20th June 2022

The Australian National Line

Backmark: K. G. Luke Pty Ltd Melb.  As K. G. Luke Ltd changed its name to K. G. Luke (A/Asia) Ltd in 1953, they must have used old button backs for this button as the “ACSC” was established in 1956.

The letters ACSC on the house flag stand for the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission, which was the title of this government owned shipping line established in 1956, taking over from the prior Australian Shipping Board.

The Canberra Times, 31st May 1956 page 1.“Australian National Line” was the business name. In 1974 the word ‘coastal’ was dropped from the title of the commission.

The ANL Princess of Tasmania took over ferry services to Tasmania on 23rd September 1959. She was a very successful ship until she was sold in 1972, her Melbourne-Devonport route taken over by the Empress of Australia. Unfortunately, the ANL ship Lake Illawarra, a bulk carrier, was the ship involved with the Tasman Bridge disaster. ANL withdrew from ferry services in 1984. ANL ships were used to transport and supply troops during the Vietnam War.

The ANL naming rights and cargo business was bought by the French company CMA CGM in 1998.

Museum Victoria Collection, image 126741: Australian National Lines cargo ship ‘River Burnett’ pictured at dock, 1957.

I have two buttons of a differing design (backmarked Miller Rayner & Haysom Ltd) that I have been informed are also from ANL. Is this the newer design, dating from after 1974 when the commission’s name changed to the Australian Shipping Commission?







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