Afrique was eventually scraped in La Spezia (Italy) in 1963.

Achaque left the Schiaffino consortium in 1919, sailing again under its own flag. In 1921, the company operated five ships, Carmel- Achaque (199 t), Angèle-Achaque (199 t), Antoine-Achaque (296 t), Honorine-Achaque (599 t) and Yvonne-Achaque (263 t). The ships mostly transported wine casks from the ports located west of Algiers (Tipaza, Cherchell and Ténès). The journey from Ténès to Algiers (120 miles) lasted 48 hours.

The house flag of Achaque is horizontally divided blue-white-blue with a red "A" flanked by two red stars in the white stripe.

Source: Jacques Thibaut. Le cabotage sur les côtes algériennes avant 1962, L'Algérianiste, No. 75, September 1976 Part 1, Part 2

Ivan Sache, 8 August 2010

Société Commerciale d'Armement

[Flag of SCA]

House flag of SCA - Image by Ivan Sache, 8 August 2010

In 1923, the Achaque company was purchased by the Société Commerciale d'Armement (SCA), founded two years earlier by the Thibaut brothers to operate a longer scheduled line between Mostaganem and Tunis. In 1926, the SCA operated the five aforementioned Achaque ships and the Aïn-Mokra.

On 14 November 1927, three Achaque-named ships were caught in a huge storm near Tipaza. Sailing back from Bejaya, the Honorine-Achouque had her screw-propeller broken and ran aground west of Dellys, without casualty. Leaving Tipaza, the Carmel-Achouque escaped the storm, while the Angèle-Achouque was lost with all hands on cliffs. The wreckage caused a real stir and the newspaper La Dépêche Algérienne set up a support committee for the families of the lost seamen. The next year, SCA changed the names of the remaining Achouque-named ships for names of Algerian towns.

In 1930, SCA operated the Aïn-Mokra (1,019 t), Aïn-Taya (296 t), Aïn-Bessem (269 t) and Aïn-Sefra (ex-Honorine-Achaque). The former Carmel-Achaque, renamed Aïn-N'Sour, was sold to Société Algérienne de Pêche au Sable for marine sea sand extraction.
In 1934, SCA sold its coastal line and ships to Armement Nord-Africain Cherfils, founded in 1930 in Oran. Renamed Zéramna, the Aïn-Sefra was used during the Second World War as a minesweeper and was involved in 1944 in the landing of the allied troops in Provence.

The house flag of SCA is horizontally divided blue-white-blue with the red letters "S C A" in the white stripe.

Source: Jacques Thibaut. Le cabotage sur les côtes algériennes avant 1962, L'Algérianiste, No. 75, September 1976 Part 1, Part 2

Ivan Sache, 8 August 2010