Tag Archives: 1950

Things Were That Tough- Free Burial Plots at Pilon Cemetery

Alcalde (Mayor) José Dominador Bazán is the
man in the back row wearing a bow tie. The man in the
middle, of course, is the exiled President of Argentina at the time,
Juan Domingo Perón. Image courtesy of La Estrella.

The year 1950 not only marked the beginning of another decade, it highlighted the ever worsening economic conditions the Westindian Panamanians had to endure. With the RIF’s (Reduction in Force) letters from the Canal Zone appearing with ruthless frequency in more and more homes, things were getting pretty desperate. Particularly in the Atlantic side City of Colon, the jobless situation was felt with greater intensity.  Continue reading

Spanish Speaking and Ready

I was more Spanish than the other Spanish kids.
That’s me on the left.

I had been keenly conscious that I needed to be Spanish speaking since I was four years of age and as such I endeavored to become more Panamanian in that sense than my aunts and uncles of both coasts of the Republic. Continue reading

The Police Cases of 1950

This is an archival image of Clyde Wesley Boyce,
26 year old Colon resident who was murdered by a
Secret Police Agent in 1950.

Part of the undercurrent of Panama’s caste system was the gradual criminalization of Westindian youth. Boys, particularly, got caught up in the institutional manifestation of racial hatred leaving them few avenues for defending themselves. Police murders and other homicides targeting Westindian men and youths were all too frequent in the barrios of the big cities by 1950. Continue reading

Undercurrents of the Caste System

I dared to dream about entering and
actually finishing high school but my path
seemed littered with obstacles. Image.

In my last two years in primary school I had made no plans for attending secondary school; that is until 1950 when my experience with Teacher Ana Sanchez when we were out canvassing for the school fair and she opened up a window for me to even contemplate such a notion. I had not considered it possible to continue studying into secondary school given my family circumstances but Teacher Ana virtually lit up the fire in me with an assurance that my father had spoken to her about sending for me someday. Continue reading

Panama’s 2010 Census Promises to be Interesting for Persons of African and Indigenous Descent

Image translates to read, “As the Canal is Enlarged,
We Will be Counted in 2010”

Lydia M. Reid

This year’s Census will be conducted on Sunday May 16, 2010 beginning at the hour of midnight May 15 and ending officially at 7:30 PM on May 16, 2010. The entire operation is governed by the Contraloría General de la República, Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censo. Continue reading

A New Meaning to the Story of Moses

Image from the Salvation Army

One Sunday during our Sunday School lesson at the Salvation Army the theme was the story of Moses, the Jew turned Egyptian. Although I had heard the story at my grandmother’s side since I could remember, this time it took on a new meaning for me. Throughout the lesson, as usual, I went into daydreaming mode trying to determine how Moses felt at the time. Continue reading