Tag Archives: Pension-and-Relief-Bill

Canal Zone Pensioners

Photo: Silver Roll laborers and a foreman doing work in a tunnel from 1907.  As you can see the majority of the workers are Westindian.


While I was beginning to enjoy a few brief moments of glory at The National Institute, the senior members of our Silver People, especially the pensioners were seeing very dark days.  As most of them struggled to keep body and soul together on the most miserly monthly pension from the Canal Zone of $25.00, the future of the veterans of what Colonel George W. Goethals had termed the war on the Culebra Cut seemed grim.  After all, just because people retire doesn’t mean that they no longer have a future. Continue reading

The Life of Panama’s Adolescents in 1950

In this photo we see the Westindian old timers
on the Silver Roll Relief and Disability
lines in the Zone in order to pick up their $25 a month
pension check. Image thanks to czimages.com

The decade of the 1950’s would become historic times- an epoch that particularly Panamanian historians would be reticent to tread upon, especially touching the subject of our people. They were times when the whole machinery of governments would see in an undefined populace such as the Panamanian Westindians fair game for unleashing its harshest sting, especially the disdain of their ruling class. In a country such as Panama, bounded by no less than five borders, its people still sought to define itself. Continue reading