This photo is of a derailment at Bas Obispo in 1886- the French Railroad days. Note the Jamaican workers.
Here are two more poems by Mr. Louis Emanuel during this period of recognition to our Silver ancestors.
This railroad was built, many years ago
In the US this idea, was concocted as known
To move gold from west, to northeastern shores
Crisscrossing the isthmus, since then until now.
History recalls, those contractors of yore
Imported Asiatics, as the labour force
Not adapted to the harsh, tropical woes
Many perished, escaped, hid, who knows.
The railroad company, desperate for men
To Jamaica they went, and hired right then
Whom brought this venture, to an early end
The trains are rolling, right round’ the bend.
While awash in nostalgia, I have often recalled
Many miles of tracks, from Colon to Panama
Steam engine in tow, and passenger cars for all.
Thus I ponder, why such things had to pass.
No longer the transport, for many ingots of gold
Nor for our Diggers, from the great ditch, of old
Diesel engines, haul containers, stacked twofold
The leisure cars can be pricey, so I have been told.
An ode to the men, whom came to Panama as the main
labor force to build the world’s seventh wonder, The
Panama Canal. And whilst doing so perished leaving
behind their wives, mothers children, and loved ones.
The land is parched, sugarcane won’t grow
On this island, the economy is very slow
My husband’s earnings, so abysmally low
I am with child, which he is soon to know.
He paces the fields daily, and is very sad
And vies for work, earning whatever he can
Contractor work, in some faraway land
As a last resort, is shrouding his plans.
My darling husband, please do not leave
I am carrying our child, consider my plea
You must be here, when I do conceive
To greet our firstborn, honey, let it be.
One dreary morning, I rush to the dock
Men boarding a ship, waving nonstop
My dearest husband, is amidst the lot
I prayed Lord, please bring them back.
His letters I cherish, so often each month
The earnings sent home, begins to mount
Our child in waiting, soon to be born
The days seems as years, since he’s gone.
Received that letter, on a sad gloomy day
My beloved, will no longer, come my way
He was blown to bits, on Contractor Hill
Dynamite explosion, many Diggers killed.
I screamed, cried out loud, this is not true
He promised to return home, so very soon
Then I prayed, Father in the heavens above
To bless, comfort him, with thy eternal love.