December 15 - Despite being outside the main remit of the magazine, the editorial team found much enjoyment in the following item about the Port of Antwerp.

Antwerp Port Authority, whose terminals are some of the most important players in the heavy lift and project forwarding sector, will henceforth be responsible for the source of the river Scheldt, which rises in the northern French village of Gouy.

The Port Authority acquired 500wnership of the source from the shipping journalists' association Espa. The other 50 0s owned by the municipality of Gouy. The two owners are joint members of the "Association Franco-Belge de la Source de L'Escaut" which is responsible for maintenance and restoration of the source.


Espa was co-owner of the source of the Scheldt for nearly quarter of a century, as a result of the half share having been purchased by former journalist Jacques Rom. He had discovered a bronze plaque on the wall of Gouy village hall, placed there as a token of thanks to the city of Antwerp which had donated 200,000 francs (a huge sum in these times) for restoration of the main buildings in the village after it had been devastated in the First World War.


In May 1984 an agreement was reached between Espa and the municipality of Gouy, according to which the journalists' association acquired co-ownership of the source, as French law forbids full ownership of a piece of French soil being acquired by a foreign body. Espa financed the purchase with the sale of medals designed by the artist J. Keustermans, at 750 Belgian francs each. In recent years, however, the feeling grew among Espa members that co-ownership of the source of the Scheldt was not one of the core activities of a press association, and so Espa decided to transfer its share to Antwerp Port Authority. However, Espa will continue to be involved in matters concerning the source.


The transfer of the Espa share was carried out on Saturday morning at a meeting in Gouy village hall. It was attended by a deputation from the Port Authority including among others port alderman Marc Van Peel and CEO Eddy Bruyninckx. The programme concluded with a visit to the source by the Antwerp delegation at midday on Saturday.

The following people will represent Antwerp Port Authority on the board of directors of the Franco-Belgian Association for the Source of the Scheldt: Marc Van Peel (vice-chairman), Alex De Vos (treasurer, member of Espa), Annik Dirkx (PR), Kristof Waterschoot (secretary), Theo Frison (Espa), Staf De Lie (Espa), Eddy Bruyninckx, Jan Verbist, Kurt Tuerlinckx and Bart Leysen.