Category Archives: West Indian Athletes of Panama

Lloyd LaBeach and the London Olympics 2012

Promotional image from London Olympics 2012.

Lloyd LaBeach in 1946 while at the University of Wisconsin, before his London Olympic victory.

Today we are scarcely a month away from the start of the London Olympic Games 2012 and this event, above all other Olympics, symbolizes a remarkable milestone for the Silver People of Panama.  It was exactly sixty four years ago that our native son, Lloyd LaBeach, brought home two Bronze medals- the first Olympic medals ever in Panama’s history in its participation in a worldwide Olympic competition. Continue reading

Gifted Children Overcome the Hurdles

By 1952 the Republic of Panama’s official population had been disclosed as 801,982- not quite one million.  Most of the athletic triumphs, however, were coming from the townships of the Silver People and from the cities of Panama and Colon. Continue reading

Luis Thompson- Panama’s Loss is Argentina’s Gain

Image of Luis Federico Thompson and his fight record are thanks to Boxrec

More than a famous global challenger, Luis Federico Thompson, along with two other boxing legends, was ultimately responsible for setting up the fight game inArgentina. This was his main function after he began to withdraw from the ring as a boxer.  As South American Champion welterweight of the world, however, Thompson achieved a long list of victories all over that continent.   Continue reading

The Great Luis Ferdie Thompson

Image thanks to El Gráfico

The year 1952 was also a key year for one of the Silver People community’s most celebrated boxers.  It was the year Luis Federico Ferdie Thompson reached the great nation of Argentina to adopt a new country and be adopted and beloved of them as “El Negro.”  When he passed on to glory last year on January 8, 2010, he was bemoaned by the vast nation of fans and admirers and there was hardly a peep out of the media here in Panama. Continue reading

Coach Ashton Parchment’s Legacy

Although this is a modern version of the keds I wore back in 1952, they are basically the same.

Image is from:

Still thinking we had a chance against the Westindians, I gamely entered my spot on the starting block and noticed that there were only two of us from the National Institute who were brave enough to enter this fast race. However, no sooner did the start gun go off than we found ourselves left behind in the starting blocks trying to react and hurriedly catch up with the swift leaders in the race who, by this time, were flying. The two of us representing the Institute came in third and last. Continue reading

Soccer and the Hazel Scott of Panama

This is Dolores Leacock, the jazz pianist who became known as the Hazel Scott of Panama. Photo thanks to her daughter Yvette Padgett.

Classic photo of the talented Hazel Scott. Photo became the cover image for Karen Chilton’s book about her life.


After my failed attempt at continuing our organized basketball team I began gravitating to the field just on the other side of the schoolyard after class. It was the part of the field with a high cement wall all around its perimeter. There I thought I would find new friends who had the same interests I did- namely new games to get into. Continue reading