Category Archives: Lodges and Fraternal Orders of Panama

In Commemoration

Commemorative Stamp honoring the West Indians.

Commemoration Ceremony at Mt. Hope Stadium, 1951

Speaking of postage stamps, one of the most outstanding events of 1951, in fact, was a momentous West Indian Appreciation program held at Mt. Hope Stadium on August 15, 1951 to mark the issuing of a stamp commemorating the contributions of the West Indians to the construction of the Panama Canal. Continue reading

The Evolution of the Elks in Panama

The image shows a curious plaque in Kentucky
outlining the history of the I.B.P.O.E.
Image is copyrighted and the property of
Josh Flowers.

The following brief history of the I.B.P.O.E. from their official web site serves as a basis for the evolution of the Elks lodges in Panama and the Panama Canal Zone and the major cities and areas where Westindian Panamanians founded settlements. Continue reading

The Elks

This is a replica of a typical Lodge Building as may have
been found in the Black Westindian community in Panama.
You can visit this replica at Mi Pueblito Afro-Antillano in the City of
Panama. 
Here we have a view of the Lodge Meeting Hall
inside the Lodge Building in Mi Pueblito Afro-Antillano.

by Lydia M. Reid

In our aim to explain the social institutions that grew out of the unique culture of the Silver People of Panama we continue to examine the Lodges and Fraternal Orders and especially the manner in which the Canal Zone Black community mirrored the organizations that evolved from the Black Americans. Historically, the Blacks of the Panama Canal Zone and the cities surrounding the Zone mingled and exchanged ideas with their Black American counterparts thus leading to the formation of many organizations and institutions with highly similar goals. Continue reading

The Lodges and Fraternal Orders on the Isthmus of Panama. Part III

This is the three chain links symbol of the Odd fellows
intertwined with the “R” and a dove, representing peace, inside the letter “D.”

Image thanks to www.keystoneparanormal.com


In the uncertain, ever changing and often hostile scene of the Panama Canal Zone and the two major cities of Colon and Panama City, the original Silver People were confronted with an intimidating lack of infrastructure to help them achieve the economic and social stability they so avidly sought. Continue reading

The Lodges and Fraternal Orders on the Isthmus of Panama. Part II

This image of a Masonic symbol is thanks to
www.masonicworld.com

When we speak of the existence of lodges and fraternal organizations in the Black Canal Zone– the lodges of the Silver People- we are talking about organizations that fundamentally mirrored the white lodges and fraternal orders. We’re ever conscious that everything on the Canal Zone, even up to the 1970’s, was segregated by race, and the formation of lodges and fraternal organizations was no less immune from this recurring condition. Continue reading

The Lodges and Fraternal Orders on the Isthmus of Panama. Part I

This is the Coat of Arms of The Foresters, The Friendly Society of England. Image thanks to The Foresters.

This is the Coat of Arms of The Foresters,
The Friendly Society of England.
Image thanks to The Foresters.

Mr. Edward J.R.Evans circa 1930 founding member of Court Brock and he once owned a great part of the Mt. Hope District in Colon.

From the very beginning we find evidence that the West Indians did make significant efforts at organizing and establishing fraternal organizations. In fact, in an old historical note we discovered the oldest fraternal organization founded on the Isthmus. Continue reading