Menzel Bourguiba
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Menzel Bourguiba (Arabic: منزل بورقيبة‎‎, romanizedManzil Būrgībah, lit. 'House of Bourguiba'), formerly known as Ferryville, is a town located in the extreme north of Tunisia, about 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Tunis, in the Bizerte Governorate.
Menzel Bourguiba
منزل بورقيبة

Entrance sign with anchors
Menzel Bourguiba
Location in Tunisia
Coordinates: 37°9′N 9°47′E
GovernorateBizerte Governorate
Population (2014)
 • Total54,536
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
The town's name translates as "House of Bourguiba", as it was named after the first president of independent Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba, in 1956. During the French protectorate of Tunisia (1881–1956), Menzel Bourguiba was named Ferryville, referring to contemporary French minister Jules Ferry and was nicknamed "Petit Paris" (Translated "Little Paris") by its inhabitants of French origin. In addition, it housed the arsenal of the French navy known as the Sidi-Abdallah, which was only handed over to the Tunisian authorities in 1962.
The town of Menzel Bourguiba is located about sixty kilometres north of Tunis and about twenty kilometres south of Bizerte, capital of the governorate of the same name. It is located in the south-west of the lake of Bizerte, on the narrow strip of land which passes between the lakes of Bizerte and Ichkeul.
An expressway connects the city to the RN8 and the A4 motorway linking Bizerte to Tunis. From Bizerte, the city is accessible from the RN11 which places it halfway between Bizerte and Mateur. In addition, the city is connected to the SNCFT railway network.
Its suburbs consist mainly of the outlying town of Tinja to the west and the Ennejah district a little further south. The Guengla beach, near which several colonial-style houses are still standing, is very popular with the city's residents. The hills of Sidi Yahya and Sidi Abdallah dominate the city.
In 1897, the French government took the decision to build an arsenal on a strategic site between lakes Ichkeul and Bizerte. As the North African Real Estate Company owned a large part of the land nearby, it began to draw up plans for the town to which the company's largest shareholder, Joseph Décoret, wished to give his name.
His untimely death, even before the town was erected as a municipality, allowed the general resident to impose the name Ferryville in honour of the French minister Jules Ferry, the inspirer of the French protectorate of Tunisia.
During the Second World War, the city was relatively spared, unlike the nearby town of Bizerte, 77% of whose European quarter was destroyed by American bombing in late 1942-early 1943. However, from August 1944 to March 1945, the city suffered a plague epidemic from Morocco and then Algeria, which was contained by the French naval medical services. The official toll of the epidemic was 37 hospitalized patients, ten of whom died. The cases were distributed among the population as follows: 25 Europeans and 12 Tunisians of Tunisian origin. The victims occupy a wide variety of positions in society: 18 are foreigners in the navy (eight deaths) and eight work in the arsenal (two deaths), including two naval executives.
In 1952, the city was the scene of clashes marking the uprising of Tunisia for its accession to independence. Thus, on 17 January, one day before the arrest of Habib Bourguiba and the holding of the clandestine Neo-Destour congress proclaiming armed struggle, demonstrations broke out and were harshly repressed: the toll was three dead and around fifty wounded6. A local odonym, "Avenue du 17-Janvier 1952", recalls this event.
The name of the town, which means "house of Bourguiba" in Arabic, was given to it in 1956 by Bourguiba himself, who had just gained independence from Tunisia and the following year became the first President of the Republic. By giving this name to Ferryville, he thus underlines the return of the country's sovereignty.
However, the Sidi-Abdallah arsenal was not evacuated by the French navy until 1 July 1962. Nowadays, the arsenal has become a shipyard for the repair and maintenance of merchant ships. It also contains small manufacturing industries.
The naval base, Arsenal Sidi-Abdellah in 1960
Menzel Bourguiba is an important town for economic reasons. Its economy is based mainly around metallurgy. It was founded as a naval installation under French rule, because of its strategic location between two lakes: The inland Ichkeul Lake on the west, and Bizerte Lake on the east, which connects to the Mediterranean Sea by the Bizerte canal.
Its most important economic activity was the ailing state-owned shipyard. The yard has seen its workforce decline, after the high level of activity in the 1970s and 1980s, when Tunisia had a larger merchant fleet and when the Soviet Union used Menzel Bourguiba to drydock its ships. At that time, the yard employed over 1,300 people. It has recently been bought by a French ship repair company, Compagnie Marseille Réparation.[1]
Ferryville (1898 - 1956)
The construction of Ferryville, a new town, and the building of the arsenal therefore began around 1898. The two were to develop in parallel and feed each other: at the beginning workers were needed to build the town and the arsenal buildings, then houses were built for the arsenal workers. The construction work of the arsenal as well as the main part of the town of Ferryville will last almost 6 years. In 1899 some 800 inhabitants occupied the first houses built. Most of the land and buildings were sold to the North African Real Estate Company by the family of Joseph Décoret (founder of Ferryville, born in 1862 and died in 1899).
It is at this date that the construction of the church of Ferryville probably begins. Some sources mention the name of the first parish priest (Father Camille Benetti) who would have created the parish and had the church and the sisters' school built. In addition, sources from the Tunisian bishopric give the date of 1900 for the constitution of the parish of Thimidia (which was the name of Tinja at the time of Carthage). The church of Ferryville was inaugurated by the Cardinal-Archbishop of Carthage around 1899 (some sources speak of a certain VIVINA Nicaise, a contractor of Italian origin who built the church).
Construction of the "Baghdad" café was originally called the "Admiralty" café.
Construction of a light metal footbridge over the Tindja wadi linking Bizerte to Ferryville. In 1900 this bridge collapsed and was rebuilt more solidly.
The Ferryville post office, whose construction was directed by the General Directorate of Public Works, was officially registered in 1899 on the Regency's list of posts and telegraphs. Among the first public and private buildings built in Ferryville in 1899 were the secular school, part of the central market and a police station. With the construction of the Ferryville Arsenal, the European population of Ferryville increased sharply. French, Italians, Maltese ... So the first Italians began to arrive: in 1895 there were about ten of them, in 1899 there were about 700 and in 1903 their number would reach 8,000. However, in 1905, with the completion of the arsenal, the Italian population will decrease sharply and their number will go from 8.000 to 5.000, that is to say a loss of 3.000 who will look for work elsewhere. As for the French, their numbers went from 1,283 in 1891 to more than 7,200 in 1906. In the same way, many Jews arrived from all parts of Tunisia to settle in Ferryville.
On August 2, 1899 Jacques-Joseph Décoret, founder of Ferryville, died. His funeral took place on 3 August 1899 in Tunis Cathedral. Born in Roanne (in the Loire department) in 1862 and died in 1899, Joseph Décoret is buried in the Vichy cemetery.
Construction of the secular school for boys in rue Jules Verne.
- a religious teaching congregation (that of the brothers of the holy family of Bellay) to escape the law on associations in France and to avoid the confiscation of their property by the State, settle in Tunisia in 1901. The following year she bought a farm not far from Mateur from the North African Real Estate Company, as well as a housing estate in Ferryville to build a school.
- In 1902 the League of Education (lay movement) will set up a section in Ferryville. It should also be noted that there existed in Ferryville a group of free thought called "Germinal" (whose president was a certain Chaffard Philibert who was a municipal receiver).
- The considerable increase in the European population in Ferryville made it necessary to create a two-class girls' school. In addition, a new class was opened at the boys' school.
- Similarly, the increase in population made it necessary to transform the police station, where there was then only a brigadier of three officers, into an auxiliary station with six police officers.
- At the request of the inhabitants, a popular library was set up in Ferryville.
- Inauguration of the first maritime city in Ferryville, on Bd Gambetta (now Bd M'hamed Ali) to house the managers and soldiers of the arsenal.
- A Beylical decree of July 1903 for the creation of a weekly market in Tindja (it took place every Monday).
- It was in 1903 the year the Tindja - Ferryville - Arsenal (TFA) tramway was built, which crossed the avenue and stretched for 5 km to Tindja station. In 1903, a limited company, the "Compagnie des Tramways Tindja - Ferryville - Arsenal", was set up to operate the tramway. The journey took about 10 minutes and the price of tickets in 1906 was 20 c for the Ferryville station (place de la gare, near the Arsenal hotel) and 25 c to the door of the arsenal. The operation of the line had been conceded in 1903 to Messrs Favrot, Huet and Perdu. At that time the tramway was animal-drawn. The steam engine was only introduced later (in 1906?). After 1933 the concession was granted to a private company which operated the tramway (it is said that people at that time called the tramway "the train of Bastenti" after the owner's name).
- On 3 July 1904, the 50 kilometre cycling race, organised by Mr Maggiore, consul, took place on the road to Tunis, with a junction to Ferryville.
- Construction of a girls' school in Tindja.
- Not yet having the status of a commune, it was on 11 March 1905 that the first administrative body of Ferryville called "Commission Municipale" was set up. It is the civil controller, a certain Gaillère accompanied by Mohamed Salah Baccouche, caïd of Bizerte, who installed in Ferryville, the municipal commission instituted by decree of 11 March. At the time, it comprised 7 councillors (6 French and 1 Muslim). However, according to the Municipal Charter in force in Tunisia, the president is the Caïd de Bizerte Salah baccouche, but he had to automatically delegate his powers to the vice-president when the latter is French. The first vice-president appointed was a certain François Eugène Ricard, who ran the Vassalo pharmacy. Mr. Ricard was also the president of the committee that organised the subscription for the monument of the Farfadet. In 1905 the latter resigned. A certain Marquand (trader and property manager), a member of the municipal committee, was approached to replace him. When he refused, it was Mr Billès (an entrepreneur) who finally succeeded François Eugène Ricard as vice-president of the municipal commission of Ferryville.
- Inauguration of the military hospital of Sidi Abdallah, whose construction began in 1898, was supposedly entrusted to Georges Dufour (a military doctor, who also took part in the colonial expedition that led to the protectorate).
- Publication of the newspaper "L'Avenir de Ferryville, Mateur, l'arsenal et la région de Bizerte" which appeared on 6 August 1905, whose owner and director was a certain Adric Richard, who resided in Tindja, and who was also the founder of a political movement "l'Action républicaine". The newspaper was published 9 months later (29 April 1906) under the name "Nord Tunisien" (Ferryville-Tinja-Mateur).
1905 - 1906
- In 1905 then 1906 two submarines (the Farfadet then the Lutin) sank in front of the arsenal. It is in memory of the victims that the monument of the Farfadet (work by the sculptor Emile Gaudissart) was irrigated. This monument was first inaugurated in 1909 and installed in the Place de France (in front of the post office) before being moved to the Place du Farfadet (Place Décoret).
In April 1906 the civil status declarations of the inhabitants of Tindja and Transwaal villages were received in Ferryville by the Civil Status Officer of the Municipal Commission. Similarly, a Beylical Decree of 5 September 1906 decided that from 15 September 1906, the civil status declarations of persons domiciled in the area where the arsenal, barracks, hospital, infirmary and plantation services of the Navy were located would henceforth be received by the Civil Status Officer of the Municipal Commission of Ferryville. Another Beylical Decree will authorise the Ferryville Municipal Commission to collect taxes and duties in the European Cemetery. The cemetery was therefore built in response to an increasingly pressing demand from the inhabitants since 1899.
- As early as 1907, the navy had a road and a railway built which, starting from Bizerte, run along the western and southern shores of the lake, up to Ferryville and, from there, to Mateur, joining the line and the road to Tunis, passing near Ichkeul. The construction work of the railway was conceded to the Hersent et Couvreux Company (whose construction had started in 1892 and was completed in 1894). It was also to this company that the building sites of the Bizerte canal, the arsenal and the majority of the buildings and houses of Ferryville were given to the company.
- Wilfrid Rondeau was appointed first magistrate of the municipal commission until 1911. It is he who will create the Rondeau bank in 1905. He was also treasurer of the committee of the Monument du Farfadet as well as of an association called "La Lyre Ferryvilloise". It is reported that he also obtained from the maritime authorities, for a symbolic franc, a parcel of land south of the arsenal on the shores of Lake Bizerte which was to be developed into a beach and which would become the Plage Rondeau (W. Rondeau was born on January 3, 1875 in St-Michel-Des-Saints, Quebec and died on August 19, 1931 in Ferryville, at the age of 56).
- It was in 1907 that the 1st Tunisian football championship took place, in which the Racing Club of Tunis, Football Club of Bizerte and Sporting Club of Ferryville took part, as well as two school teams from the Lycée Carnot of Tunis and the Collège Sadiki. The final will be won by the Racing Club of Tunis against the Bizertin Maritime Stadium (2-0). The reserve team of SC Ferryville had in its ranks a Tunisian Ahmed Mourali.
- It is probably at this time that the navy stadium was set up for the training of the teams that had formed in Ferryville (SCF and RCMSA).
- The inhabitants of Bizerte and Ferryville requested, in a petition dated 25 June 1907, that the Bizerte arsenal be put into operation immediately. Indeed, the works had been greatly slowed down and would not really start again until 1910-11.
- Constitution of the Rugby Club Marine Sidi Abdallah (RCMSA)
- On 5 April 1908 the first carnival takes place in Ferryville.
- On January 10, inauguration, Place de France (now Place du 14 janvier 2011), of the Farfadet monument in the presence of the s/secretary of State for Fine Arts (M. Dujardin Beaumetz). The Farfadet will be transferred only later to Place Décoret.
- In 1909 the first socialist circle affiliated to the SFIO (French section of the Workers' International) is formed. In the same way many associations and workers' groups were to see the light of day. The first union created at the arsenal was the Union of Reunited Workers of the Military Port of Bizerte-Ferryville.
1909 - 1910
- Constitution of the Ferryville Gymnastics and Athletics Club called "La Vaillante Ferryviloise". This club took part in the very first athletics competition in Tunisia which took place in Tunis in November 1909. The La Vaillante club wore a white jersey with a crest bearing the initials V.F. and had its headquarters at the Maison Ben Yedder in Ferryville.
- The market was partly built in 1910. The first trees were also planted on the market square.
- It was in 1910 that a certain Lerognon (member of the Chamber of Commerce) succeeded W. Rondeau as head of the municipal commission. He will remain there until 1914 when the new town hall is inaugurated.
- Cholera epidemic in Ferryville in 1911.
1912 - 1913
- The Sporting club of Ferryville wins the Tunisian football championship two years in a row in 1912 and 1913.
- The first road race was organised in April 1913 by Mr. J. Samama. The race took place over two stages : Tunis-Ferryville-Tunis. The winner was a certain Ali.
- In 1914 a decree unified the status of the municipalities, which were then administered by a Municipal Council presided over by a Tunisian with one or more French vice-presidents and a variable number of French, Muslim or Jewish councillors.
1911 - 1914
- The Town Hall : The Town Hall building was inaugurated in 1914. Three years earlier, in 1911, it was W. Rondeau, then president of the municipal commission (from 1907 to 1911), who launched the call for tenders for the construction of a Town Hall. The land, which belonged to the Sté des Immeubles lyonnais de Ferryville (an anonymous company whose head office was in Lyon) then offered to sell a 971 m2 plot of land to the municipality. It was a plot of land which was then called "Le Méridien" (most of the plots on the old ferryville plan drawn up at the request of Joseph Décoret were identified with numbers but also with names). This allotment, according to the title deed signed on 17 January 1912) had been sold to the municipality at 11 Fr/m2, i.e. a total cost of 11652 Fr). The administrative deed signed between the mayor and the Sté des immeubles lyonnais was signed in the presence of three other officials: A certain Robert B. (clerk of Ponts et chaussées), Nizar E. (municipal collector) and a certain Zurelli (unless it was Zuretti, an entrepreneur who had built the famous "Zuretti villas" near the station, better known as "gendarmes' dwellings"). It was after an agreement between the Government and the Commune, that the construction of a town hall was decided upon. This project will be carried out by means of a loan of 70,000 Fr. from the Tunisian Caisse des Prêts Communaux. The town hall building was inaugurated in 1914 in the presence of the then mayor, a certain Lerognon.
- In 1914 the cinema "Le Métropole" was built. At that time it showed silent films in black and white with 2 screenings a week (Thursday for children and Sunday for adults).
- Opening in 1915 of the "Temporary N°2" hospital. After the first extension of the Ferryville hospital (Temporary N°1) located opposite the entrance to the maritime hospital, in 1915, Temporary N°2 opened under the responsibility of a certain Doctor Etienne Barbe and was used for the wounded of the first war of 14-18 as well as those of the Dardanelles expedition.
- In Guengla, the first housing estates were launched for the needs of colonisation but also to encourage the workers of the arsenal to settle there. The same operation will take place in 1926 and 1930.
- Constitution of a "Cultural Group of Sidi Abdallah". (probably a theatre company).
- Archaeological discovery of the Carthaginian cemetery in Sidi Yahia
- The first strike of the arsenal workers took place in 1919 (from 25 February to 5 March). The trade union of the united workers of the military port of Bizerte which had been constituted ten years earlier was to be reactivated in 1919. The strike of 25 and 26 February was, so to speak, the first strike in the history of the Ferryville arsenal which had been called to protest against the sanctions against trade unionists taken by the arsenal's management.
- The first vocational training centre in Tunisia (DCAN) was created in Ferryville in 1920 in collaboration with the merchant navy and the Sidi-Abdallah arsenal.
- Inauguration of the ossuary erected in memory of the Serbian soldiers built inside the French cemetery.
- Construction of the Tindja post office (built on a 560 m² plot of land)
- Extension and construction of an annex for the Ferryville post office
- Construction of a new slaughterhouse in Ferryville. In 1922 : Extension of the slaughterhouse with the construction of a dwelling for the caretaker.
- 1920 is the year when the Ferryville Yacht Club (CNF) is created. It is the CNF which will organize the numerous regattas, at the Rondeau beach or at Guengla-plage.
- In Ferryville, a bath-shower establishment was built.
- One of the very first associations (charity society) was set up in Ferryville, the Muslim Charity Association. This was later denounced by the Civil Controller of Bizerte who alerted the General Resident of the time to the predominant role of the Destourians in the bodies of this association.
- The Tunisian Rugby League was created on 30 February and comprised five clubs: Agricolos, the Tunisian Sports Youth, the Sporting Club of Ferryville, the Sports Club of Work and the National Sports Society.
- The chairman of the board Alexandre Millerand visiting the arsenal and Ferryville.
- Octave Ottavy vice-president of the Municipal Commission at that time. He apparently had the longest mandate in the history of Ferryville (from 1922 until his death in 1946). OTTAVY Octave was born on 9/12/1867 in Soccia (Corsica) and arrived in Tunisia in 1902. Public and private works contractor in Ferryville. President and members of several associations: Founder and president of the "Lyre Ferryvilloise", founder and president of the company "La Corse", honorary president of the gymnastics company "La Vaillante". President of the Ferryville committee of the "Avenir du Prolétariat".
- Formation of the French CGTU union at the arsenal (H. Pauser and H. Saadaoui who were permanent members of the union). Hassen Saadaoui will be one of the leaders of the future Tunisian Communist Party.
1922 - 1926
- Launch of the bandstand construction project. Three proposals are then presented, two of which come from companies in Lyon (one in 1923 by the company "Constructions métalliques / Traverses & Frères", the other in 1926 by the company "Schwartz - Haumont") and one presented in 1924 by a certain Schuh, an entrepreneur in Bizerte). Construction of the kiosk began in 1926.
- Additional development work takes place in the French cemetery.
- Construction in January 1923 of a popular library in Tindja.
- Creation, at the arsenal, of a CGTT (Tunisian General Confederation of Labour) trade union section under Mohamed Ali El Hami. It is a docker at the arsenal (Robert BECK), a member of the communist party, who is one of the first organisers of this union against the CGT and the SFIO (close to the socialists). He will also be the main organiser of the Tunisian section of the communist party.
Strike of brick kiln workers supported by the CGTT. Ahmed ben Miled, a member of the CP and CGTT was among those responsible for the strike. Many workers were arrested on the occasion of this strike.
1923 - 1924
- Tunisian Football Cup: meeting in ¼ of the final between the SCF (Sporting Club of Ferryville) and TTS (Tricolore Tinja Sport) which ended in the victory of the SCF. The SCF reached the final on 30 March 1924 against Racing Club of Tunis who won the cup by 2-1. The following year in the semi-final of the cup, RCTunis eliminated S.C.Ferryville in the ½ final by 5-2. The VSCF of 1922-1923 included Ahmed Messaoud, Hmida Bouzid, Larbi Messaoudi, Mohamed Krimet, Ahmed Khaldi Zouaoui, Salah Bouda and Ahmed Ben Salah.
- Archaeological discoveries in the Ferryville area: While digging the foundations of a construction, workers found a mammoth skull with its two tusks in the ground, about three metres deep.
1925 - 1926
- Launch of the project to build the village hall in Ferryville. It is a certain Giroud architect in Tunis who carried out the plans.
- A meeting against the high cost of living took place in Ferryville. At the end of the meeting the protesters went through the different streets of the town singing and booing the bakers who had to close their shop windows.
In Guengla, the "Société Coopérative maraîchère et fruitière de la région de Ferryville" is created (there were only 3 in the whole Regency at the time).
- Football was banned in Tunisia following incidents that took place in Tunis during the match between UST and SC Ferryville. This interruption will end on April 8, 1928.
- Participation on 28 April 1929 of three ferrymen (Bernardi Antoine, Amar Boussora and Robin R.) in the cycling tour of Algeria.
- Extension of the perimeter of the Ferryville commune which in 1930 will include the first city (that of Bd Gambetta, now Bd Mohamed Ali).
- Tricolore Tindja Sports Réunis (TTSR) (their outfit was white with blue, white, red badges). It would seem that the TTS and Tindja's Patriot merged to found the TTSR.
- A new subdivision of Guengla-plage is more specifically for the houses and constructions along the beach and the road to Guengla.
- At the congress of the LDH (human rights league) in 1930 in Biarritz, Tunisia is represented by a delegation from the Ferryville section.
- Chairman Gaston Doumergue in Tunisia and at Ferryville on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the protectorate.
- Inauguration of the second maritime city intended to house the workers of the arsenal and their families.
- On June 5, 1932 Mr. Manceron, general resident, inaugurates the nursery school, the François-Manceron stadium and the Alapetite dispensary in Ferryville.
- Amor Ben Mabrouk (Tricolores Tinja Sports) wins the Tunisian cross-country championship in 1932
- A representative team of the Comité de la Côte d'Argent (Aquitaine) has just toured Tunisia. It played three matches there and won three victories. In Tunis, they beat the Tunisian Selection by 60 points to 13; in Ferryville, they defeated the local S.C., Tunisian champion, by 41 points to 3.
- The Sporting Club Ferryvillois, is crowned first team in the rifle shooting championship which took place in Mateur in April 1932.
- Merger of the Sporting Club Ferryvillois (SCF) with the Vaillante Ferryvilloise (FV) which gave birth to the VSCFR (Vaillante-Sporting Club Ferryvilloise réunis). (The colours of the new team are red with blue facings. Their seat was in the sports café (probably the current Lajili café).
1933 - 1934
- Tunisian Cup Final: UST beats VCSF by 2-1. Eliminatory: Vaillante-Sporting Club de Ferryville - Tricolores Tinja Sport: 3 - 0. 1/8th Vaillante-Sporting Club de Ferryville beats Maccabi de Sousse 7 - 0. Quarter-final / Vaillante-Sporting Club de Ferryville beats Red Star de Sousse 4 - 1. Semi-final : Vaillante-Sporting Club de Ferryville beats Stade Gaulois 5 - 2. Tunisian Cup Final: UST beats VCSF by 2-1
- Opening of the L'Olympia cinema, whose owner was Mr Bagur. A few years later he opened the cinema Le Rex.
- The Tinja-Sport team participates in the athletics championship in Tunis.

- A navy seaplane falls into the ferryville lake.
- In April 1934 a meeting of Tous les sports was held in Ferryville. During this meeting many records were beaten by numerous athletes of TTS (Tricilore Tindja Sport): 1,500 metres: 1. Murraciole (TTS), 4'26; Height: 1. Abdul Mossé (TTS), 1 m. 70; Weight: 1. Joubert (TTS), 12 m. 89; Discus: 1. Joubert (TTS), 34 m. 585 ;
- At Ferryville and especially at the arsenal the communists have always been in the majority among the workers and employees. Among the militants (who were also members of the CGTU) we find the names of Georges Paparone, Toussaint Venturini, Louis Azzopardi, Henri Bolhar, Urbani... Most of the workers in the arsenal were members of the Tunisian Committee of Red Relief as well as the Tunisian Federation of Friends of the USSR created in 1934.
- The unitary unions of the arsenal and the Ferryville building were dissolved on 21 February 1934 by the Court and the railway militants were the victims of sanctions.
- Moreover, in June 1934 the congress of the Tunisian Communist Party (PCT) was held where the political leadership (including a certain Lagui de Ferryville) was elected.
- In June 1934 a workers' demonstration (a torchlight retreat) took place in Ferryville. On the passage of the demonstration on the Avenue de France and then in the rue Lockroy a fight broke out between the communist militants (of the CGTU) and the socialists (of the CGT).
- In September 1934 a single trade union was created at Ferryville (between the members of the CGT (socialists) and those of the CGTU (communists) in order to resist the policy of austerity instituted by Resident Peyrouthon.
- Some names quoted in some sources on the active members of the arsenal union: Mohamed Salah Abdallah (or Bouabdallah), Mohamed Bousbih, Ali Sifaoui, Mohamed Doghmane. In addition, Mohamed Salah Abdallah even became head of the Bizerte union in replacement of Tahar Ben Salem who was one of the leaders (together with Belgacem Gnaoui and Ali Karoui (themselves former members of the first CGTT of 1924).
- Meeting in February of the CGT (socialist) union of the arsenal, at the Ferryville village hall, (presided over by a certain Guillemin from the arsenal) to decide to put an end to the unitary experiment with the CGTU (close to the communists) begun six months earlier.
- Quarter-final of the North African football cup: CDJ d'Oran - VSC Ferryville (5-0). The Sporting Club ferryvillois, created in 1907, is still one of the best clubs in the country. It counts notably the goalkeeper Ahmed Khaldi Zouaoui and Salah Bouda. In 1931-1932, it finished second in the championship and lost the cup final against Racing Club of Tunis (1-1 then 5-0). He played in the cup final in 1934 against the Tunisian Sports Union (UST).
- Extension of the perimeter of the commune of Ferryville with the joining of Tindja and Guengla. The population is then about 6000 inhabitants.
- With the arrival to power of the Popular Front in France and especially the rise of Nazism and Fascism and the feeling that war is close, right-wing extremist movements will start to become active, including in Tunisia. At Ferryville in March 1937 the unions in the arsenal tried, for example, to mobilise against the arrival in Tunis of a certain Sabiani, a leader of the far-right PPF (French People's Party) from St-Denis. In December of the same year, as tension was rising, nearly 300 members of the far-right PSF (French social party) organised a demonstration in Ferryville, coming out of a conference, shouting the slogan "work - family - homeland".
- On 1 June 1937 inter-union meeting in Ferryville and in several towns in Tunisia.
- On 25 September 1937 Sheikh Abdelaziz Thaalbi, head of Destour, organised a meeting at Ferryville.
- Inauguration of the synagogue, located rue Marceau, and the Jewish cemetery in Ferryville.
- A new sports club is born: the Étoile sportive ouvrière de Ferryville (ESOF), whose headquarters are located at the Manceron stadium.
- The "Cercle populaire italien" is formed in Ferryville.
- Anti-Italian demonstration and demonstration against the "House of Italians" in Ferryville. At this time, anti-Italian behaviour multiplied everywhere in Tunisia in response to anti-French provocations by the fascists in Italy. Thus at the beginning of December 1938 a large demonstration gathering about 2000 people took place in the streets of Ferryville.
- It was the turn of the African Stadium of Ferryville (SAF) to be formed. It is a club created to allow the natives to have their own club. The official general assembly of the SAF will take place on April 2, 1939. The committee that will come out of it will be the following: President: Kilani Ben Othman; Vice-Presidents: Abdesselem Tekaya and Jilani Ben Salah; General Secretary: Mohamed Bourogaa; Assistant General Secretary: Tahar Soussi; Treasurer: Tijani Dayas; Assistant Treasurer: Khelifa Mannoubi; Members: Salah Bejaoui, Mohamed Ben Romdhan, Taieb Tekaya, Brahim Tounsi, Chedly Essid, Bechir Mouldi, Mohamed Ben Hammouda and Ammar Ben Yedder; Auditors : Mohamed M'dimagh and Amor Belabed.
- Popular mobilisation (mainly left-wing organisations) in the Ferryville and Tinja stations when the train carrying the Spanish republican refugees and international brigades leaving for Mehri-Jabbes in southern Tunisia passed by.
- Léon Jouhaux, St-Général of the French CGT, gives a lecture at Ferryville on 15 February 1939
- Sailing: The Ferryville Yacht Club won the first two places in the first Tunis - Bizerte cruise race in September 1939 ahead of the Carthage Yacht Club and the Bizerte Sporting Club.
- In 1939, an association of scale models "Les Jeunes Ailes Ferryvilloises" was formed, with its head office at the Café de Nice.
- Construction of the Franco-Arab school with 6 classrooms and accommodation.
- During the Second World War and on the recommendation of Vichy, VSCFR and ESOF merged to form the Union sportive de Ferryville (USF) which won the Tunisian Cup by beating US Béja by 4-1.
- In 1943 during the Second World War the American army after having bombed the arsenal several times and even the hospital enters German-occupied Ferryville.
- In 1944 a plague epidemic broke out in Ferryville. It was in the context of preparations for the Allied landings in Provence and when Ferryville, like all the ports in Tunisia, was occupied by the military ships preparing Operation Dragoon that cases of plague were to appear. At the beginning of August 1944 the first case was reported following the death of a patient in hospital. Thirty seven cases would follow (25 Europeans and 12 Tunisians).
- On 8 May General de Gaulle visits the Ferryville arsenal.
- Because of the destruction caused by the war, the municipality decides to undertake work to repair the abattoir, the village hall and the Manceron stadium.
- With the reorganisation of the competition in 1946-1947, the USF l'Union sportive de Ferryville moves up to the first division and the SAF to the fifth division but, within two years, the latter will move up to the third division.
- Affiliation of the USF (Union sportive Ferryvilloise) to the basketball federation (?) followed by the African Stadium of Ferryville (SAF) in 1947.
- Constitution of the UGTT trade union section in Ferryville.
- Renovation work on the church (built in 1893 and inaugurated in 1898) carried out by the "Pierre Castagne" engineering and architecture firm in Bizerte.
- The Union sportive de Ferryville (USF) wins the junior Tunisian championship.
- During the cross-country criterium championship (9 February 1947) it was a certain El-Gharbi from the African stadium of Ferryville who won the junior 5,000 metre event with 17'216/10. [check quotation syntax]
- The CANS (Constructions et Armes Navales Sports) team of Ferryville joined the French Athletics Federation.
- Union of Young Accordionists of Ferryville.
- Henri Laborit, a world-renowned surgeon and neurobiologist, revolutionises anaesthesia at Ferryville Hospital.
In 1949, the Ferryville Arsenal creates its own club: the Ferryville Arsenal Sports Union (USAF) which quickly becomes established. During the 1953 criterium, it attracts several players: Ben Brahim (CAB), Azaiez Jaballah and Jelloul Ben Cheikh (SAF). Group champion in the third division in 1954, it merged with the USF to form the Union sportive maritime de Ferryville (future Union sportive maritime de Menzel Bourguiba) which became a major all-round sports club that won the Tunisian handball cup in 1956-1957 and the Tunisian handball championship in 1957-1958 before its final dissolution in 1958.
- Construction of the mixed high school Stéphen Pichon de Ferryville. The architect was a certain Jacques Marmey.
- Merger: The club of Construction and Naval Sports Arms, takes the new title of : Union Sportive Arsenal Ferryville
- Direction des Constructions et Armes Navales, (USAF-DCAN)
- Final on 24 April 1951 of the North African championship in Tunis: U.K. Algiers and Ferryville(6 to 6). Ferryville was declared North African champion (decision contested by the U.R.A.).
- Mr. Baggioqui (director of the Franco-Arab school of Briquetterie) was the last French mayor of Ferryville until 1956 at the time of independence.
- Creation of a music group: Les Jeunes de la Chanson.
- Construction, at the beginning of the 1950s, of the old mosque of Ferryville. Some sources report that it was W. Rondeau (owner of a bank bearing the same name, who was also the mayor of Ferryville) who graciously ceded the land for the construction of the Mosque.
- Since 1951 Ferryville has taken part in the French championship of senior petanque organised in Toulon. Three Ferryville teams take part: Ferryville Club Bouliste, Ferryville Amicale Boule and Tindja Tricolore Sports Réunis. Ferryville Club Bouliste (with players Savi Thomas, Naso André and Maiorana Vito) takes part in the 1st round. The Ferryville Amicale Boule (with the players Krieff Edmond, Cicazzo François and Cicazzo Rosario) which will go to the 1/16 final. The Tindja Tricolore Sports Réunis (with the players Zoeller Henri, Giglio Auguste and Mangenot) reaches the 1/8 final.
- Protest movement on 1 May and arrest of trade unionists at Ferryville.
- Following the arrest of the main leaders of the national movement riots break out all over the country and repression will claim dozens of victims. The riots spread to the north and particularly to Bizerte. On 17 January a protest demonstration took place in Ferryville and there too the repression caused three deaths and fifty wounded.
- It is known that the construction of the Ferryville stadium took place between the two wars. Repair work had been necessary because of the destruction during the Second World War. Moreover, according to some sources, it was in 1952 that the framework covering the stadium's stands was built. This framework was apparently manufactured by the company France-Dragages in Bizerte and assembled by the company Oliva (du Kram) specialised in the lifting of materials, but where Ferryville workers worked.
- The Union sportive de l'arsenal de Ferryville (USAF) obtains the cadet football criterion.
- AG of market gardeners and retailers in the municipal market, in the union's premises, at the appeal of the Union of Tunisian Trade Unions (UGTT) to protest against taxes and high display rents imposed by the municipality of Ferryville.
- The first Tour de Tunisie cycliste took place in Férryville in 1953 on the initiative of the local club the Vélo Club de Ferryville in collaboration with the newspaper La Dépêche tunisienne. 73 riders including 11 Tunisians took part, including Bechir Merdassi who created a surprise by winning this first edition thanks to a breakaway of nearly six minutes on the peloton, during the seventh stage linking Sousse to Bou Arada. The Tour de Tunisie cycliste had three editions in 1953, 1954 and 1955. After a break, it came back in 1959 thanks to the newspaper Le Sport, then was interrupted for a long time until 2004, date of the last "Tour". There were a total of 32 editions between 1953 and 2004.
- The senior triplets qualified, and their results, at the French Petanque Championship in 1953 in Perpignan. The Amicale Boule Ferryville (with Leroux Adrien, Leroux Jean and Maumus Raymond) in 1/8 final and Tindja Tricolore Pétanque (with Murraciole Robert, Bosc François and Maicran) in 1/32 final.
In 1954, the Union sportive de l'arsenal de Ferryville (USAF) merged with the USF to form the Union sportive maritime de Ferryville USMF (future Union sportive maritime de Menzel Bourguiba) which became a large omnisports club that would notably win the Tunisian handball cup in 1956-1957 and the Tunisian handball championship in 1957-1958 before its final dissolution in 1958.
- Shooting at Ferryville: The French army shoots at a demonstration. Several victims.
- The formation of armed resistance groups and in particular the shooting against the Paris café on 10 (14?) July 1954 which caused several victims (there is talk of 6 dead and many wounded) and the bloody repression which followed in the Arab neighbourhoods. Among the members of the group that attacked the Paris café were Elal Ferchichi, Mahjoub Ben Ali, Salah Bougatfa, Amor Belïfa, Amor Ferchichi...etc. Elal Ferchichi was allegedly killed on 24 August 1954 during a French army operation at Ichkeul.
- The petanque team of TTS (Tindja) among the 100 triplettes qualified for the French Senior Championship in 1955 in Cannes.
- Creation of the Judo Club de Ferryville (between 1955 - 1960) by Claude Falourd, English boxing champion.
1955 - 1956
- Tunisian Football Cup : the U.S.M.Ferryville defeats the Sports Union of Gabès (2-1) while the African Stadium of Ferryville is eliminated by the O du Kef (3-1). The TTS which had first eliminated the WATunis (2-1) is eliminated in its turn in 1/16th final by Mateur (3-2).

- Independence is proclaimed on 20 March.
- The population of Ferryville (around 35,000 ha) was made up of 21,358 Tunisians and 13,374 foreigners.
Menzel Bourguiba (1956 - present)
- Ahmed Ben Hamida mayor of Ferryville - Menzel (1956 - 1962)
- Ferryville is renamed Menzel Bourguiba.

1956 - 1957
- Menzel Bourguiba's Union sportive de la marine (USMB) (former Union sportive de la marine de Ferryville) wins the title of Tunisian handball champion
- Inauguration of the Bourguiba Statute
- Battle of Bizerte and Menzel Bourguiba
- On 19 July Bizerte war: there was a popular meeting in the village hall. From there a demonstration went to the arsenal where an army and national guard roadblock had been set up with many "civilian volunteers" installed in front of the Bizerte gate. At midnight the fighting broke out, claiming hundreds of victims.
- The acts of bravery of some during the events of July 1961. Everyone remembers "Tahar" (he presented himself as the former bodyguard of Salah Ben Youssef, under house arrest in Menzel) who died during the attacks on the arsenal. And still others whose memory should be honoured in a more consistent and dignified manner even if a stele had been built (on the site of the Farfadet) in memory of the victims, as well as a square reserved for them in the Sidi Rzig cemetery.
- a pitched battle (a few weeks after the outbreak of the armed clashes in July and the ceasefire that had been signed) between the French marines and the population of the town exasperated by their behaviour during the previous weeks. (It was, I believe, a Sunday because we were at the stadium watching a match. A rumour had spread through the stands that the French soldiers had once again organised a rat-only outing. In a few minutes the stadium emptied and the crowd moved towards the Menzel train station and the market district where the clashes with the soldiers took place for several hours).
- As a consequence of the Bizerte war in July 1961 the city emptied itself of the majority of its European and even Jewish population. Most of the shops closed down. The naval construction activity of the arsenal, very much linked to the French military presence, slowed down and many Tunisian workers were forced to look for work elsewhere. The new Tunisian government was slow to set up. Menzel was then almost a ghost town.
- The monument of the Farfadet is dismantled to be transferred to Toulon and then to Mourenx in the Atlantic Pyrenees, near Pau.
- Taïb Tékaïa mayor of Menzel (1962 - 1980). (now deceased)
- The French army evacuates the arsenal and all the military sites of Menzel Bourguiba.
- Creation of the Youth Club in Menzel Bourguiba
- On 15 December, Bourguiba visits Bizerte and Menzel Bourguiba in the company of Presidents Nasser and Ben Bella, the Crown Prince of Libya and a representative of King Hassan II.
- Construction of the El-Fouladh ironworks.
- Twinning of Menzel Bourguiba with the towns of Sttudgart (Germany) and La Seyne-sur-mer (France).
- Mohamed Dridi, mayor of Menzel 1980 - 1990 (died in 2001)
- Inscription of the Ichkeul National Park on the World Heritage List. It is one of the last remaining links of freshwater wetlands that once stretched across the whole of North Africa.
- Tunisia is world champion in 1986 of Pétanque in Epinal (Fr). The team is composed of JENDOUBI Allala (Menzel Bourguiba), LAKILI Raouf, LAKILI Tarik, LAKILI Tarik, LAKILI Tarik and JENDOUBI Allala.
- The statue of Bourguiba is dismantled.
- World Petanque Championship 1989 in Pineda (Spain) The Tunisian team (Raouf Lakili, Mohamed Ferjani and Alala Jendoubi) is in the semi-finals of the Nations Cup between Tunisia and Belgium.
- Kamel Dhaouadi mayor of Menzel from 1990 - 1995.
- Féthi Sâafi mayor of Menzel from 1995 - 2000
- Fethi Mrabet mayor of Menzel from 2000 - 2006
- The mayor of the town decides to raze the last huts on Rondeau beach following the death of Ali Ben Ammar who had taken refuge there.
- Death, on 28 October 2004, of Habib Chebil (theatre-maker, film-maker, painter).
- Sadok Chalghoumi mayor of Menzel from 2005 to 2010
- Jamel Eddine ElBatti mayor from 2010 to 2011
- The Town Hall and several other public buildings are set on fire during the demonstrations in January 2011. It will be restored in 2015.
Twin cities
Menzel Bourguiba Mayors
1958–1962Ahmed Ben Hémida
1962–1980Taïeb Tekaia
1980–1990Mohamed Dridi
1990–1995Kamel Dhaouadi
1995–2000Fethi Sâafi
2000–2005Fethi M'rabet
2005–2010Sadok Chalghoumi
2010–2011Jamel Eddine El Batti
2011–2018Mohamed Arbi Mimouni
2018–PresentSlaheddine Jebari
Celebrities From Menzel Bourguiba
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^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2006. Retrieved 22 July 2006.
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Last edited on 31 May 2021, at 11:24
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