Tag Archives: Alfred-E.-Osborne

Growing Public Outcry Against Racism

You have only to replace these Jim Crow
“White” or “Colored” Only signs with Gold or
Silver signs and they would be identical with
what it was like in The Panama Canal Zone.

It was a challenging time in the history of the Westindian Panamanian community when their youngsters were blatantly being denied an opportunity for an education. They would, as I’ve pointed out, receive additional and much needed support from other civic and political institutions as well. Continue reading

The Westindian Panamanian Roots- Recalling My Grandfathers

Casino and Hotel Venetto

There is a building boom going on in
Panama and they can thank my
pioneering grandparents, The Silver People,
for it. Top photo is just one example of the
mushrooming new skyscrapers, banks,
shopping malls, hotels, casinos etc., that are
going up faster than anyone can keep track.
Bottom photo is a view of the new and changing
Panama City skyline as seen from the walls
of the French Embassy in old San Felipe (Casco Viejo).


I’ll never tire of saying it but I’ve always believed that we Westindian Panamanians are a very unique people. Of such strong mettle we the
Silver Men, the Panamanian Westindian, have evolved. Continue reading

A Tribute to Alfred E. Osborne

Alfred E. Osborne. Image thanks to Afropanavisions.com


The
Venerable Teacher Osborne, father of Alfred E. Osborne, left his Island home of Antigua, when his son Alfred E. was only three years of age. He arrived in Panama in the year of 1911 and most assuredly met my grandfather Mr. Joshua A. Reid, the Dispensary Director of Silver Paraiso Township. Mr. Reid had left his beloved Island of Jamaica in 1906 to get work on the construction of the “Big Ditch” which would later turn into the Panama Canal. The elder Teacher Osborne then labored at the segregated Canal Zone Silver Schools until he achieved the rank of Principal. Continue reading

The Early West Indian English Schools Part I

English School in San Miguel.  I believe that is Teacher Reid in the back.

English School in San Miguel circa 1935. I believe that is Teacher Reid in the back. Image thanks to czbrats.com

Alfred E. Osborne

Alfred E. Osborne.  Image thanks to Afro-Panavision.com

The founders of the first schools that I’d ever heard of were the Westindian teachers or, as they were sometimes referred to, the Teachers. By the time I came of age to begin going to school in the early 1940’s and started dealing with a childhood fraught with much sadness, these teachers had taken on a special meaning.  West Indian teachers were the initiators of not only the first West Indian English Schools but schools of any kind in a small nation like Panama which was almost devoid of institutions of learning in the first fifty years of its history as a Republic. Continue reading

The Silver Townships- Red Tank – Part II

Image of Edward Aston Gaskin, Educator and Union President of Local 900
Thanks to afropanavision.com

We take this opportunity to introduce a brilliant and tireless educator from Red Tank, Edward Aston Gaskin, to highlight the richness of the cultural and intellectual legacy left by the Silver people of the Panama Canal Zone. The article is brought to you thanks to the work of Vivian Dottin, and you may find it as well as other very interesting articles at Afro-PanaVision.com. Continue reading