Tag Archives: West Indians

Mashup

My beloved Auntie Berenice Charles, 1912-2005

My beloved Auntie Berenice Charles, 1912-2005

Although passed on to Glory now since 2005, my beloved Auntie Berenice, who worked on the Panama Canal Zone as a maid and, finally, a cook, all her life, never leaves my side at my writing desk. It was from her that I learned about the Westindians of Panama and grew to love and understand our English patois.  Continue reading

The Numbers- The Panama Railroad Part I

A logo image of the Panama Railroad

A logo image of the Panama Railroad

by Lydia M. Reid

It is one thing to read the cold death statistics provided in official sources but clearly another to actually experience, through traveller’s accounts, of how men (and women) braved one of the deadliest localities on the face on the earth at the time, the Isthmus of Panama, to participate in the building of what was once considered an impossible dream.  We must not lose sight of the historical and well documented facts, however, that the death tolls were accumulated over a period of more than sixty five years.  The large bulk of the fatalities in the building of the Canal actually occurred during the building of the Panama Railroad by Yankee entrepreneurs during the years 1849-1855.

Continue reading

The Silver and Gold Roll on the Panama Canal Zone

Image: A Pay Car in Colon on payday for “Silver Workers 1910.

The appellative “Silver” comes from the Gold and Silver Roll system implemented by the American administrators of the Canal Zone in 1904 and enforced by the American government from the very beginning of what is historically known as the American Construction Era of the Panama Canal Zone which spanned the years 1904-1914.

Continue reading