Tag Archives: construction of the Panama Canal

Reunited at Last – The Journey of the Holness Family

Entrance to Corozal Cemetery Panama.

We wanted to share with our readers a recent update that CGM Foundation has just sent us much to our joy and satisfaction. It chronicles the journey of the Holness Family in finding the grave of their ancestor at Corozal Cemetery. Enjoy the photos and follow the link for the video. Thank you Frances! Continue reading

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The New Locks of the Panama Canal- Nothing Like What Our Grandfathers Achieved

This is an image of a portion of the Pacific side locks.  They look like a siv

This is an image of a portion of the new Pacific side locks. Honestly it looks like a sieve.

This is my grandfather, Joshua Austin Reid.  From his Pan Canal work recod "badge" photo, 1919.

This is my grandfather, Joshua Austin Reid. From his Pan Canal work recod “badge” photo, 1919.  He was one of the Jamaican Bosses.

By now most of us, both here in Panama and abroad, have been witness to the shameful images of the shoddy workmanship done on the “completed” new locks of the widened Panama Canal by the GUPC (Grupos Unidos por el Canal), a project valued at 4, 357 million dollars (almost 4 and a half billion dollars). I cannot help but reflect on the incomparable work of our ancestors, the black West Indian workmen, who worked tirelessly under the strict supervision of their American employers to complete the particularly demanding work on the Canal locks just about 101 years ago. Continue reading

A Digger’s Story

Contractor's Hill about 1910.  The breaking down of this massive piece of solid rock was a tremendous and dangerous undertaking and the black, West Indian Silvermen met the challenge.  The image is thanks to the Library of Congress.

Contractor’s Hill about 1910. The breaking down of this massive piece of solid rock was a tremendous and dangerous undertaking and the black, West Indian Silvermen met the challenge. The image is thanks to the Library of Congress.

The poem we are honored to post today is about the memories that many of the Silvermen preferred not to remember, much less recount. But, Louis Emanuel, our friend and resident poet – and chronicler- has a sharp recall for the accounts his grandfather rendered of the perils he and his companions encountered as part of the digging backbone of the Silver Roll work crews in the early construction days of the Panama Canal.  Continue reading

The Year

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We want to take this moment to wish you all a very prosperous and health filled New Year for 2015!  Thank you, our valued readers, for supporting us and our cause and especially for your feedback which we prize highly.

Louis Emanuel, one of our contributing poets, has shared another poem with us; this time his verses recap the highly eventful year of 2014 which we have lived in Panama.  Enjoy! Continue reading

Alfred Nobel- The Dynamite Trail to Panama

Alfred Nobel 1833-1896. Image thanks to Nobelprize.org.

When we hear the name Alfred Nobel we immediately associate it with the revered Peace Prize that is awarded every year in Stockholm to a number of deserving candidates in the arts or sciences who have earned the recognition through their hard work and professional achievements. Actually, since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature as well as for peace. What we don’t associate his name with is the explosive- and I mean this literally- history of the substance known as dynamite, which he improved and named and which made him an extremely wealthy individual. Continue reading