Tag Archives: Commissary

My Chance Now!

This is an image from 1937 of some motorized Canal Zone Policemen.  I was grateful for the cop's intervention that day in front of the Commissary. Image thanks to czimages.com.

This is an image from 1937 of some motorized Canal Zone Policemen. I was grateful for the cop’s intervention that day in front of the Commissary. Image thanks to czimages.com.

Yes, they had closed in on me that night at the commissary until a Canal Zone policeman, who had overheard their taunts and all the commotion said, “Get out of here and leave that boy alone!” This was one time that I had been really glad to see a zone police officer because his instinct had immediately told him that they were about to attack me and steal all the groceries my Aunt had bought from the commissary leaving all of her packages strewn all over the sidewalk. Continue reading

Christmas Time in the “Black” Canal Zone

Holiday Gingerbread Cookies
Merry Christmas to you all and may your holidays be blessed and “sweet!”


The traditional
Christmas feast would eventually become an Americanized holiday for Westindian Black families living on the Canal Zone. The Christmas ham, turkey, cranberry sauce, eggnog, and all the other traditional fixings for the eagerly awaited celebration would be found in the commissary stores. Everything necessary to celebrate this yearly holiday from work and school was bought at the commissary with the familiar commissary coupon book and many families rejoiced at the thought of providing their holiday table with the best of fare from the United States. Continue reading

The Silver Roll- Separate and Unequal Facilities

An early post card image of the
Old (Gold) Commissary at Las Cascadas (today under water)
Image thanks to: www.czimages.com

The newly arriving privileged white Americans, recruited primarily by the Canal Recruitment offices in New York, New Orleans, and in other parts of the United States, arrived with a “segregation mind set.” Although, and contrary to common belief, the American workforce was almost entirely from the northern United States at first, such was the attitude of those new white arrivals that it appeared that they had been recruited by the most radical of racist secret societies. Continue reading