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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR 2004-2006
Ms. Elaine (Vestal) Lewis
(727) 391-4359 (PCS Office)
Mr. Steve Nehring
1st Vice President
Mr. Robert Russell, Jr.
2nd Vice President
Mr. John R. Gough II
Ms. Faith Brundage
Mr. Virgil "Skeeter" Camby
Mrs. Joan Ohman
Mr. Bill McLaughlin
Mr. James J. O'Donnell
Mrs. Mary Lou Lang
Mr. Ed Wardlow
Mrs. Cheryl Russell
Mrs. Nancy Van Siclen
(727) 391-4359 (Office)
(727) 319-8593 (Fax)
Ms. Jacque (Crowell) Vowell
Mr. Bill McLaughlin
President's Message.................................................................................... ..........................
Secretary 's M essage................................................................................... ..............................2
E editor's C orner................................................ .........................................................................2
Annual Reunion Luncheon Information........................................ ......................................3
February General Membership Meeting and March Annual Picnic Information.....................4
Bylaw Amendment................................................................... ............................................ 5
April StarShip Luncheon Cruise......................... ...................................... ........................ 6
Synopsis of Executive Board Meeting Minutes.............................. ....................7
Highlights of Minutes of General Membership Meetings................................. .................9
Legislative Report............................................................................. .....................................12
September Luncheon Pictures................................... .................................................... 13
Panama Leaders Considering Canal Upgrade article................................ ...........................15
Your Reporter Says:
FL South Florida..............21
W eddings........................................................... ....................................... .............37
Births................................................................ .............................. ........... ............ 38
W ith Deep Sorrow........................................................... ..........................................................39
Em ail Updates.................................................................................. ............ .......................43
Letters to the Editor............................................................................... ................................44
"Looking Back"................................................................... .....................................51
Thatcher Ferry Bridgeless Stam p article................................................ ....................... 59
M museum News...........................................................................................................................61
Advertisem ents....................................... .................................................................. 65
M membership Application Form ............................................................ ........................67
Cover: Christmas at the Administration Building submitted by Sandra Chesson
HOLIDAY OFFICE HOURS
(CLOSED DECEMBER 24. 2004 JANUARY 3 2005)
DATES TO REMEMBER
No PCS General Membership Meeting.
February 5 PCS General Membership Meeting, Florida Buffet of Ocala 11:30
a.m., Ocala, Fla. Hosted by Bill Muller. See page 4 for directions.
PCS Annual Picnic and General Membership Meeting, Anderson
Park, Shelter #9 on Lake Tarpon in Pinellas County, Fla. Hosted by
John Gough. See page 4 for information and directions.
PCS General Membership Meeting, StarShip luncheon Cruise,
boarding at 11:00 a.m. channelside in Tampa, Fla. Hosted by
Maritza Reyes. See page 6 for reservation form and directions.
PCS General Membership Meeting, Troyer's Restaurant,
Sarasota, Fla. See March 2005 Canal Record.
Panama Canal Society, Inc.
(A Not-For-Profit Organization) 0 zo
"To preserve American Ideals and Canal Zone Friendships"
.1! '7985 113th Street, Suite 334, Seminole, Florida 33772-4787
The Canal Record (ISSN 0528-0001) is published quarterly in
March, June, October, and December
Panama Canal Society, Inc., 7985 113th Street, Suite 334, Seminole, Florida 33772-4787. *
Periodicals postage paid at Largo, Florida and additional entry for
March, June, October and December issues.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Canal Record, 7985 113th Street, Suite 334, Seminole, Florida 33772-4787
The membership fee is $30.00 annually, $15.00 of which is for a subscription to the Canal Record for one year.
The Annual Directory is published once a year.
Panama Canal Society, Inc., reserves the right to refuse to print anything derogatory or of a controversial nature, including any advertising not in the best interests of the
Panama Canal Society, whose sole aim is to Preserve American Ideals and Canal Zone Friendships.
Single copies for sale at $5.00 each, (postage is included) to members only.
All photographs and correspondence sent to the Panama Canal Society, Inc. will become the property of the Society and will be retained in their files and archives.
Panama Canal Society, Inc. assumes no responsibility for advertisements placed in the Canal Record.
HEADQUARTERS of the Panama Canal Society, Inc.
7985 113th Street, Suite 334
Seminole, Florida 33772-4787
(727) 391-4359, 1-866-PANCANAL (866-726-2262) (Toll free), FAX (727) 319-8593
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: pancanalsocietv.org
Hours: 9:00-12:00, 1:00-4:00 Monday thru Friday
Printed by Roberts Printing, Inc., 2049 Calumet St., Clearwater, FL 33765
P -R1' Ifff lig f,
Feliz Navidad y Prospero Aiio Nuevo!
The holidays can be very special whether you're in
Panama or places beyond. At this time of year, I always seem
to reflect on my childhood growing up in the Canal Zone. I
remember going with my Mom and Dad to search for the per-
fect Christmas tree at the old annex building in Balboa, only
to have the pine needles fall off when we picked it up. I
remember the delightful dry season breeze and the excep-
tionally cold ocean currents that brought in some of the best
fishing in the world; and Christmas vacation when all the kids
in the neighborhood started collecting Christmas trees for the
annual bonfire held after the New Year. Well, those were the
days, and now.... we have today.... and we have each
other...our memories, enduring friendships and our great
Society that keeps us together.
Our Executive Board has been very proactive in planning
this year's events. In October, the Space Coast group in
Titusville and Merritt Island graciously hosted our General
Membership meeting, which attracted over 75 adults and
numerous children. On December 4th, we are having our
Annual Holiday Luncheon at The Wine Cellar in Redington
Beach. It is always a festive affair to put us in the holiday
spirit. On February 5th, we are going to visit the central
Florida Society members in Ocala for our meeting. In March,
we will hold our Annual Picnic in Anderson Park on beauti-
ful Lake Tarpon in Pinellas County. This is always a big hit
with everyone in the area. In April, we are planning a lunch-
eon cruise on the StarShip vessel that takes a very scenic tour
of Tampa Bay while passengers dine on a delectable array of
savory recipes. In May, we will hold our meeting at Troyer's
Restaurant in Sarasota. The food is all home cooked, very
tasty and we have an opportunity to visit with our members
in that part of Florida. Then, as we all know, Reunion 2005
will be held in late June, extending partially over the 4th of
July weekend. You need to add all these dates to your calen-
dars because you won't want to miss out on any of our func-
The theme for this year's reunion is "WILD, WILD
TROPICS". Margaret McLaughlin is once again taking the
lead on the decorations for the dances. It is a ton of work, but
somehow Margaret and her family make it seem so easy, and
that's the sign of a true professional! Bill McLaughlin, our
immediate Past President, is serving on the board again this
year and will take the lead in organizing the reunion
audiovisual equipment needs, dance set-up, contracts, and
musicians, just to name a few of the tasks he has so readily
volunteered to handle. As you know, it was Bill's brainstorm
to create the "clubhouse" at the reunion this past year. His
ideas are always great ones and he has been an invaluable
asset to our Society. He graciously remains on the Executive
Board for another two years to continue serving our member-
The theme for the Reunion Friday night dance will be
"Islands of Adventure" and Saturday evening's theme will
be "Wild Jungle Night". We look forward to seeing all of
Margaret's dazzling creations. In keeping with tradition, the
PanaZonian Dance on Friday will feature Chipi Azcarraga y
el Conjunto, a.k.a. "Lucho's Friends" and the Saturday night
ball will spotlight "Frankie Pretto and the Parranda
Band". Make your reservations as soon as possible for the
Reunion. The "Yellow Pages" are printed in this issue of the
Canal Record and our office staff is ready to receive your
paperwork. Get your reservations and payments in early!
The Annual Luncheon on July 2nd will feature speaker,
Mr. Tom Kenna, from the PANAMA CANAL RAILWAY
COMPANY a.k.a. the PANAMA RAILROAD. The PCRC
has been in operation since 1855 so this makes it their 150th
Anniversary. For the last few years, the Panama Canal
Railway Company has been under the auspices of a U.S.
company based in Kansas City. They have modernized the
rails, locomotives, and passenger cars and increased the com-
merce across the Isthmus. Make sure you reserve your tickets
for the Annual Luncheon when you send in your "Yellow
Pages". You won't want to miss this presentation by their
Director of Marketing. There is an excellent overview, pro-
vided by Bill McLaughlin, of Mr. Kenna's program in this
issue of the Canal Record. Reserve your tickets early! Lou
and Jan Andino are the champion luncheon chairpersons
again this year.
Before I close this message, I want to say that when we
met with the Caribe Royale Hotel staff back in October to
kick-off the planning for this year's reunion, they compli-
mented our leadership, our members and our organization,
saying that we were one of the best groups they have ever
worked with on a convention. They are still mystified by our
cohesiveness, camaraderie and loyalty to each other and our
great Society! More on that in future issues.
In the meantime, I wish each of you, your family and
loved ones a blessed Holiday Season and a peaceful, prosper-
ous New Year!
Elaine (Vestal) Lewis
Panama Canal Society
Another year has gone
by and it's time to renew
your Society MEMBER-
Your membership dues for 2005 are due no later than
December 31, 2004. You can pay now and have the dues
apply to 2005. There is no reason to wait for the deadline at
the end of the year. Many of you have responded to reminders
that were printed in the October issue of the Canal Record
because we have received a number of inquiries about exist-
ing membership status and early renewals for 2005, which we
really do appreciate.
Please remember that if you are planning to attend the
2005 Reunion you must have your 2005 membership dues
up-to-date before sending in your Reunion Registration. If for
some reason you forget to pay your dues and send in the
Reunion 2005 paperwork, your Registration will be delayed.
Don't let this happen to you!
The Society office will be closed during the Holiday
Season from December 23, 2004 and will reopen for busi-
ness on January 3, 2005.
Carol Masino and I wish each of you a very peaceful and
blessed holiday season.
Nancy Van Siclen
The holiday season is upon
us once again and it gives me
an excuse to share holiday sto-
ries of my childhood with my
"non-Zonian" friends. For
example, instead of snow sledding, we slid down the hills on
flattened cardboard boxes or we sang our own version of "I'm
dreaming of a dry Christmas"; and of course, everybody
knows Santa always flew in a helicopter and not in a sleigh.
But it's when I try to tell stories of the neighborhood "TREE
WARS" and how they were essential to the Tree Burns most
don't really know what to think. This is when it's good to
have Zonians in your life they can always back up your sto-
I am sad to say goodbye to Vicki Sizemore as the Central
Florida area reporter, but Vicki hasn't gone far. She has asked
to still be a part of the Canal Record by taking pictures at the
Society functions. Vicki's interest in photography has grown
into a deep passion.
ALL articles (letters to the editor, obituaries, wedding
announcements, etc.) submitted to the Canal Record are sub-
jected to editing. Over the past six months I have received
several photocopied pictures in the mail. Because of the poor
quality of these photocopied pictures it makes it very difficult
to duplicate them in print. To further complicate the repro-
duction in the Canal Record, most of these photos have been
folded and stuffed into an envelope, so there isn't much of
anything I can do to improve the quality. I really need the
original source (photo) or a very high quality copy of the pic-
ture in order to have it adequately appear in the Canal
Record. Of course, captions with first and last names are
always needed to identify the people in the photo.
Remember with any newspaper article you send me; I
have to obtain permission from the newspaper before I can
reprint the article in the Canal Record. When you send in a
newspaper or magazine article, make sure to send the name
of the newspaper, the original reporter's name, the date and
title of the article and the website or email address for the
If you have any questions or need more details on how to
send articles and photos to the Canal Record, please contact
me. I am always interested in helping our members.
Editor, Canal Record
editor @ pancanalsociety.org
Home Phone (386) 441-3229
Panama Canal Railway Company
Topic for 2005 Annual Luncheon
The New Panama Railroad
It was the second time in nearly 150 years that the
47-mile railway across Panama had been rebuilt. This
time, the rehab came after 20 years of inactivity had
fueled jungle overgrowth and, in some places, missing
track. Neosho Central America was the prime contrac-
tor in charge of the entire reconstruction project. The
company worked nearly two years from January
2000 to November 2001 installing ballast, ties and
rail, specifically handling:
40 miles of track removal, including 115LB
rail and wood cross ties.
44 miles of mainline track
6.2 miles of yard track
950 linear feet of direct fixation track in an
2 container transfer yards
300,000 cubic yards of excavation
325,000 cubic yards of embankment
Today, the Panama Canal Railway provides a logis-
tical solution for ships moving cargo between the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans. By avoiding the Panama
Canal and instead offloading containers onto the rail-
road, ocean carriers save time and money. The rail-
road handles about 30,000 containers annually. Addi-
tionally, it carries about 50,000 people each year on its
executive commuter and tourist passenger lines.
The Panama Canal Society is pleased to present
another great Annual Luncheon program. In celebra-
tion of the 150th Anniversary of the Panama Railroad,
we have invited Mr. Thomas Kenna, Director of Mar-
keting for the Panama Canal Railway Company
(PCRC) to show and tell us how the PCRC rebuilt the
old PRR line and what the PCRC operations involve.
Topics to be discussed:
The project The owners The re-construction (the
investment) Equipment What the PCRC is doing
now freight and passenger service and more.
Guest Speaker for the 2005 Annual
Thomas H. Kenna
Director of Marketing
Panama Canal Railway Company
During the past 25 years, Thomas H. Kenna has
worked in various senior positions in effective man-
agement and marketing of activities related to the mar-
itime industry and international multimodal transport.
He has worked with Hapag-Lloyd, CMA CGM and
other major shipping lines as part of the management
team of their local shipping agency, where he held sev-
eral positions ranging from Director of Marketing to
General Manager and President. He also served as
General Manager of the Air France Panama office
Mr. Kenna holds a Masters Degree in Business
Administration from Nova Southeastern University and
a Bachelor of Science Degree from Florida State
University, Tallahassee. He attended Canal Zone Col-
lege and graduated from Balboa High School in 1976
after attending Curundu Junior High School.
He is now active in many leading organizations of
Panama having served as Director of the Association
of Airlines of Panama (ALAP). He is a member of the
Board of Directors of the United States-Panama Busi-
ness Council (USPA) and of the Association of the
United States Army (AUSA). Mr. Kenna is currently the
President of Panama's Chamber of Shipping.
In the year 2000, Mr. Kenna joined the PANAMA
CANAL RAILWAY COMPANY as Director of Marketing
responsible for the implementation of marketing strat-
egy for the railroad's freight and passenger operations.
Mr. Kenna is married to Lottie and they have three
Panama Canal Society
General Membership Meeting
Florida Buffet of Ocala
FEBRUARY 5, 2005
Hosted by: Bill and Jean Muller
The Panama Canal Society General Membership Meeting
is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., Saturday, February 5, 2005 at
Florida Buffet of Ocala, 3933 E. Silver Springs Blvd. (Hwy.
40 East) in Ocala, Fla. When you arrive at the restaurant,
inform the cashier that you are there for the PCSociety meet-
ing and proceed to the other side of the building to the large
meeting room. Sign-in and pay $7.00 for the all-inclusive
Grand Buffet Luncheon with beverages (coffee, tea or soda),
dessert bar, tax, and tip.
Coming from Ocala on 1-75 heading North past exit 350
(old 68) SR 200 continue on to Exit 352 (old 69) Hwy 40
East. Exit right on West Silver Springs, go East (right) and
cross Pine Avenue through downtown Ocala. Stay on East
Silver Springs all the way to 40th Ave. and turn left. Cross
the intersection to Florida Buffet of Ocala on your left (NW
If you come in on Hwy 40 East and are heading East, stay
on Hwy 40 all the way to 40th Ave.
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Panama Canal Society
MARCH 5, 2005
Hosted by: John Gough
The Panama Canal Society will hold its Annual Picnic at
11:30 a.m., Saturday, March 5, 2005 at Shelter #9 in A.L.
Anderson Park, Tarpon Springs, Florida.
Anderson Park is located 7/10ths of a mile north of
Klosterman Rd. or 9/10ths of a mile south of Tarpon
Springs/Keystone Rd. on the east side of Highway 19.
Shelter #9 has ample parking space and is close to rest-
Everyone attending is asked to bring a covered dish to
share and your own soft drinks. The Park does not allow alco-
holic beverages on the premises. The Society will furnish
plastic plates, utensils and cups. A ready-to-cook BBQ grill
will be available for those who would like to grill burgers or
Bingo, games and great door prizes are on the agenda.
Come and join fellow members for a nice Spring afternoon in
Anderson Park. Picnic begins at 11:30 with lunch at 12:00
noon. A short business meeting will be held after lunch.
For more information contact John Gough at:
PROSPERO ANO NUEVO
FROM THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
OF THE PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY.
DATE: October 23, 2004
TO: Executive Board, Panama Canal Society of Florida, Inc.
THROUGH: President Elaine Lewis, Panama Canal Society of Florida, Inc.
FROM: Muriel Whitman, Bylaws Committee Chairperson
SUBJECT: Proposed Amendment Number 33
The proposed Admendment changes the time the newly elected officers will assume office.
Bylaw amendment # 33
Article IV SEC. 4 CONDITIONS OF OFFICES
A. The term of office for all members of the Executive Board shall be two years, with newly
elected and appointed officers assuming office on the first day of the month following the
annual meeting of the year in which the change of leadership is to take place.
Article IV SEC. 4 CONDITIONS OF OFFICES
A. The term of office for all members of the Executive Board shall be two years, with newly
elected and appointed officers assuming office on the first day of the month following the
Reunion of the year in which the change of leadership is to take place.
Mary Lou Lang
Sgt. at Arms
Panama Canal Society
StarShip Luncheon Cruise
April 2, 2005
Come sail away with Society friends on the Yacht StarShip....a beautiful way to spend an April Spring day -
on a two-hour luncheon cruise around Tampa Bay with friends and family.
We have reserved the Palm Court on the Yacht StarShip for our April meeting/gathering which promises to
be just the ticket to kick off Spring.
The Yacht Starship is located at Channelside in downtown Tampa. Boarding is at 11:30 a.m., we cruise at
noon and will return by 2:00 p.m.
Lunch will consist of: Baby greens salad and
choice of one of the following entrees: .
Pan Roasted Breast of Chicken with artichokes, -
mushrooms, tomatoes, black olives in a parmesan -
Asian Glazed Salmon with a Soy Sauce flP m omw S I sli
Grilled Chicken & Seasonal Vegetables with
Bowtie Pasta in a light cream sauce
Grilled London Broil
All served with Chef's Choice of Starch and
Seasonal Vegetables, Includes Freshly Baked
Breads, Coffee & Ice Tea; and choice of two
Don't miss this opportunity to spend the day "cruising" with family and friends from home. Space is limited so we
encourage everyone to register as soon as possible. For additional information please contact Maritza Reyes at
(813) 264-6070. We hope to see you there.
P --- --- --------------- -- --- ----------------------------------------
M cPanama Canal Society StarShip Luncheon Cruise
Luncheon Cruise date is April 2, 2005
IMember No. Tel:
Please make Reservations for $35.00 each.
Names of Guests (Please Print):
Total enclosed $
Make checks payable to the Panama Canal Society, Inc. and mail to: Panama Canal
Society Inc., 7985 113th Street, Suite 334, Seminole, FL 33772-4787
NO REFUNDS AFTER MARCH 22, 2005.
The March Executive Board Meeting synopsis were omitted
from the 2004 June Canal Record.
PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY, INC.
SYNOPSIS OF MINUTES
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING
MARCH 20, 2004
Absent: Past President, Sgt. Of Arms, one Director and
The Executive Board took the following actions:
SApproved the minutes of the February 21, 2004
Executive Board Meeting
Approved the expenditures for the period of February
21 through March 19 in the amount of $18,326.02.
Approved the 45 new membership applications for
Approved donation of PageMaker 6.5 to the Panama
Approved partial audit including verification of
authorized disbursements; verification of proper signatures as
required; verification of cash receipt control and documenta-
tion and verification of balance sheet amounts.
Approved vendor application.
Approved volunteer gifts.
The following Reunion reports were made:
AV negotiations with the Caribe Royale Audio Visual
Randy Drake, CPA to deliver the Financial Report at
the Annual Meeting.
27 vendors signed up for the reunion at this time and
a third table will be offered at a cost of $50.00
SDiscussed researching the possibility of purchasing a
535 hotel reservations have been sent to the hotel for
processing; the breakfast tickets will be ready.
SThe floor layouts for the dances are being revised.
Food tasting at the Caribe Royale.
Marriott refund check in the amount of $760.
Renovation of rooms.
Ticket sequence program changes.
Reunion accounting spreadsheet.
The following reports were made:
Luncheon Cruise on the Yacht StarShip.
May Luncheon at Troyer's Restaurant in Sarasota.
Expenses and income for the February Financial
April Directory update.
SOath of Officers.
PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY, INC.
SYNOPSIS OF MINUTES
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING
AUGUST 21, 2004
The meeting of the 2002-2004 Board led by outgoing
President Bill McLaughlin. Absent: two Directors, Sgt. at
Arms and Chaplain.
The Executive Board took the following actions:
SApproved minutes from July 17, 2004 Executive
SApproved expenditures for the period of July 19, 2004
through August 12, 2004 in the amount of $23,565.71.
Approved the 23 members who joined during the
reunion and an additional 19 members who joined in August.
The following Reunion reports were made:
SNominating Report invalid ballots from the Annual
Meeting. There were eleven invalid ballots submitted by peo-
ple who were not members of the society.
Post Con Report:
o Caribe Royale
o DJ Dances
o Annual Luncheon
o Shingle Creek Golf Course
Approved refunds for luncheon and dance tickets.
Each refund is approved on an individual basis.
SReported the Bloodmobile had a good response. Sixty
pints of blood were donated during the reunion for Tom
Several letters and notes from members were read by
Bill McLaughlin congratulating the Society on a great
reunion and how much they enjoyed the Caribe Royale.
Susan Sandburg, Director of Catering and Convention Center
Services at the Caribe Royale, also sent a letter commending
Betty LeDoux on the excellent job she did in organizing the
Bylaws Report Article 4, Section 4A the current
bylaw reads as follows: "The term of office for all members
of the Executive Board shall be two years, with newly elect-
ed and appointed officers assuming office on the first day of
the month following the annual meeting of the year in which
the change of leadership is to take place." With the reunion
lasting until August 1st this year, the Bylaws Chairperson
feels the bylaw should read "the first day of the month fol-
lowing the Reunion" not the Annual Meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.
MEMBERSHIP DUES FOR THE
PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY
DECEMBER 31, 2004
PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY, INC.
SYNOPSIS OF MINUTES
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING
AUGUST 21, 2004
The meeting of the 2004-2006 Board led by President-
elect Elaine (Vestal) Lewis. Absent: One Director, Sgt. at
Arms and ByLaws Chairperson
Elaine (Vestal) Lewis introduced the new board members
and stated she is looking forward to a productive year and a
great reunion in 2005.
Chris Skeie, a former board member from Wesley Chapel
was welcomed to observe the board proceedings. Society
members are always welcome, however, according to the
bylaws they may not vote on board-related issues.
SApproved rehiring the office staff for the next two
years, which also includes a 3% increase effective September
*Approved name badges for the new Executive Board.
Approved Jim Parthenais as Audit Chairperson and
Budget Advisor/IT Liaison.
Approved recurring expenses.
Approved purchase of 100 door prizes for monthly
Approved 600/650-minute Phone Card for Society use
Approved the new maintenance contract for the
upcoming year for copy machine.
Shirley and Skeeter Camby will chair the Annual
Christmas Luncheon at The Wine Cellar, December 4, 2004.
*Schedule of General Membership Meetings:
o October 9 "Space Coast Picnic" at Titusville will
be chaired by Terry and Sue Deakins.
o No general membership meetings in November or
o February In the past, we have had Carnavalito in
the February time frame, but since it has been necessary for
the Society to subsidize the function due to poor attendance,
it was tentatively decided not to have it in 2005, and investi-
gate the possibility of holding a regular membership meeting
at Carmichael's or another local restaurant in Ocala.
o March 5 Pinellas County Annual Picnic 2005
would be held at Anderson Park in Tarpon Springs. John
Gough will host the picnic.
o April 2 the StarShip Cruise.
o May 14 Cheryl and Bob Russell will host the
May luncheon at Troyer's in Sarasota
o No general membership meeting in June. Reunion
2005 in July.
Annual Reunion 2005 Steve Nehring will be the
Reunion Coordinator for 2005 and Bill McLaughlin will be
Reunion Consultant. Bill will develop an outline and his wife,
Margaret, will create the decorations for the two dances. Bill
will help out in graphics, printing, audiovisual and arranging
the musical instruments rental agreements. Bill will also
arrange for the Despedida dancers. Cheryl and Bob Russell
will chair Reunion Registration; Darlene Hunt, former 2nd
VP, will be the Hotel Lodging chairperson and John Gough
will chair Vendors.
SRecord Editor reported Skip Rowley and Helen
Aantoos-Hay have agreed to be reporters.
PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY, INC.
SYNOPSIS OF MINUTES
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING
SEPTEMBER 18, 2004
All board members were present
The following actions were taken:
Approved the minutes of the August 21, 2004
Executive Board Meeting.
SApproved the expenditures for the period of August
21, 2004 through September 14, 2004 in the amount of
SApproved the 12 members who joined during the
month of September
SApproved the September, October and December post
cards for monthly meetings.
SApproved purchase of decorations for the Holiday
Luncheon in December.
Approved sending out reminder dues notices in
SApproved closing the office on December 23, 2004
and reopen the office on January 3, 2005.
SApproved the purchase of decorations for the Annual
The following reports were given:
SReunion Yellow Pages were being revised for 2005
SDiscussion was held on extending the Hours of
Operations for Registration on Thursday during the reunion.
SOctober 9, 2004 "Space Coast Picnic" at Titusville
hosted by Terry and Sue Deakins and the meeting will begin
February 5, 2005 Bill Muller has agreed to host the
general membership meeting in Ocala.
March 5, 2005 The Society Annual picnic will be
held at Anderson Park in Tarpon Springs.
April 2, 2005 -Maritza Reyes has been working with
the StarShip Cruise and should have some information by the
next board meeting. The date is confirmed.
May 14, 2005 Cheryl and Bob Russell have made
arrangements with Troyer's Restaurant in Sarasota for the
May luncheon. The menu and price will be the same as last
July 2, 2005 Annual Luncheon Elaine suggested that
the theme for the Annual Luncheon be the PANAMA RAIL-
ROAD (PRR). This would tie in with the Panama Canal
Museum exhibit for next year.
SGolf reports from 2003 and 2004 requested by the
2005 Golf Tournament Chairperson.
The October Canal Record would be delayed going
out to the membership due to the two hurricanes and electric-
ity not being restored in a timely manner.
SDiscussion of entertainment availability.
Steve Nehring, Reunion Coordinator, announced the reunion
chairpersons as follows:
Registration: Bob and Cheryl Russell
Discos: Jacque Vowell
Annual Luncheon: Jan and Lou Andino
Lottery: Mary Lou Lang
SBingo: Jim O'Donnell
SVendors: John Gough
SMini Reunions: Jim Parthenais
Hotel Reservations: Darleen Hunt
Transportation: Joan Ohman
*Golf: Ed Wardlow
STicket Sales: Muriel Whitman, Faith Brundage,
Security: Allison McLaughlin
Information/Society Office: Nancy Van Siclen and
MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING
PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY OF FLORIDA, INC.
CARIBE ROYALE, ORLANDO FLORIDA
JULY 30, 2004
President William McLaughlin welcomed the 239 mem-
bers in attendance to the 72nd Annual General Membership
meeting of the Panama Canal Society and called the meeting
to order at 10:03 a.m.
William McLaughlin introduced Mr. Eric Rosenbaum,
General Manager of the Caribe Royale who welcomed every-
one and reported that the staff of the hotel and convention
center has been looking forward to this weekend and hoped
everyone enjoyed their stay at the Caribe Royale.
In the absence of Chaplain Dottie Yocum, Cheryl Russell
gave the invocation, followed by Leni Stokes, Sgt.-At-Arms
who led the membership in the pledge of allegiance.
President McLaughlin welcomed the following past pres-
idents who were in attendance: Rob Roy, Anna Collins, Pete
Foster, Bill Wheeler, Betty LeDoux, Marje Foster, Jim
O'Donnell, Margot Jordan and Faith Brundage.
Nancy Van Siclen, Secretary, read the minutes of the June
general membership meeting held in Clearwater. Since there
were no corrections or additions, the minutes were approved
John Gough, Treasurer, highlighted the June Financial
Statement, which stands for Audit.
President Bill McLaughlin recapped some of the accom-
plishments of this year's executive board.
SThe bylaw change was approved by the membership to
change the Society name to Panama Canal Society, Inc. and
remove "of Florida".
* An outside Certified Public Accountant (CPA) did a full
audit of the Society financial records. The CPA also set up
SWe hired a professional Parliamentarian to review our
bylaws who was very impressed with our bylaws with a few
SMembership and Reunion database was enhanced during
*On-line registration for members.
*Transferred the Society Money Market fund to Herbert J.
Sims and Company and our financial advisor is Robert D.
LaPorta, a Society member.
The president thanked each member of the executive
board, the office staff and Record Editor for a very productive
The president introduced Randy Drake, CPA who report-
ed that all reports are completely computerized. Mr. Drake
reported to the membership that the Executive Board is very
serious about the Society financial and that the Society is in
very good shape.
Jim O'Donnell, Legislative Representative gave a brief
synopsis of his legislative report.
Betty LeDoux, Reunion Coordinator reported on the 2004
SThe Clubhouse has been a huge success.
SAs of today 2,994 members and guests have registered.
The golf tournament was held at Shingle Creek Golf Club
with a total of 81 players participating. The winner of the
Low Gross Men's champion was Bob Askew with a 71 and
Low Gross Women's champion was Shelley Sanders with an
. New additions to Schedule of Events are the Dance Class
and Flower arranging class.
Betty reported that as with any new property, we had
some minor glitches along the way and asked that the mem-
bers attending work with us in our efforts to make sure that
the reunion is memorable and enjoyable for all our members.
She asked that if you have experienced an issue with the hotel
to be sure to let her know.
Vicki Sizemore asked if her understanding was correct
that we were at the Caribe Royale this year on a trial basis and
that we could go to another property next year. Betty LeDoux
advised that she was incorrect but advised the membership
that she had included an "opt out" clause in all of the con-
tracts in which we would not be held to the future year con-
tracts should any irreparable issues arise during the first year.
Betty continued that this was not the case and that there was
no legitimate reason to exercise its opt-out since the Caribe
Royale has put forth 110% to accommodate our every request
- so the contracts for the next two years at the Caribe are in
Betty thanked the many volunteers who have committed
their valuable time working at the reunion without our vol-
unteers; we would not be able to make all aspects of the
reunion enjoyable for all.
Ella Mae (Morales) Conrad questioned why the Society
office is closed during the reunion and the membership is not
notified of this in the Canal Record. Betty LeDoux respond-
ed that it is assumed that everyone knows that the office trav-
els to the reunion but would take it under advisement and
make sure that in the future we publish something in the
Canal Record that the Society office would be closed during
Pete Foster, Bylaws Chairperson reported that in the
October Canal Record there would be a Proposed
Authorization for needed corrections that will not change the
basic context of the Society's Bylaws. The Executive Board
is authorized to correct article and section designations,
minor typos, punctuations, and cross-reference. The
Executive Board is also authorized to delete the duplicate
Oath of Office in Article IX, Executive Board, Section 1.E.
Pete also reported that he feels honored to have worked with
this board and wished the new board well.
Beth Brandenburg, Insurance Liaison, reported that she is
still going into the Society office on the last Wednesday of
each month to help members with filling out insurance forms
and answering any questions.
Anna Collins, Sunshine Chairperson reported that she has
mailed out 35 get well cards this past year and reminded the
membership to please call the office if they know of anyone
who is sick so a card can be sent.
Joe Wood, Vice President of the Panama Canal Museum
reported on the future forecast for the Museum and that they
are in their 6th year and have a steady growth.
President McLaughlin opened the floor for members who
had any comments:
Betty LeDoux reported to the membership that the
Society Executive Board has negotiated our reunion contracts
through 2010. An opportunity was presented to us to preview
plans for a new property and by entering into the contracts
early on we were able to establish the rates that were very
favorable for our members. Shingle Creek Resort and Golf
Club will be completed by December 2006. The new prop-
erty is set on 230 acres and it is just a 10-minute ride from the
Orlando Airport. Shingle Creek will have approximately
1,500 guest rooms, which will include 398 King, 963 Double
Queen, 69 Junior Suite Parlors, 37 Executive Suite Parlors
and 100 ADA compliant rooms.
A power point presentation show was shown to the mem-
bership about the new Shingle Creek property which will
have a very large convention center, which can house all
functions including our dances, luncheon and class reunions.
The hotel features three pools, including a family pool, spa
facilities, health club, golf course, etc. Shingle Creek will
also offer the same hotel rate four days before and four days
after our reunion dates. Betty advised the membership that
when we go to Shingle Creek in 2007, the room rate would
be $121.00 per night plus tax.
A member asked about the dates being on July 4th. Betty
explained that the hotels have a difficult time selling rooms to
groups over holiday periods and that is why we can negotiate
for a better rate on rooms for our members.
Anna Collins, Past President, questioned why this board
was working so far in advance obtaining a hotel for future
reunions. Anna stated that maybe the incoming board is not in
favor of this and also asked if the contracts have been signed.
Betty LeDoux answered Anna and the members present that
the contracts for 2007 through 2010 have been signed with
Shingle Creek. It was an ideal situation that could not wait
and the board decided to take the opportunity to secure these
good rates for the membership. In this type of business, you
need to take advantage of the opportunity to secure good
deals when they are available. Otherwise, we would be pay-
ing much higher rates for 2007-2010. The $121.00 rate for
this property was phenomenal.
The president added to the conversation by telling Anna
and the membership that there are members of the current
board that will be members of the incoming board. All these
board members studied the situation and agreed that we need-
ed to move on the deal when we did. Vicki Sizemore stated
that there should be a committee to look into other properties
at which to hold the reunions.
Lou Taber, a Society member from California, stated that
the board is our committee here and that is why we elect them
and he feels that they have done a fantastic job. Joella
Deakins and Bob Jack seconded the statement made by Lou
Betty LeDoux stated research was done on other hotels in
the Orlando area before deciding on Shingle Creek Resort
and some of the room rates quoted for the dates we wanted
were the Marriott Orlando World Center with a room rate of
$144.00 per night and the Caribe Royale at $139.00 per night.
President William McLaughlin presented to Mrs. Beth
Lewis Brandenburg a Panama Canal Society Honorary
Membership in recognition of her devotion and many distin-
guished contributions to the Panama Canal Society, Inc. Beth
has served as Insurance Liaison for four years and served as
Reunion Registration Chairperson for three years in a row.
Ms. Betty LeDoux, Chairperson, Nominating Committee
along with committee members: Jim Parthenais, Lori King,
Dan Norman, Jack Sanders and volunteer Harold Sorrell
counted 601 ballots including 11 invalid. The results of the
voting is as follows:
John Gough 445
Virgil Camby 420
Faith Brundage 393
Ed Donohue 354
1st Vice President:
2nd Vice President:
Elaine Vestal Lewis
Pete Foster moved that ballots be destroyed; seconded by
Margot Jordan. Ballots will be destroyed. New officers were
Prizes donated by vendors and members were presented
throughout the meeting. The following grand prizes were
awarded and won by the following members:
Jan Jarvis won one of the grand prizes of two airline tick-
ets on COPA Airlines. Hotel packages donated by Condor
Outfitters were won by Lou Andino and Paul Ebdon, PVQ 3-
night packages were won by Shirley O'Connor and Richard
Parthenais and a 7-night package donated by PVQ was won
by Jacque Wagner.
Meeting adjourned at 12:05 p.m.
MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING
PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY, INC.
STACEY'S RESTAURANT, CLEARWATER, FLA
SEPTEMBER 18, 2004
President Elaine (Vestal) Lewis welcomed the 47 mem-
bers in attendance at the September General Membership
Meeting held at Stacey's Restaurant, Clearwater, Florida at
Cheryl Russell, Chaplain gave the invocation, followed
by a moment of silence for members who had recently passed
away. Mary Lou Lang, Sgt. At Arms led the membership in
the Pledge of Allegiance.
The president welcomed past presidents Bill Wheeler,
Muriel Whitman, Faith Brundage, Jim O'Donnell, Anna
Collins and Marje Foster.
Elaine (Vestal) Lewis introduced each board member and
the office staff to the membership. The president reported
Steve Nehring will be the reunion coordinator for 2005 and
Darleen Hunt has accepted the position of Hotel Lodging
The president highlighted the upcoming general member-
ship meetings including:
SThe October 9th Titusville Space Coast picnic hosted by
Terry and Sue Deakins;
SThere will not be a General Membership meeting in
SDecember 4th our Annual Christmas Luncheon will be
held at The Wine Cellar Restaurant in North Redington Beach
hosted by Shirley and Skeeter Camby and details will be pub-
lished in the October Canal Record.
* On Saturday, February 5th, 2005, the Society members in
the Ocala area, headed by Bill Muller, will host our luncheon
at Florida Buffet of Ocala. More information will be forth-
coming in the December Canal Record.
* March 5, 2005 will be the Pinellas County Annual Picnic,
which will be held at Anderson Park in Tarpon Springs.
* In April, we are planning on taking the StarShip Cruise
out of Tampa Bay.
SMay 14th we will be returning to Troyer's Restaurant in
Sarasota hosted by Cheryl and Bob Russell.
Elaine (Vestal) Lewis called on each board member for
Steve Nehring, Ist Vice President and Reunion
Coordinator reported to the membership that the 2005
Reunion would be held at the Caribe Royale from June 29th
thru July 3rd. Room rates are $115.00 per night for a suite and
$235.00 per night for a villa.
Steve Nehring announced the chairpersons for each
reunion function as follows:
Bob and Cheryl Russell
Jan and Lou Andino
Muriel Whitman, Mary Lou Lang and Skeeter Camby
Carol Masino and Nancy Van Siclen
Steve Nehring reported all information on the 2005
reunion would be in the December Canal Record Yellow
Steve Nehring told the membership in 2007 through 2010
the annual reunion will be held at the Shingle Creek Resort
and Golf Club with the room rate of $121.00 per night for
Bob Russell, 2nd Vice President announced that he and
Cheryl are looking for volunteers to work in Registration dur-
ing the 2005 reunion.
Skeeter Camby, Director reported on the Holiday
Luncheon to be held on December 4th at The Wine Cellar
Restaurant in North Redington Beach. Anyone wishing to
donate a door prize for the Christmas Luncheon, please con-
Ed Wardlow, Treasurer highlighted the July Financial
Statement, which stands for Audit.
Jacque Vowell, Record Editor reported the October Canal
Record would be delayed in mailing due to the two hurricanes
and frequent power outages.
Nancy Van Siclen, Secretary read the minutes of the July
Annual Membership Meeting held at the Caribe Royale in
Orlando. Since there were no corrections or additions, the
minutes were approved as read.
Kathy Egolf, Executive Vice President of the Panama
Canal Museum, thanked everyone who attended the Museum
exhibit and supported the Museum vendor table and gift shop
at the reunion.
Meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
TO THE MEMBERS OF
THE PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY
Tom Arnold and family would like to
extend a heartfelt thank you to the members of
the Panama Canal Society. Sixty pints of blood
were donated during the Blood Drive at the
2004 Annual Reunion. The family greatly
appreciates the support of the members during
this trying time.
EASE THE HIGH COST OF HEALTH CARE BY
EXTENDING TAX RELIEF TO FEDERAL
ANNUITANTS AND MILITARY RETIREES
Since 1998, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program
(FEHBP) premiums have increased by more than 10 percent
a year. While 2004 premiums increased by an average of 10.6
percent, the federal retirement annuity cost-of-living adjust-
ment (COLA) was only 2.1 percent and annuity checks aver-
age $1,931 per month.
Currently, federal employees and annuitants pay an aver-
age share of 29 percent for FEHBP premiums and the feder-
al government contributes 71 percent. Federal annuitants pay
for their share of FEHBP premiums with after-tax funds with-
held from annuities. "After tax annuity dollars" are defined as
annuities received after income taxes are paid.
Federal tax law (Section 125 of the Internal Revenue
Code) presently allows employers in the public and private
sectors to permit their employees to pay for health insurance
with pre-tax dollars, wages excluded from both income and
Social Security payroll taxes. For example, if a federal
employee's annual share of a FEHBP premium is $1,700,
then the adjusted gross income would be lowered by that
amount for purposes of filing personal income taxes. These
so-called "premium conversion plans" are available to most
employees of large private-sector companies.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) began offer-
ing premium conversion plans to executive branch employees
in October 2000 and Congress extended the tax benefit to leg-
islative branch workers in January 2001. Premium conver-
sion saves the average federal worker about $434 a year.
Unfortunately, federal annuitants were not included in
the new plan because the tax code is unclear on their eligi-
bility to participate. These individuals must also shoulder the
burden of increasingly high health premiums. Much of the
1.3 to 3.5 percent COLAs received by federal annuitants and
military retirees during the last six years have been eroded by
double-digit increases in health insurance premiums.
Many current federal employees will be surprised to learn
that they will no longer receive the premium conversion ben-
efit after they retire.
Action Requested: Legislation to allow federal annuitants
and military retirees to pay their share of FEHBP premiums
with pre-tax earnings has been introduced as H.R. 1231 (staff
contact: Brian Stout 202/225-5074) by Rep. Tom Davis (R-
VA). Senator John Warner (R-VA) has introduced S.623 (staff
contact: Kathy Suh 202/224-2023). NARFE asks the
Congressperson that they cosponsor and support committee
action on these bills in the 108th Congress (2003-2004).
FEDERAL RETIREES' PERSPECTIVE ON A
MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT
The National Association of Retired Federal Employees
(NARFE) is dedicated to protecting the earned retirement
benefits of federal employees, retirees, and survivors.
NARFE represents the nation's 2.3 million federal annuitants
and has over 400,000 members nationally.
NARFE strongly supports the creation of a Medicare drug
benefit for senior citizens who have no drug coverage. But at
the same time, we want to ensure that no harm is done to
older Americans who have already earned such coverage
through an employer-sponsored plan, or who already have
this coverage through a Medicare supplement or Medigap
For federal retirees enrolled in Medicare and the govern-
ment's Federal Employees Health Benefits Program
(FEHBP) plan, Medicare pays first, and then our FEHBP plan
pays remaining costs and services not covered by Medicare,
such as outpatient prescription drugs. NARFE supports mak-
ing any new Medicare drug benefit voluntary, and is pleased
that current proposals are voluntary.
However, NARFE's main concern is that the proposed
Medicare prescription drug coverage could encourage
employers to drop their current retiree drug coverage, harm-
ing rather than helping millions of seniors. The non-partisan
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 37 per-
cent of retired workers with employer-sponsored drug bene-
fits could lose it under the Senate Medicare drug plan, and 32
percent could suffer a loss in coverage under the House
approved plan. The CBO, as well as NARFE, and many other
groups representing seniors across America, believe that
Medicare drug coverage as proposed in both the House and
Senate could act as an incentive for employers to reduce or
drop their employer-sponsored drug benefits. If that occurs,
retirees could be forced to join the new Medicare drug plan,
paying additional monthly premiums for a drug benefit that
would be inferior to what they have.
In other words, the creation of Medicare drug coverage
could mean that Congress as a budget saving proposal, might
eliminate the FEHBP drug benefit for federal retirees age 65
and older and replace it with the new Medicare coverage.
NARFE believes that the very last thing Medicare reform
should do is to encourage the government or any employer to
break promises made to their retirees regarding their earned
health security. If FEHBP is supposed to be the model for
Medicare reform, then the federal government itself must not
drop or reduce drug benefits for its own retirees. It must set
an example for other employers.
NARFE worked with the House Government Reform
Committee Chairman, Tom Davis of Virginia, and other fed-
eral-friendly lawmakers, and recently passed legislation that
would require FEHBP plans to provide prescription drug ben-
efits of equal value to active federal workers and to federal
retirees--whether covered by Medicare or not. NARFE
believes that the federal government must renew its promise
as an employer to protect the retirement and health care ben-
efits of federal workers and their families. By including the
NARFE-supported legislation in the final Medicare bill that
emerges from the House and Senate conference, Congress
would be sending a message to all employers that they too
must continue to honor the promises they made to their
James J. O'Donnell
Skeeter Camby, Steve Nehring and Tom Hanna
Olga Disharoon and Anna Collins
Carol Masino and Jeanne Wheeler
L-R: Mary Griffin Lynch, Darleen Hunt, Elsie Lawyer
Woodruff, Margaret McLaughlin, Dot Herrington, Bill
McLaughlin, Woody Woodruff, Blanche Browne and
Mary Lou Lang, Muriel Whitman and Fa
Jim O'Donnell and Bob Russell
The Society office will be closed during the
Holiday Season from December 23, 2004 and
will reopen for business on January 3, 2005.
uneryl Kussell and Joan unman
Nelda and George Walko
2005 Panama Canal Society
need to be paid by
December 31, 2004
Panama Leaders considering
Waterway may gain third "lane"
By Heather J. Carlson, The Washington Times
Panama's government is considering an $8 billion expan-
sion of the 90-year-old Panama Canal to allow bigger ships to
cross to and from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Possible upgrades include adding a third "lane" to make
way for a new generation of mammoth, post-Panamax ships
spanning 180-feet across that can haul twice as much as the
current Panamax ships. "Panamax" is the term for the largest-
sized ships that can now pass through the Panama Canal.
The canal now has two "lanes" one for ships moving
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and the second for traffic in
the opposite direction.
A canal expansion would be good news for U.S. compa-
nies that rely on cargo shipping, said David Hunt, executive
director of the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry
"More and more international trade is going to the larger
ships because it is more cost-effective," Mr. Hunt said. "I
think what you'll find in terms of U.S. trade is, it may not
mean a real increase in trade, but it may mean a reduction in
cost for doing trade."
Bolstering international trade is not the only reason for a
canal makeover. Failing to modernize the canal could lead to
its decline as a key trading passage.
"If it (Panama) wants to maintain its ability to be a major
gateway for the volumes of trade in the future, they've got to
do something," said Chris Koch, president of the World
Shipping Council, a D.C.-based trade association represent-
ing more than 40 shipping companies.
The canal being a cornerstone of the country's economy,
its continued viability is taken seriously in Panama City.
Martin Torrijos elected president of Panama in May and
sworn in this month has called for a national referendum
early next year on canal expansion. The new president is the
son of Gen. Omar Torrijos, who negotiated with President
Carter the treaties that turned over control of the waterway to
Panama on the last day of the 20th century.
The Panama Canal Authority, which has overseen the
canal's operation since the U.S. turnover in 2000, has hired
engineering consultants including the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers to design locks for the third, wider "lane".
Rodolfo Sabonge, director of the canal authority's plan-
ning and marketing, said the canal must be expanded to keep
up with the steady growth of international trade owing to
"The demand is expected to grow to levels we will not be
able to handle in 2010," Mr. Sabonge said.
In addition to the wide, third "lane" to accommodate post-
Panamax ships, the project would include deepening the
canal an additional 10 feet to allow for the larger vessels.
There also has been talk of building a new dam and artificial
lake which would displace some Panamanian farmers.
But Mr. Sabonge said it appears that the dam will not be
needed at least not for the next 20 years.
It has been more than four years since the United States
relinquished control of the 50-mile canal to the people of
Panama, which declared independence from Colombia in
1903 and immediately was recognized by the United States.
President Theodore Roosevelt championed construction of
the canal, which began in 1904 as a strategic shortcut
between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Panama assumed control of the canal in 2000 under the
1977 treaty signed by Gen. Torrijos and Mr. Carter.
Today, nearly 12,000 ships travel through the canal each
year, hauling 243 million tons of goods.
Since the turnover, the canal authority has done a good
job of overseeing the canal, said Riordan Roett, director of
the Western Hemisphere Program at Johns Hopkins
University. But coordinating a multibillion-dollar expansion
of the canal, he said, could prove challenging.
"I think the critical issue would be: Does the Panamanian
government have a capacity to oversee this major reconstruc-
tion of an international waterway and stay within budget?"
Mr. Roett said.
If not, the canal could become a bottleneck.
"The canal needs updating, or we need to find an alterna-
tive method or process of moving goods back and forth," Mr.
Canal-authority officials say that the government can
make the expansion project happen. Since taking control of
the canal, Panama has operated the waterway more like a
business than a government facility, Mr. Sabonge said. He
added that the government expects to fund the multibillion-
dollar project with shipping tolls.
"We have devised a scheme to finance this through user
fees," he said. "Big projects are being done where you can
establish the fee well in advance so that you are generating
the required revenue."
After instituting a 13 percent toll increase in 2003, the
canal generated an estimated $921 million in revenue.
But some say funding the project will require more than
Mr. Hunt said the canal authority could turn to the ship-
ping companies or the World Bank to help finance the proj-
Ultimately, Panama's economic and strategic future may
rest on whether the expansion moves ahead, he said.
If the canal is not upgraded, it "is likely to stagnate into a
regional hub, where the larger ships come into port, drop off
goods for reshipping to smaller vessels around the region," he
said. "And eventually, it's not only a loss of opportunity, but
also a decrease in the total usage of the canal."
copyright 2004 News World Communications, Inc.
Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times.
YOUR REPORTER SAYS
AL Edie (Smith) and Allen Cotton
AK Clay Wharry
AZ Nancy Eide
AR Betty Dunning
CA Helen (Aanstoos) Hay
FL Ocala Bill Muller
Pensacola Barbara Vose-Kulig
Pinellas County Betty Snow
Space Coast Kathie (Nehring) McConaughey
South Florida Tom Pattison
Tallahassee Skip Rowley
Tampa Lynnette "Leni" Stokes Cansler
GA June A. Stevenson
LA Patt Foster Roberson
MD Robin Harrison Baker
Midwest Paul Bierman
MS Patt Foster Roberson
NC Patricia Hunt
Northwest Howie Laatz
OK Laura (Bums) Redemann
Panama Anna Opel
SC Peggy Hutchison
TN Sheila Taylor
TX Dallas Linda Morris
Kerrville JoAnne Fields
VA Evelyn Sellers
011 (507) 262-1001
011 (507) 232-7451
Deadline for the March 2005 Canal Record is January 7, 2005
Vicki Boukalis (BHS'65) reports that in January, Nikki
and Jaye Deitz, Diamond City, Ark. bought a second home in
Elberta, Ala. and spent the next few months furnishing it with
household goods they hauled from West Virginia, Louisiana
and Arkansas. George Deitz (BHS'83), who teaches at the
University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, drove down in May
with his wife and three children to spend a week with his par-
ents. As you can see by the following picture, they also
enjoyed a few afternoons on beautiful Gulf Shores beach.
Alex Deitz (BHS'88) flew in from Chicago, Il1. to spend
the 4th of July weekend with his Mom and Dad so George
and family drove down again for a family reunion. After the
PCS Reunion, Debbie and Eddie Sykes and their daughter
Brittany spent a few days with Nikki and Jaye before driving
back to their home in Diamond City, Ark.
Brittany, Debbie and Eddie Sykes
Rear (L-R): George, Kristine and Luke. Front: Mark and
Koren Deitz, Gulf Shores Beach.
In June Peggy Hutchison (BHS'35), Aiken, S.C. visited
her daughter Vicki and Bob Boukalis (BHS'66) in Lillian,
Ala. She was treated to plantains, papaya, sancocho, ceviche,
empanadas, arroz con polio, and her favorite...fried fish
which Bob caught. Nikki and Jaye Dietz had the three of
them over for a delicious Greek supper plus took them sailing
around Perdido Bay in their new platform boat. Jerry and
Panama Canal Society
2005 membership dues
need to be paid by
December 31, 2004
Dianne (Hutchison) Cox (BHS'58), Ocala, Fla., and Gary
(BHS'62) and Pat Hutchison, Hurst, Texas, spent the 4th of
July with Bob, Vicki and their Mom. This was the first time
the entire Hutchison family had been together in 17 years.
Hutchison family: Vicki Boukalis, Bob Boukalis, Peggy
Hutchison, Jerry Cox, Dianne Cox, Gary Hutchison and
As first-time visitors to the area, Gary and Pat were
shown life along Alabama's Redneck Riviera with its miles of
beaches, condominiums, restaurants, shops, and amusement
parks. Bob took Gary fishing and they caught a king macker-
al, which was eaten for supper. Ray and Forest (Wise)
Robberson (BHS'57), Lillian, Ala. had everyone over for a
delightful dinner followed by hours of storytelling. Bob and
Vicki took Peggy back to South Carolina on July 10th and
met Olga and Richard Phillips (CHS'57) for lunch in
Conyers, Ga. to celebrate Olga's birthday.
Richard and Olga Phillips
Towards the end of July, Doris and Jean Burns, Tulsa,
Okla., spent two nights with Vicki and Bob on their way to
the PCS Reunion. At the same time, Ed and Jane Matthews,
Austin, Texas, and their two sons Mark and Ryan were vis-
iting Jane's father in Loxley, Ala. so Vicki and Bob had them
and Forest and Ray Robberson over for a Johnny Mazetti din-
ner. Ed's father, Wally Matthews, is a very good friend of the
Burnses, Robbersons and Boukalises so it was great fun
telling Ed and family about some of the good times they all
4N. : i
Back (L-R): Ray Robberson, Forest Robberson, Doris
Burns, Ed Matthews, Mark Matthews, Jean Burns. Front
(L-R): Bob Boukalis, dog Dasha, Vicki Boukalis, Jane
Matthews and Ryan Matthews.
Jeff Humphreys, son of Jack and Cynthia (Boukalis)
Humphreys (BHS'68), is currently working as an insurance
adjuster in Florida so he, his wife Bekki and son Chance
took refuge with Aunt Vicki and Uncle Bob, while Hurricane
Frances blew through Florida. Jeff and Chance wanted to
catch a shark so Bob took them fishing and they had a big
shark on but it broke the leader before they could get it to the
In early October Geri (CHS'72) and Bill Foster,
Dunnellon, Fla., visited Bill's mother JoAnn (Foster) and
Bob Baun in Fairhope, Ala. and helped them clean up the
debris created by Hurricane Ivan. Bill's brother Kirk Foster
also drove down from Stone Mountain, Ga. to visit and help
his mother with the yard work. Before going home, Geri and
Bill spent two days with Vicki and Bob cutting up some of
their 100-plus pine trees that were blown over by Ivan and
The Society office will be
closed during the
Holiday Season from
December 23, 2004 and will
reopen for business on
January 3, 2005.
hauling them out to the street. Jaye Deitz also lent a hand cut-
ting and loading the severed limbs into Bob's truck. Ray
Robberson was a big help removing the stumps and trunks
with a backhoe and hauling them off the property. Afterwards
everyone, including Jim Barnes who happened to be visiting
with Jaye and Nikki, came over for an old-fashioned Panama
Canal "Happy Hour" and steak barbecue.
Bill Foster, Geri Foster, Jaye Deitz, Nikki Deitz and Jim
Mary Urey reports that she flew to Oregon on the 6th of
August to visit with Walter and Suzanne Kleefkens and
Mary's two granddaughters and four great-grandchildren.
She attended the Northwest Panama Canal Picnic, hosted by
Bill Bailey and Danny Gee, in Port Townshend, Wash. She
saw some former Atlantic-siders and enjoyed the cool weath-
er. Mary's daughter Michele (Urey) Perez surprised her as
Michele visited with them for a week. Seemed like everyone
knew about Michele coming except Mary and Mary doesn't
know how they were able to keep Michele's visit a secret.
Mary enjoyed seeing the grands and great-grandchildren and
by the time this report is published she will have another
great-grandson who will give her a total of eleven great-
Seated (L-R): Catherine (Kleefkens) Dahl (who's expecting
a son in October), Mary (Gilbert) Urey, Jennifer
(Kleefkens) McClary. Front: Great-grandchilden Jamie,
Parker, Mason and Whitney.
This has been a tough quarter for Edie and me. Edie's
cancer came out of remission and the first round of chemo
was very hard on her and ultimately landed her in the hospi-
tal for two weeks. While Edie was in the hospital, her daugh-
ter Kendra Coulson and friend Crystal Bright came to
cheer Edie up and to help out around the house. During the
Labor Day weekend my sister Wendy (Cotton) Corrigan
(CHS'58) and brother George (CHS'62) came to visit for a
week and to help me with things that overwhelmed me dur-
ing Edie's hospitalization. Wendy cooked all of the meals and
made enough extra every meal so that we put several meals
of each in the freezer. We feasted on Johnny Mazetti, Arroz
con Polio, chicken fajitas, chicken and dumplings and curried
shrimp. George cut grass and weeds and helped me (or rather,
I helped him) install a shed on the back of the garage. Wendy
and George left a day earlier than planned due to the threat of
one of Florida's multitude of hurricanes threatening Alabama
and their desire not to drive in the wind and rain we were pre-
dicted to have gotten. The hurricane didn't act as predicted
and we got some wind and very little rain, but better safe than
Alabama, not wanting to be left out of all of the hurricane
excitement Florida was enjoying, decided to invite Ivan to
come calling. We are about 150 miles from the coast and Ivan
was still a category one hurricane when he blew through the
Prattville area. Prattville had lots of trees blown over and onto
houses and shingles blown off of houses but nothing as com-
pared to the damage suffered in south Alabama. Edie and I
had no damage at all and just a big mess of leaves to clean up
in the aftermath. We got 75+ MPH winds and 6+ inches of
rain. Edie was out of the hospital for six weeks when during
a routine doctor's visit it was discovered that her blood was
critically low again so she was hospitalized for another week
to try to determine what is going on that would cause that.
Both of her children, Kendra and Daniel Coulson and
Daniel's wife Amber and their children Haley and Hayden,
came to visit for a few days after Edie was released from the
hospital. The visit really picked Edie up and she has been
feeling pretty good. While Edie's kids were here we took
them to visit Edie's Dad Jack Smith and let him meet his
great-grandson for the first time and to take a four-generation
photo of the Smith family.
Jack Smith (holding Hayden), Edie, Daniel, Kendra and
I guess I got tired of Edie getting all of the attention
because I had a short stay in the hospital myself when my
blood pressure went way up and I started having chest pains.
A short stay in the hospital couldn't determine if I had defi-
nitely suffered a mild heart attack but in any case there was
no damage done and I am taking the incident as a warning
from the Man upstairs to get my health under control and to
quit worrying about things I have no control over. Guess I
need to take to heart the story about the plumber who hangs
his work problems on the bush outside his home before he
enters at the end of the day.
Allen Cotton, Reporter
abcotton @ bellsouth.net
Alaska enjoyed a spectacular summer and has given way
to a beautiful fall. We had many warm and sunny days during
the summer and actually established new weather records for
the year. I hope many of you had the opportunity to come and
visit our spectacular state. Alaska is also home to many win-
ter events, so do not just think that summer is the only time in
which you can come and have fun.
For many of you coming into Anchorage, one of the first
sites you may visit is at the Alaska Railroad train station. You
will have the opportunity to see this little engine outside of
the terminal. What many of you may not realize is that this
engine was in use during the construction of the Panama
Canal. It was shipped up to the Alaska Railroad after use in
Panama and finally retired to this static display. It is reported
to have arrived here in 1913 after Alaska became a territory.
While there are not many close links between Panama and
Alaska, this is certainly one of them.
For any of you who wish to submit information for the
Canal Record, please feel free to contact me at email: clay-
email@example.com or by telephone at (907) 339-8067.
Clay Wharry, Reporter
Jess and Lynn (Dunning) Harp and children Samantha,
Jess and Cheryl enjoyed a trip to Florida this summer. We
stopped at family friends of the Harps, Bob and Faye Lee, in
Picayune, Miss. After leaving there we headed down to
Tampa for a couple of days visiting Lynn's aunt and uncle,
Carol and Roger Schwenke.
Old construction days engine
Alaska would like to welcome the newest Zonian to our
state, having arrived during the summer from Hawaii. Dee
(Ramsey) Ahlstrom has moved to Kwethluk and we hope to
have a report from her for the next issue. Perhaps in the
future, we can organize an event that all local Zonians could
attend and meet.
Hubert and Margot Jordan with Samantha and Cheryl
Then we headed to Orlando for the reunion and Jess's
class reunion. It was fun being there as a family and seeing so
many friends and family. We spent five days going to
Universal Studios and, getting tired of that, spent a day at the
beach up in Daytona.
The Ocala Zonians/Panama Canal Ditchdiggers met for
their October semi-annual luncheon meeting at Ryan's
Family Steakhouse in Ocala. Bill and Jean Muller were
hosts for the 37 in attendance. A discussion was held to deter-
mine the future of the group and a tentative date was set for
the next luncheon meeting to be at Florida Buffet of Ocala on
Tuesday, April 5, 2005.
Panama Canal Society President Elaine (Vestal) Lewis
and the PCS Board of Directors have approved the next
February PCS General Business Meeting to be held in Ocala,
Fla., Saturday, February 5, 2005 and hosted by the Ocala
Zonians. Check this issue of the Canal Record--Dates to
S. Remember--for time, place and directions. Welcome to all
who can come to Ocala.
Leo Krziza is in the news again but, this time, on a more
Lynn Harp, Pat Hunt and Vicki Howe (Dunning) at the serious note. He entered the hospital in October for a heart
Annual Reunion. valve repair operation and, at this writing, was well on his
way for an encouraging "many years to come". He was
admiring an arrangement of tropical flowers (Hawaiian-style)
from the Panama Canal Museum wishing him a speedy
recovery. Irene McCracken was keeping a close eye on him.
Kathy Egolf and her mother Mary Egolf missed our
meeting when they headed North to be at a "Descendants of
George Adam Egolf Reunion in Pennsylvania". He was
Kathy's great-great-great-great-great-grandfather! She said
-- that her aunt (Barbara Dedeaux) and uncle (George) would
&' be there as well. Activities were to be held in the Kutztown
and Pottstown areas--the old stomping grounds of her ances-
Bob and Faye Lee with the Harps Sydney (Townsend) Corbett filled in for Kathy--repre-
senting the Panama Canal Museum--and had items of interest
on display from the museum gift shop such as calendars and
Christmas ornaments along with copies of the museum's pub-
Larry and Edna (Curles) Didier were packing for a trip
to Las Vegas for the 2004 AARP Convention and a side trip
to California to visit family.
A moment of silence was observed to honor the memories
of recently-departed long-time Ocala Zonians: Virginia
Townsend (7/31/04); Richard "Dick" McConaughey
(9/5/04) and Barbara Laura (Kelly) Barton (9/20/04).
Barbara wrote a poem in anticipation of her demise:
4. "'- "When it's time to go!"
I shall shed my tears in the place I call home;
The place that has protected me from things evil;
The place that holds memories made in my lifetime.
I shall shed my tears for what might have been;
Reporters: For what will probably now never be;
Lynn Dunning Harp Betty Dunning For time and chance gone by, with little done.
(479) 271-8055 (479) 633-0612
I shall shed my tears for a world in chaos;
One that I will most likely soon depart;
And I shall pray that our God will forgive man's evil.
I shall shed my tears for blessings received;
For the wonderful life bestowed upon me.
They shall be happy, grateful tears of joy.
I shall shed my tears for those I will leave behind
To weep, and I bless all they have done for me.
They must know that they made my life worthwhile.
I shall shed my tears for the joy of having a family
Who have stood beside me through all things, good and bad,
And who have loved me more than I sometimes deserved.
I shall shed my tears for the joy of friends, old and new
Who helped to make my life on earth one of happiness,
And wish for them the blessings they have given me.
I shall shed my tears for the future in the great beyond
Where hopefully I will see loved ones gone before me.
I shall rejoice in a future of peace and love.
Jerry and Dianne (Hutchison) Cox were busy moving to
their beautiful new home a few blocks away. Their son, who
recently retired from the U.S. Navy, came to Ocala to help
them move. Before moving, Jerry and Dianne went to visit
Dianne's cousin Richard and Olga Phillips and also to see
their friend whom they hung out with in Japan, Kazutaka
Yamamoto. While there, Olga took them on a tour of her
office and assembly line of her company Kamatsu which is a
Japanese company. They then went to eat at a deli in
Covington, Ga. where the TV series In The Heat of The Night
Richard and Olga Phillips, Kazutaka Yamamoto, Dianne
and Jerry Cox
Tom Wilder missed our luncheon as he was preparing to
depart for San Antonio, Texas to visit his daughter who was
graduating from Air Force Boot Camp.
Margaret "Peg" Davidson called to say her father
Maurice Tewinkel had fallen and broken his hip and the very
next day he suffered a heart attack. Fortunately, he is on the
mend but it will take a while for his recovery.
Joan (Powell) Arndt headed north to Carmel, Ind. for her
annual visit with her daughter and two grandsons.
Dave and Barbara (Curles) Aycock, Don and Dee
Ellsworth, Larry and Edna Didier, Irene McFadden and
Elisa Oakley were the winners in the drawings for door
June (Barlow) Riesz was on "a cruise abroad" and would
not return in time for our luncheon and Betty Blanchette had
other commitments as did Chuck and Veira Soukup and
Others "in attendance" were Jerry and Carol Coffey,
Fred and Claudia Robinson, Woody and Ruth Foster,
Linda (Pearl) Dahlstrom and Virginia Pearl, Ted Norris,
Leo Shadeck, John Balschun, John Muller, Jerry and
Marcy Fox, Elaine Austin, Anne LoFranco, Capt. Albert
and Aura Wilder, Roland Lees, Lucky Summers and Capt.
Edsel Waishkey. Juanita McConaughey came with her sis-
ter Ruth and Rene Conlan.
Received inquiries from several others interested in our
Ocala group. BHS'47 graduate Marge (Conrad) and Harry
Cheek live in Citrus Springs and would like to attend our
next luncheon. She "got married and left the Canal Zone"
shortly after graduation and had lived in Cocoli.
Mania Nita (BHS'63) and daughter of Tony Nita is a
friend of Patsy and Virginia Booth. She and Patsy worked
together for "many years" and Mania and her mother have
visited here before.
William "Bill" Muller, Reporter
Is hurricane season FINALLY over? WHEW!!! Hope
Usually I close with a plea for input. Once again, as I
write this, I have received nothing; zip, nada, diddly-squat.
Linda and I just got back from a trip to Fishkill, N.Y. to visit
my wife's family. Coincidentally, Bob and Mindy (Eustace)
Dollar were in town visiting her sister Regina and her hus-
band Ron. We sipped Pumpkin Ale at the Guilded Otter in
New Paltz and took in the fiery Fall colors by day and braved
the cool night air huddled around the chimenea at night. We
also made a short drive down Storm King mountain highway
to West Point for a spectacular view of the Hudson. Although
I enjoyed wearing my winter sweatshirt (it still fits!) to steel
me from the frigid Fall temperatures, I was glad to get back
to balmy South Florida for our own brand of Fall. Open the
windows and turn off the AC!
REMEMBER TO PAY YOUR 2005 DUES
BY DECEMBER 21, 2004
tipico to eat and/or drink and we'll have the salsa playing and
the BBQ cooking.
So, that's it from South Florida as far as I know. If you
have anything to add, I'd be happy to include it. Remember,
if you don't write me, call me or invite me, this is what you
Tom "T-Bird" Pattison, Reporter
curundu @ bellsouth.net
I got a late night phone call from Don Ross and his son
Marc a couple of weeks back. They were calling from Las
Vegas where Marc had recently bought a house. Don and
Marc were just getting ready to hit the town for a night of
"what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas". Marc has been on
the road a lot recently with the traveling Broadway show The
Producers. He is the sound man for the production and told
me that Mel Brooks is planning to do a musical version of
Young Frankenstein for the great white way. You heard it here
I received this item from Diane (McKenna) Marsh just
prior to sending in my report. After 30 years living in San
Jose, Calif., Gerard McKenna has moved to Southwest
Florida. He celebrated his birthday with his sister and her
family, Larry and Diane Marsh in LaBella, Fla. Len Wilson
from Boca Raton and Willie LeBlanc and his family from
Cape Coral joined in the birthday celebration.
Gerard McKenna, Willie LeBlanc, Diane McKenna
Marsh and Len Wilson
Also, a big South Florida welcome to Mike and Sandy
Rose who have relocated here from Memphis, Tenn. I won-
der if Chili has found any golf courses up West Palm Beach
way that allow Zonians. If not, it's my understanding that
Miami Al, Marvin and Lucho have found some places that
allow us to play without using aliases.
With nothing else to report, I'll see you at the 8th Annual
South Florida Panamaniacs Christmas Picnic scheduled for
Saturday, December 4 at the Topeegee Youngee Park (for-
merly known as TY) in Hollywood, Fla. Bring something
Mrs. Stella Nita has finally decided to relocate from
Dothan to join her three children, Mania, John, Toni (Nita)
Cobb and their families here in Tallahassee. John and
Marcia, along with their two children, Tony and Stephanie,
as well as Toni (Nita) Cobb and her daughter Rene are excit-
ed to have Grandma Stella close by. She is settling in nicely
at Mania's house though she has to watch out for a flying par-
rot, her "green grandchild", as she moves around the house.
In August, she had a pleasant four-day surprise visit from her
two other grandchildren, Kristen and Nathan Hotz, from
Greensboro, N.C. Helen and Tim were unable to make it
This reporter and Lorraine (Husum) Allen attended the
Leon County Election Band Stand night at WFSU-TV sta-
tion. Lorraine was a candidate for County School Board,
District Number 4. My barbershop chorus had to sing for
each candidate that night.
Kid! i(la rroonimFiri '
i- ^ ORRAINEP
Skip Rowley and Lorraine (Husum) Allen at the WFSU-TV
Henry and Sunny Mizrachi, Sue Corrigan, Terry and
Sheila Stepp, Zory and Doug Larrabee, and Bev and I cel-
ebrated Hurricane Charley at the Mizrachi gazebo on Friday
night, August 13th. We were all rather worried, but Henry's
fantastic cooking and ample bar got us all relaxed and calmed
(L-R): Henry Mizrachi, Sue Corrigan, Terry and Sheila
Stepp, Zory Larrabee, Bev Rowley and Sunny Mizrachi;
sitting is Doug Larrabee.
Then, more of the Tallahassee gang gathered on
September 3rd at the Larrabee house to celebrate Hurricane
Francis. Included in the group were Kathy and Mark
Heddaeus, Bev and I, Ellie Husum, Armenia and Woody
Chase, Zory and Doug Larrabee, Eileen and Hugh Thomas,
Kari and Ed McIlvaine, and Henry and Sunny Mizrachi.We
all enjoyed another outstanding meal and plenty of Cuba
Libres to calm the jittery neerves.
Standing (L-R): Kathy Heddaeus, Bev Rowley, Ellie
Husum, Armenia Chase, Doug and Zory Larrabee, Eileen
and Hugh Thomas, Kari and El McIlvaine. Front (L-R):
Mark Heddaeus, Woody Chase, Skip Rowley, Henry and
Part of the same group with the addition of Otty and Joe
Steuart and Adriane Rowley gathered at the Rowley house
to celebrate Hurricane Ivan. Bev cooked up a delicious
Johnny Mazetti dinner while Skip kept the glasses full of
Deadline for submitting articles and pictures
for the March Canal Record is
January 7, 2005.
DaiK IL--KI "unn) ano nu nry mliraucnr urnl lll Joe
Steuart, Armenia and Woody Chase. Front (L-R): Bev,
Adriane, "Sadie" and Skip Rowley.
Skip Rowley, Reporter
srowley26 @ comcast.net
My daughter Lori Snow and I went to Belize in Central
America for a week to attend a Travel Show. We fell in love
with the country, especially the Cays (keys) where everyone
goes to snorkel and dive. The first photo was taken at one of
the Resorts, called Journey's End. The weather was beautiful
and the water crystal clear. We were in Belize when hurricane
Ivan hit the United States so we missed the heavy rainstorm
and winds in Georgia as a result of the hurricane.
Lori Snow and June Stevenson at the Journey's End in
Billy Arnold and his wife Carol invited several
Panama/Zonian people over to their beautiful home for a get-
together, and it was so much fun seeing so many friends. I do
not know the names of each person who was there, but do
know that Pablo Prieto came as a visitor as well as Mary
Scigliane Leach and her husband Bill and their son, John
Eberenz, and Rosemary Abad. My nephew Kenneth
Gerhart from Arlington, Va., who had been visiting us after
the Panama Canal Reunion came with Davis and I.
Group photo taken at the home of Billy and Carol Arnold
Brian Gerhart, my nephew who currently lives in Seoul,
Korea and works for the State Department, came to visit with
us during his annual leave. The next photo is of Brian in front
of our home with his two cousins, Sara and Nick Snow.
Brian looked great and says he loves living in Korea. He has
traveled to China and has seen the awesome Great Wall of
China. Wanted to know when we were coming to visit him.
while there kept an eye on the storm. Richard and Olga also
had other guests so they ended up having a hurricane watch,
and when they found out from friends that their home had
survived, they had a hurricane party.
Well, guess I've covered all the news for now. My hus-
band and I are heading out in the next two weeks for a cruise
on the Grand Princess to the New England states to see the
Fall colors. Should be nice and relaxing. Hope that all of you
are fine and that no one had any serious problems from the
hurricanes that devastated most of the state of Florida and
parts of Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, the Carolinas, etc.
Believe me, we were all praying for each of you.
Remember, I'm here to report your news in the Canal
Record, so if you have had any visitors or news that you
would like to send me, I would love to add it to this column.
I would be happy to hear from each one of you, so give me a
call or send me an email.
June Rowley Stevenson, Reporter
panamaiune @ condoroutfitters.com
It's always good to hear from Joyce Dugas Joubert, who
lives with her husband Herbert in Baton Rouge. Joyce was
born in Ancon and graduated from BHS in 1949. LeRoy
Dugas, her brother, would have graduated from BHS in 1952
but came to the States the year before. Leroy lives in Baton
Rouge too. Doris Dugas is their sister-in-law and the widow
of their brother Norman who died in January. Doris visited
the family in Baton Rouge earlier this year.
Sara Snow, Nick Snow and Brian Gerhart
Also spoke with Andrea Byrd Smith and she told me
that her husband Lester has been in Florida since Father's
Day, rehired by FEMA to help out the hurricane victims.
Lester had retired, thinking he would spend the rest of his life
just taking it easy, but when FEMA called for assistance he
went to help them and the people out. She has no idea when
he will be home again. Andrea says their daughter Christine
Smith Foster and her two children have moved to
Charleston, S.C. while waiting for Christine's husband Mike
to finish up some work in New York. Christine had been liv-
ing with Andrea and Lester for several months but now has a
place of her own in South Carolina.
Spoke with my friends, Vicki and Bob Boukalis, on how
they did during the hurricanes, and Vicki said they were
extremely lucky that their house, which was located in the
eye of the hurricane in Lillian, Ala., came through relatively
intact. They had boarded up their home and went to stay a few
days with her cousin Richard Phillips and his wife Olga, and
Joyce Dugas Joubert, LeRoy Dugas, Doris Dugas
Patt Foster Roberson, Reporter
In 1988 we started a guest book of those attending the
annual Gulf Coast Picnic at Davis Bayou Campground of the
Gulf Islands National Seashore in Ocean Springs. Only one
guest came in 1998, namely, Hurricane Georges; in 2002,
only Tropical Storm Isidore and this year, Hurricane Ivan. So
at the suggestion of Richard Dillon, we've decided to change
the date of our picnic to Saturday, May 21, and let these
strangers have the park during hurricane season.
Please mark your calendars now for the 21st in the Merry
Month of May. See you then!
Patt Foster Roberson, Reporter
Fall has arrived in North Carolina along with severe rem-
nants of three hurricanes. Western North Carolina had severe
flooding and considerable damage to homes and businesses.
Hopefully everyone affected is getting back to normal.
I returned home after the reunion just in time to help cel-
ebrate my daughter Laurie Trinca's birthday in August. I
believe it was called the "BIG 40". Most of the family and
several friends gathered in Hillsborough, N.C. for food, fun
and fellowship--quite appropriate for forty.
(L-R): Lisa Hunt Johnson, Laurie Hunt Trinca (center in
birthday hat), Teresa Hunt Rhodes and friends.
Stephanie (Schulte) (BHS'85) and husband Bob
Sworski flew into Asheville in September for the wedding of
Julie Urback to William Thro. Dr. Stephanie, I should add,
and Bob live in Chippewa Falls, Wis. They have two children
and missed their son Eric's first day of kindergarten because
of the trip. Luckily, grandparents Mary and Paul Schulte
were able to pinch-hit for Mom and Dad. It was wonderful to
see Steph again. She was my accompanist for our Children's
Choir at Sacred Heart Chapel in Ancon.
Patricia Fraser is back teaching again, but only part-time
this year. She just can't seem to go "cold turkey" and stop
teaching. She loves it and is so dedicated the school just
won't let her go. The newlyweds, daughter Sherri Beth and
husband Kiwi took a short vacation to Florida and got caught
up in the hurricanes there so hurried home, just in time for the
Cherry Sue Stahlman spent most of the summer in
California visiting with daughter Jill and grandson Haugen.
Cherry and Haugen went on several short trips in California
and Oregon, visiting the caves and backcountry along the
Pacific coast area. On her return she drove over to the East
coast to visit daughter Bonnie and her husband. Bonnie is
still in the Navy, practicing Optometry.
Willy and Wilma Nowotny hosted a dinner party at their
home for Mary and Dan DesLondes who were vacationing
in their home in Sylva, N.C. Jim and Diane Bradley and Pat
Fraser and I were there also for a very delightful evening. I
don't think there was a topic about anything that was left
undiscussed. They need to visit more often and for a longer
I had a call from Jim Miller in Charlotte. He and his wife
Norma will be looking for a retirement place around here.
Norma is still working as a nurse and has a couple of years to
go yet. She worked in the Health Bureau in Panama and Jim
was a Canal Zone policeman.
Am enclosing this last picture from the reunion that I
mentioned in my last article and forgot to enclose. This was
part of the old Pedro Miguel gang that attended our 50th high
school reunion dinner.
Back (L-R): John Gary Riley, Fred Sill and Dawn Crowell
Gressang. Middle (L-R): Beth Hatchett Trout, Sheila
Curling Heath, Joanne Hummer Haugen, Marilyn
Abreau Stevens, Adele Meissner, Pat Dunning Hunt.
Center front is Andy Mulligan Hinderscheid.
Please keep sending me your news, photos, etc., so I can
keep North Carolina on the map. I prefer a phone call but do
have an e-mail address on my web tv.
Pat Hunt, Reporter
Saludos a todos from el Gran Noroeste. We deeply sym-
phathize with all the east coast folks and Caribbean Islanders
for such a whopping and wrecking hurricane season and for
those who suffered damages. Up this way, we are keeping our
eyes on Mt. St. Helens, which as of this writing was threat-
ening to blow again, although not a threat to most of us.
At least 66 showed up at the Northwest Picnic on August
14 held in Port Townsend at the lovely Elks Club
Campgrounds, ably organized by Bill "Bee" Bailey and
David Gee. Most attendees were from Washington and
Oregon, but we had some "out-of-towners" too, including
David Harris from Santa Barbara, Calif., Mary Urey from
Dothan, Ala., Jack Sanders from Hawaii, Rod and Nancy
Coale from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Gene Jaworski from
Springfield, Va., and Pat Manning and Diane McCauley
from Little Hollywood, Fla. A potluck the night before was
hosted by Bee and David. It was a good get-together and
wonderful to see such a good turnout.
Next year's PC Northwest reunion will be held in
Bellingham the last Saturday in July at Lake Padden. Pat and
Henry Cruz and Jim and Noralie Shobe will be the organ-
Jim Shobe writes that he and Noralie (Roche) Shobe went
on their annual open-day fishing trip with Pat and Henry Cruz
to Silver Lake, Wash., in late April. Jim said it was a blast--
lots of rainbows (trout) and great company. In May he and
Noralie went to Marti Lohr's annual Indy 500 bash and
enjoyed her great hospitality and meeting with and enjoying
the company of old friends. Right after that, they left for
British Columbia with Pat (Rudge) and Dan Nellis for two
weeks of fishing and sightseeing in their RVs. Not a lot of fish
caught but they had a great time, fished several lakes, and
took a trip to Bella Coola on the coast and on a hairy road
over the Tweed Muir Mountains. It was a great trip. On July
24th, Jim and Noralie's grandson Joshua Duffus married
Rachel Kock. The wedding and reception was held in Hood
River, Ore., and Jim says Josh and Rachel make quite a hand-
some couple. After the wedding, they flew to Orlando for the
Reunion with daughter Clover and her husband Jim Duffus
and saw lots of old friends and classmates. The Caribe Royale
was great and the hotel went out of their way to accommo-
date. About the NW picnic, Jim added that artist Elsie
Prather's son was on hand to sell some of his mother's paint-
ings, and the annual raffle and auction was held and brought
in some funds to help with future reunion expenses. The
Shobes went to Albuquerque in September for the classes of
1951 and 52 reunion. Louis Celerier did an outstanding job
putting this reunion together and about ninety attended. Trips
were taken to Santa Fe and up to Sandia Mountain and a
shopping trip to Old Town in Albuquerque. The last night a
buffet dinner was held at the hotel. They had a great time and
Jim says, "Thanks again, Louie". In October the Shobes' two
great-grandchildren arrived to visit with their grandparents
Debbie (Rowley) Shobe and her husband Steve Shobe. Jim
and Noralie, of course, got a chance to visit with Shawn,
almost three, and Emily, eleven months, who stole their
hearts being so adorable and smart. The Shobes are looking
forward to the coming holidays with friends and family. Jim
did not get much riding on his bike this summer but did ride
two hundred miles to Westport, Wash., for an ice-cream cone.
The cone was worth the ride, says Jim.
Henry Cruz reports that during the third week in
September he and wife Pat attended the reunion mentioned
by the Shobes and also praised Louis Celerier's efforts. He
said the attendees from the Northwest were Jim and Noralie,
Dave and Faye (Tucker) Albritton, Ray Nickisher, Murray
Falk, and he and his wife. The weather cooperated and it was
a warm sunshiny day for the trip to Sandia. The reunion
ended with an impromptu dance. Henry also writes that he,
Jim Shobe, and Dan Nellis went on a salmon-fishing trip the
1st of October, out of Bellingham Bay, in the San Juan
Islands. Dan caught a nice Silver, but Jim had to release a
beautiful Chinook because it was just one day late per fishing
Vicki (Harrell) and Larry Ahlemann have been busy on
the road in their motor home working large attendance events
where they do such jobs as being car parking gurus and do
ticketing, registration, wristbanding, security for autos in ad
photo shoots, driving, meal ordering, payroll, office, and
information work and other jobs. They had done at least 11
events when we received their last report. Most events have
been in California but they flew to Tennessee for one also.
The events include wine festivals, music festivals and con-
certs, etc., and last anywhere from 2 to 11 days. They are hav-
ing a great time sightseeing and visiting friends and family
too. You would love to read Vicki's reports, lots of funniness
happens behind the scenes at such events, and some big-name
musicians are featured.
Bill Smith wrote recently. First time we've heard from
him, and he came to the NW Picnic. It's always good to see
fellow CZers. Bill lives in Portland.
Gerry Briem writes that Janet Levi, an artist in Balboa,
was going to visit her in September. They were going up to
Rockport to Sauk Mt. Pottery and then out to Gerry's sister's
on San Juan Island.
Tim Streeter wrote about and sent photos of an Easter
weekend little CHS'77 Mini-reunion out at Jack and Elaine
Streeter's place in Banks, Ore. In attendance were Roberta
(Sanchez) Baumgardt, Mark Simons, Eva Thompson,
Tim Streeter, Scott Barr Tomlinson, Jeff Fryer, and Eva's
new baby Evan. They gathered from the four corners of the
globe: Mark had come from The Arab Emirates, Roberta
from Florida, Scott from Los Angeles, Eva from Portland,
Jeff from Eugene, Ore., and Tim from Seattle. They did some
good old-fashioned Panama-style celebrating.
Roberta Sanchez, Baumgardt, Mark Simons, Eva
Thompson, Tim Streeter, Scott Barr Tomlinson, and Jeff
Fryer at their CHS'77 mini-reunion.
We last heard from Paul Baker and Suzette Connolly in
late August from Darwin, Northern Territories, Australia, on
their yacht sailboat, Altair They are having a wonderful time
seeing the world and have been to places some of us have
never heard of. When a generator they've ordered from
Trinidad is installed and working, they plan to head off across
the Indian Ocean to South Africa, arriving there sometime in
November then work their way around the Cape of Good
Hope to Cape Town. Early in 2005 they hope to sail the
Atlantic to the Caribbean arriving sometime in the March to
June range. I wish there was room to share their letters in
full--they're so interesting, touching on food, wildlife, weath-
er, geology, cultures, and people they meet.
Paul Baker and Suzette Connolly on a climb at one of their
recent stopovers in Australia on their round-the-world sailing
We heard from Sheila (Sheridan) Bowen that her high
school class of 1963 is planning a 60th birthday bash in
Panama in March.
Wally Morton recently wrote from Redding, Calif. that
he retired from CHP in 1995. Wally married his high school
sweetheart back in 1962, went into the Navy in 1963, then
worked for Mattel Toys for a short time before joining the
CHP in 1966. He has two sons, both in their 30s. The oldest
also lives in Redding and works with computers and has two
sons six and ten. The younger one lives in Eugene, Ore. and
has one son who is seven. Wally's brother Jim has a doctor-
ate degree in Accounting, was a CPA, and is now the Chief
Financial Officer for the U.S. Forestry. He has been a profes-
sor at several colleges and is going to retire next January. He
was married last weekend.
Ginny (Kleefkens) Rankin reports that she went to the
PCC Reunion the end of July and had a mini-family reunion
with several cousins, some she hadn't seen for a while. She
ran into some of Billy's cousins so it was really a family
affair. Ginny's daughter Nancy Ivory had a birthday party for
her son Mitchel, who turned two in August and it was a fam-
ily gathering, including Robert and Gayle (Fettler) Rankin
and their daughter Kindra Younce and her family, husband
Dave, and boys Justin, Robbie and Clay. Ginny's youngest
daughter Karen Blennerhassett and her two kids Ryann and
Jason visited from Panama for two weeks in August. She
timed it to coincide with Kindra's family visit to Robert and
Gayle's in Sequim so they could all get to see each other.
Ginny attends the Seattle Mariners baseball games, went to
the annual Labor Day weekend "Bumbershoot" music festi-
val in Seattle, and the annual Puyallup Fair. She also had a
short visit from her cousin Jack Sanders, whom she hadn't
seen in years.
Rankin Girls: (L-R): Nancy Ivory, Sandi McClanahan,
Kindra Younce (daughter of Robert and Gayle Rankin),
and Karen Blennerhassett.
The Society office will be closed
during the Holiday Season
from December 23, 2004
and will reopen
for business on January 3, 2005.
Sne KanKnm inoe: nacK (L-K): 3anui ivicLlananan ana nus-
band Autie, Karen Blennerhassett holding son Jason, Jake
Saunders (Nancy's husband). Front (L-R): Karen, a friend
from England who came with Coraleigh, holding Cassidy
McClanahan (4), Coraleigh Saunders (12), Ryann
Blennerhassett (6), Nancy Ivory holding son Mitchel, and
Seth McClanahan (6).
Joan (Doherty) Stolz's husband Bill, her brother Neil
Doherty and his son Neil went to British Columbia for fish-
ing in August. Joan and Bill's granddaughter Emily spent the
summer with them again. She lives in Salt Lake City, is in the
7th grade and was accepted into the Granite School District
Symphony playing viola. Joan retired the day after Labor Day
and plans to get busy and make some quilts she has always
wanted to do and use the fabric she has collected.
Joan's brother Neil Doherty retired last January 1st and he
has been having the time of his life playing lots of golf, and
he even bought a new 21-foot Trophy fishing boat for getting
out on the Sound. Neil's wife Tammy has until next June to
retire and she just may. Both their children attend the
University of Washington. Daughter Lindsey is a senior get-
ting a degree in psychology, and son Neil is a junior studying
Bill Lang (BHS'50), twin brother of Pete, recently wrote
from Portland, Ore. that he was going to Anchorage, Alaska
on business, arbitrating a school labor dispute and was plan-
ning to meet up with Harry Akers. Bill is a self-employed
arbitrator, labor lawyer, and Harry works for Minerals
Management Services of the Department of Interior. Bill is
married to Mary Jo (Cole) (BHS'51). Mary Jo's parents
were James and Catherine (Gallivan) Cole and her grand-
parents Joseph and Ida Cole, who lived in Ancon; and John
(Roosevelt Medal holder) and Mary Margaret Gallivan
who lived in Balboa. Bill has four kids, Walter, Thomas,
Wm. Christopher and Catherine, seven wonderful grand-
children and an 8th on the way. Bill and Mary Jo's son
Thomas was ordained to the Sacred Order of the Deacons in
the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Oregon in September,
will focus his ministry on juvenile justice/chaplaincy, and
will continue to work as a Senior Claims Representative for
Safeco Insurance in the Northwest. Thomas's son Andrew
has been appointed as Principal Trumpet in the Portland
Youth Philharmonic, Concert Orchestra 2004-2005 season,
and also won the Most Outstanding Solo Player in the Sunset
Marching Band Regional competition in October. Andrew is
to complete his senior year in 2005 and continue his educa-
tion as a Music Education/Music Performance major.
We had a wonderful visit with Pat Manning and Diane
McCauley in August. Pat and Diane had driven Pat's pickup
truck loaded with his Vincent motorcycle all the way from
Florida, north to Maryland, then to the Dakotas (where they
participated in a motorcycle rally), through Montana, Idaho,
and into Washington. They were here for the NW Picnic; the
guys went on motorcycles and the gals in cars. We all joined
in another motorcycle trip, again gals in cars, up to Mt. Baker
with Ed and Mellie (Turner) Kennedy, Guy Fealey and Jim
Fealey on a beautiful, warm, sunny day followed by a picnic
at a lovely farm.
The Saturday before Labor Day, Jim Fealey and friend
Jeannie hosted a great picnic at Jeannie's father's multi-
acred park in Oak Harbor. They served barbecued shrimp,
salmon cooked over the open fire, came en palito, and lots of
yummy side dishes and sweets. Among the guests were Guy
and Mary (Wells) Fealey and kids Guy, Jamie, and Ed and
In September, the Kennedys and Gerry and I rode motor-
cycles and ferried to San Juan Island for their annual show of
vintage cars, motorbikes, wooden boats, and airplanes in
Roche Harbor between the airfield and the marina. A resort is
close by with shops and a grocery, where we bought some
ham, cheese, chips and drinks and had a picnic on the
grounds. It was great fun and the weather mostly cooperated.
Our son J Reiley Laatz was home in St. Petersburg, Fla.
in October for a two-week rest from his Coast Guard duties
in Kuwait. He and wife Sunshine took a trip to Asheville,
N.C. for five or six days, and at this writing we plan to fly
there to help them with minor hurricane damage when they
return, and hope to see some more friends and family before
we return home in early November.
Calm seas at Ilwaco. Work is for people who don't fish. CEO
Caudill, Lee Snider, Don Seymour, and Tom Snider.
Pay your 2005 Panama Canal Society
membership dues by
December 31, 2004
Sanders Reunion in Florida Gordon Sanders, Nlax
Sanders, Suzanne (Urey) Kleefkens, Bruce Sanders,
Walter Kleefkens, Ginny Rankin, and Carolyn (Sanders)
Falasca, all cousins from Bruce Gordon Sanders
(Roosevelt Medal holder).
Paul Ebdon and Pat Manning at the NW Picnic in August.
Hasta la proxima!
Howie (Adams) Laatz, Reporter
John Raffler shared some experiences from the 2004
Annual Reunion. John and wife Madeleine (Lugo) Raffler,
daughter Kristin and granddaughter Reina attended the big
event. Son Eric flew in from Grand Forks AFB, N.D. to
attend the Reunion with his family. John feels that the Caribe
Royale hotel staff did their best to make their stay as com-
fortable as possible. John's mother, aunt, brothers and cousins
came during the day to the hotel and attended the Saturday
Ball also. Apparently granddaughter Reina stole the show.
John said it was difficult at the beginning to find familiar
faces; however, once they found out where everyone was
hanging out, they were able to do some heavy visiting. For
being the first year in a new hotel, John thought that things
turned out pretty well. John mentioned that he and Madeleine
will be making a visit to Panama prior to next year's reunion
since John has never been there.
In July, Jimmie Wickham was visited by Balboa High
School co-worker Betty Spragg of Columbus, Ga. Betty
spent a week enjoying Tulsa and the Green Country area of
eastern Oklahoma. Jimmie and Betty attended the Signature
Symphony's Fourth of July concert and watched Tulsa's fire-
works display from Jimmie's house. Jimmie is now preparing
for her upcoming trip to Panama in late November to cele-
brate Thanksgiving and her birthday there.
Bill and Teresa Keller's daughter Kimberly ran for
Homecoming Queen at Southwestern Oklahoma State
University in Weatherford, Okla. Homecoming was October
2, 2004, so Bill and Teresa understandably missed the
Oklahoma Chapter's picnic meeting. Kimberly did not win
Homecoming Queen, but she loved campaigning for it. It was
a good experience for her and she loves doing those kinds of
things, according to Dad. Kimberly is busy with school, her
internship and work. Son BJ and family live in Pensacola and
they survived Hurricane Ivan, although the West Florida hos-
pital where they were was hit by a tornado.
Kimberly Keller, daughter of Bill and Teresa Keller
Jimmie shared news of her friend Maria Aldridge. Maria
and Ray Aldridge of Stratford, Okla. spent the month of July
in Panama. After several days visiting relatives in Panama
City, Maria and Ray went to David to spend time with
Maria's mother Soledad Sanjur, who is 96 years old. From
David, they took a side trip to Bocas del Toro. They returned
home by way of Houston, where they were joined by children
Raylene, Ray Michael, Brian and wife Jennifer, and other
friends. The whole group spent a week at a beach house on
Next Canal Record deadline to
receive articles and pictures for
the March 2005 issue is
January 7, 2005
The Oklahoma Chapter held their business meeting/picnic
on October 2, 2004, at the home of Paulino and Julia
Allende in Tulsa, Okla. All attendees had a nice time listen-
ing to everyone's stories of the Annual Reunion and hearing
stories of Paulino and Julia's trip to Panama in May. Our next
gathering will be the first Saturday in May at Andrews Park
in Norman, Okla. Call this reporter for more details.
JI.Don Shula's in Miami Lakes.l
Don Shula's in Miami Lakes.
Oklahoma Chapter of the Panama Canal Socieety meeting
October 2, 2004. Back (L-R): Laura Burns Redemann,
Fran Norman, Mike Redemann, Julia Allende, Scott
Burns, Doris Burns, Aymee (Lugo) Diaz, Tomas Diaz,
Paulino Allande. Front (L-R): Capt. Robert Norman,
Karen (Ocheltree) Armistead, Erin and Caitlin
Armistead, Cheyenne Redemann, John Raffler, Jimmie
Wickham, Madeleine (Lugo) Raffler, Jean Burns.
Laura L. (Burns) Redemann, Reporter
Well, this is a slow quarter as far as happenings for this
half of your Panama reporting team. Sent out e-mails to all
those Panama Society members for whom I have e-mail
addresses and still not much seems to have happened.
My excitement for this quarter was my weeklong visit
with my daughter Jennilee Szymanski in Miami and, unfor-
tunately, the time I picked to visit coincided with Hurricane
Frances. Before the hurricane we had a great time shopping
and catching up on our mother-daughter relationship. Not
only that, my sister Dorothy Meissner, on learning of my
visit, hopped on a plane from St. Petersburg and came down
to visit with us--let the fun begin.
Remember to pay your 2005
Panama Canal Society dues
by December 31, 2004
Dottie was fortunate to get out of Miami before Frances
became a threat and was on her way back to St. Petersburg;
however, I went through everyone's worst nightmare in
Miami Airport, four hours in line with the multitudes waiting
to get out of Dodge! Didn't even get to the front of the line to
find out that all flights back to Panama that Thursday were
already cancelled, which included my scheduled flight. So
back to Miami Lakes and Jenilee to ride out my first hurri-
cane with her--at least she wasn't alone and I now know what
it feels like to be in the frenzy of preparing for a hurricane,
the empty aisles in grocery stores, long gas lines, and how to
find a grua (tow truck) four hours before the winds are sup-
pose to hit Miami when your car breaks down! Fortunately
for us we didn't get the brunt of the hurricane but not every-
one in Florida was that fortunate.
Well, my husband Carl Opel has completed four months
in Baghdad and during this time has run into people from his
former military service along with some of those from the
Canal Zone. Here he is pictured with Tracy (Phillips)
Grimberg (CHS'80). Tracy is a program analyst for Gulf
Region South, Basra, Iraq and GRS-LNO for PCO in
Baghdad. She has been in Iraq since March 1 and has just
extended for her third tour. Her sons, Gregory (19) and
Michael (18), are doing great. Gregory is in Chile and
Michael is in Huntington, W.Va.
Tracy Grimberg and Carl Opel at the entrance to Saddam
Hussein's (SP) Palace.
Carl will be home shortly for a two-week R&R and then
back to Iraq.
Mary (Mike) and Ned Blennerhassett have just returned
from a wonderful month wih their son Tony and wife
Jennifer in San Diego. Tony and Jen bought a new home and
have worked hard upgrading and making it a beautiful place
to live. Bet (Peterson) and Robert Mizrachi and their fami-
lies came to visit several times. Mike and Ned also went on a
Backroads trip to Canada and experienced the beauty of
Banff, Lake Louise and Emerald Lake, hiking 8-10 miles a
day around and above the snow line. The Blennerhassetts are
lucky to have two of their children (Kathy and John and wife
Karen Rankin) and their families living in Panama, so they
can watch their grandchildren grow up.
Rob Mizrachi and Tony Blennerhassett on Tony's new
Well, in the wake of Reunion, there were a few folks here
in Panama who continued to ride the wave. The Panama
Canal Elks Lodge Activities Committee, chaired by Peggy
Kirby, decided to host a Post "Reunion Bochinche Party".
What this entailed was bringing all your photos, videos and
stories from the Reunion to share with those who attended
and also those that couldn't make it. The group consisted of
David and Diana (Duncan) Bishop, Sonia Valley, Tim and
Peggy Kirkby, Luke Palumbo, Joe Brown, Carl Tuttle,
Sam Castleton, Pablo Prieto, Bruce and Chris Homa,
Dean and Kim Homa, Bonnie Bishop-Beasley, Anne
Tiblier, Jason Critides, Leo and Sophie Critides, Gordy
Will, Bob Dunn, Doug Webster, Art Mokray, Larry and
Betty Goldstein, Trina Clark, HB Twohy. Best prize was
given in each of the above-mentioned categories and of
course it felt like Reunion all over again.
Panama had the distinct honor of hosting the First Annual
Latin Film Festival. This project was a first for Panama's up-
and-coming directors and actors. They showcased films from
Iran, South Africa, Spain, India and most of Central and
South Amereica. The Las Garzas Organization was responsi-
ble for the programming and they were supported by the
Tribeca and Sundance Film Festivals. A former "zonie" Ryan
Sweeney starred, produced and co-wrote a 17-minute short
film, titled NUMB, which was one of the over 80 films that
were shown throughout the week. There were quite a few
people who turned out to support Ryan in his passion for the
HB Twoh3 III, Zenia (Neel3) Nlorris, Trina Clark and
Ryan Sweeney at the Latin Film Festival. Taking the photo
Jorge Bloise celebrated his 45th birthday in style at Bill
DeLaMater's boat shed in Diablo. A live band and lots of
food were enjoyed for the afternoon into the evening. Some
of the party-goers included: Tony and Jennifer Jones
Howitt, Mary and John Snavely, Peggy and Tim Kirkby,
Sonia Valley, Pedro Penalver, Jodie Chamberlain, Luke
Palumbo, Trina Clark, Zenia Morris, Reyna Royo, HB
Twohy, Gordy Will, Robert Webb. It was a fun night for
The Abou Saad Shrine hosted a Calypso Night at their
place in Albrook (Albrook Officers Club). I couldn't help but
close my eyes and roll back the memory banks to the smell of
Mongolian BBQ...Good times...good times!
There was a Calypso Band on hand to play music and the
place was decorated to the beat of Tropical Nights. There was
jerk chicken, saus, caribbean rice, different styles of beans
and other goodies. Dick and Bonnie Wharry were working
the kitchen, while David and Diane Bishop were taking care
of the hospitality and welcoming committee.
I received some news that Carl Winkler and wife Denise
(Alberga) and baby Lynn are getting settled into their new
home in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Denise and Carl Winkler and baby Lynn make three.
The summer months saw quite a few people back for vis-
its: Clay Dowell came in for a two-week visit to see his
brother Richard Dowell. They had a lot of activities on the
agenda and got to spend some time with some old friends.
Brenda Scott sent in a picture of her brother Joel Scott
and his wife Robin and their seven-year-old triplets, Paige,
McKenna and Cameron during a recent trip to Panama. Joel
and Robin have been back to Panama several times in the last
12 years, but this was their kids' first visit. Joel had a great
time introducing them to ginnups, mangoes, Chinese plums
as well as body surfing at Coronado, crab hunting on the
beach by flashlights, a couple of nights in the rainforests at
Los Quetzales in El Volcan, and sharing many of the old
haunts of our childhood. It was a great family visit along with
my boyfriend Joe Hummer and several childhood friends.
The kids had a blast and are true little "panagringos"!
Juel eUon anu ranuly
John David Dear came back for a short visit with his
dad, Canal Pilot Dave Dear. They decided to "wing it" with
their plans, going between Santa Clara and their "Gold
Coast" roots. John David currently works at CNN, is married
and is a father.
Another unexpected visit was from George Patton Jr.
and his girlfriend Tif. George hasn't been home in seven
years and he was back in his element from the moment he
walked off the plane and had to persuade customs that he
would get his cedula renewed and that he's been gone...etc.,
etc..."dique...tu sabes come es...compa". Too funny! A fun
night of storytelling, lots -o- rums, and plenty -o- beers.
Christy Ford and Zenia Morris celebrated their birthdays
at Hooligans Bar & Grill. There was a guest list of over 250
people. The night was filled with great music and lots of
For sake of good order, please remember to have your
membership dues paid up before submitting items to the
Canal Record for publication. You may pay on-line via the
web at www.pancanalsociety.org or you can contact the
Panama Area Reporter(s) for application or renewal forms.
Well, that's all the news that's Good News from "The
Beautiful Motherland" of Panama. If you want to let your
extended family and friends know what's going on with you
and yours, don't be shy and e-mail, snail mail, fax or drop off
any and all information to be submitted for publication.
011 (507) 262-1001
011 (507) 232-7451
Sorry I didn't get any news in the last Canal Record, but
will add a few notes this time. I spent a month in Lillian, Ala.
with my daughter and son-in-law, Vicki and Bob Boukalis,
and had a wonderful relaxing time. On July 4th, we had a
family reunion--after 17 years--Dianne (Hutchison) and
Jerry Cox and my son Gary Hutchison and wife Pat arrived
to celebrate the 4th. Good time was had by all, and we
watched the fireworks in Foley (a far cry from the old ones in
Balboa) who remembers them, and how could you forget?
Gary and Pat stayed with Forest (Wise) and Ray Robberson
since the Boukalis motel was full. Dianne and Jerry Cox are
moving into their new home in Ocala and son Wally Doane
drove down from Virginia to help them. Vicki and Bob were
ordered out of Lillian because of Ivan and their house lived
through the storm (eye went right over it); they lost a lot of
trees. They went up to cousin Richie Phillips in Conyers,
Ga., and then came over here for two days, buying up repair
items for the roof and some food to take home.
Olga Holmes is still bowling and winning; her daughter
Caroline lost her husband in April; Bebe is still in
Jacksonville. Betty Barr attended the CZ Reunion in
Orlando with her brother (non-Zonian) and son Tony
(CHS'70) and his fiancee and really enjoyed it. Betty didn't
see many of her friends but all of Tony's friends. Her brother
remarked he had never met so many happy and friendly peo-
ple. She was leaving for a trip to Hawaii this week.
Charles Green has sold his house and is living at the
Trinity Lutheran Assisted Care Home and very happy there.
Has to use a walker and daughter Virginia Machak says he
goes so much, he wears the rubber covers off them. Carolyn
Westendorff (Jim's widow) also lives there.
Sis and Bill York are okay although Sis is having some
physical problems, and stays home to take care of Bill. Thank
goodness he's good natured and always pleasant, although
he's in a wheel chair all the time.
Becky Webster, whose son Allen Herre lives in Gamboa
and works for the Smithsonian Research Institute, announces
the birth of a grandson September 1st to Allen and his wife.
Jack and Joan Woodzell are going up to visit his two daugh-
ters in Virginia.
Talked to Blanche Browne in Tampa. She weathered the
four storms, no damage to her house but trees are down. She
now has three great-grandchildren. She mentioned that Chris
Gundersen had died. Blanche also had an accident--she was
in the dining room at her complex and some woman came in
using an electric cart and ran into her, injuring her side. She's
comfortable only when she sleeps or drives. We miss her up
Mark Schmidt, son of Mitzi (Williams) Schmidt
(BHS'58), has graduated from Rising Spirit Institute of
Natural Health, Atlanta, Ga. (Neurological Muscular
Therapy) and will have his own clinic. He has a Ph.D. in
nursing and is very happy in this work. His mother, Mitzi, is
doing okay after her back surgery but tires very easily.
We're planning a luncheon the first week in December
Megan Pallison, Kal Pattison, James "Red" Pattison, ,on
Tommy Pattison and brother Tom Pattison and his wife
Peggy Hutchison, Reporter
Charlie Reiss (BHS'77) chatting with Gary Hooper and
friend Kat Franklin.
Cody Hollowell, Hugh Harvey and Doug Crooks
2005 PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY
MEMBERSHIP DUES NEED TO BE
PAID BY DECEMBER 31, 2004
Co-hosts John and Debbie (Sholk) Sousa (BHS'75),
George Soriano and Richard Sholk visiting from Michigan.
OULl/.CI t 3.tUll \"llll UdUgllt C L~Eall dJiU 11.i1 llJII C I}illl
Ray Nickisher, Bobby Morris, Linda (Reimann) Morris
and Gilmore Jones (BHS'52), Sante Fe, N.M. Photo by Fred
Some of the Panazonians at the Soriano-Sousa party
MEMBERSHIP AND RENEWAL
ARE LOCATED ON PAGES 67 & 68.
Herbie Raybourn and daughter Elaine, Albuquerque, N.M.
member attended; Dick Cauthers (formerly of Pedro
SMiguel, Canal Zone) and his family also joined them.
Mark and Patrice Maravilla had the pleasure of cele-
rating several BHS'72 alumnis 50th birthdays together at
Bob Nossov's home. Carmen Andujar came in from San
Juan, Puerto Rico; Darlene Mitchell flew in from Utah;
Mark Maravilla, Patrice Valle, and John Musser came from
Virginia. Bob and Pat Nossov were recently transferred to a
new post in the Florida Keys. They will be sorely missed
from this area.
Herb Raybourn, Elaine Raybourn, Louie Celerier, Jackie '
(Montovani) Raybourn and Rev. Fred Raybourn, Santa Fe,a .
Linda Reimann Morris, Reporter
(L-R): Carmen Andujar, Mark Maravilla, Patrice Valle,
Darlene Mitchell, John Musser, and Bob Nossov.
Bob Knick visited Mark and Patrice at their home in
Alexandria. Bob Knick is also from BHS'72.
I heard from Colonel (USA Ret) Gustav Braun Jr. and
wife Margaret (nee Cauthers) that on Memorial Day they
represented the Mount Vernon Chapter of the Military
Officers Association of America (MOAA) at the dedication
of the new National World War II Memorial. Col. and Mrs.
Braun were honored to represent MOAA at a White House
Breakfast attended by President and Mrs. Bush, along with
more than 300 World War II veterans. Later that day they
attended the wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier and ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, Ft.
Myer, Va. as guests of the President.
Mark Maravilla and Bob Knick
God Bless and Happy Holidays to everyone.
Ev (Menges) Sellers, Reporter
(703) 614-9810 (work)
firstname.lastname@example.org or Evelyn.Sellers@navy.mil
Colonel (Ret) Gustav Braun Jr., Laura Bush, President
George W. Bush and Margaret (Cauthers) Braun.
Renew your membership to the
Then in late June 2004 Gus and Margaret Braun hosted Panama Canal Society
the first Braun Family Reunion in Arlington and Ft. Myer, Va.
There were 91 adults and 21 children who attended. They by December 31, 2004.
came from seven states and Thailand. Every living family
JASON OHMAN GRADUATES
Jason Ohman, son of Joan and Ed Ohman of
Riverview, Fla., graduated recently from the University of
South Florida. Jason graduated August 7th with a Bachelor of
Science degree in Management Information Systems.
Jason thanks all those who helped him celebrate his grad-
uation from USF, his parents, Joan and Ed Ohman; Bruce and
Chris Homa who traveled from Panama, Hap and Beth
Brandenburg, Bob and Cheryl Russell, cousin Lynn
Pridgen, the Bob and Jeanne Rupp family, Pam and Jamie
Reid, Dick Hern, Cynthia Floyd and Laura Cothran.
Those pictured continued the celebration through the night at
the Brandon home of Dan Norman and Lynley Weade.
AIC SAMANTHA A. WILDER
AIC Samantha A. Wilder graduated from Basic Military
Training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas on October
She is currently attending technical school at Sheppard
AFB in Texas where she will train as a Medical Technician in
the Air Force. Because of her former ROTC training in High
School, she graduated from basic training as an Airman First
Sam is the daughter of Tom and Kathy Wilder of Ocala,
Joan, Jason and Ed Ohman
Front (L-R): Shawn Rupp, Jason Ohman (the graduate),
Tess the Wonder Dog, Conan Herring. Middle (L-R): Matt
O'Neil, Ryan Rupp, Johanna Cantu, Jose Alvarez Jr.,
Alison Doubek, Magdaline Cantu, Jaden Bacot, Stephanie
(Helin) Bacot, Jason Bacot. Rear (L-R): Gabe
Brandenburg, Luke Anderson, Barbie, Amy, Jason
Domenech, Mark Roscoe, Frank Ender, Jamie Reid, Joy,
Sam Scribner, Matt Dreckman, Kris Gibson, Christian
Mumma, Genesis Soto, Michelle Hall.
- A 8
r, Lackland AFB, 8 October 2004.
MORRIS GIRLS WIN TOP HONORS
Tommy and Zenia (Neely) Morris wish to congratulate
their daughters, Shelby and Kelsey, on winning Top Honors
with first place in their respective grades at the Oxford
School Science Competition. They will advance into the
entire Panama School system Science Expo that will be host-
ed by the SENACYT at The Atlapa Convention Center in
Kelsey and Shelby Morris with their triplet siblings
Matthew, Mark and Michael.
PENNY LOTTERHOS HONORED
Recently Mississippi Museum of Art director Betsy
Bradley, recognized Clinton resident Penny Lotterhos as
the museum's top docent during the annual volunteer lunch-
eon. Contributing her time and talents, Penny conducted the
most docent tours during Paris Moderne: Art Deco Works
from the Musee' d' Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, a six-
month exhibition at the museum.
Julie Anne Urback (BHS'85) and William Thro were
married on September 4, 2004 at New Hope Presbyterian
Church in Asheville, N.C. The ceremony was performed by
the Reverends Anne and David Morgan in the church where
Julie was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church
USA in May 2001. She is currently the assistant pastor of the
Kirkwood Presbyterian Church in Yorktown, Va.
She is the daughter of Marleen and Leonard Urback,
formerly of Balboa. William, a lawyer, is the solicitor gener-
al for the state of Virginia.
Julie's siblings, brother Mark from Pearland, Texas and
sister Anita of Lexington, Ky., along with members of their
respective families, participated in the wedding. Out-of-town
guests included Julie's childhood friend Stephanie Schulte
Sworski, who also participated in the wedding, and her hus-
band Bob of Chippewa Falls, Wis. and former Canal Zone
residents Mr. and Mrs. Jim Highley and Mr. and Mrs. Bill
Bruce and Tammy Bateman shown here after their
September 2003 wedding in Boca Raton, Fla. Tammy, daugh-
ter of Pat and Richard Lindsay from Ithaca, New York has
already been initiated into the CZ "culture" by way of attend-
ing the 2004 Reunion.
L-R: Volunteer Coordinator Ouida Drinkwater, Penny
Lotterhos, Harriet Kuykendall, Barbara Elam, and Betsy
Bradley, Mississippi Museum of Art director.
Effective since the March issue, 1993, baby pictures will not be accepted unless
they are shown with their parents or grandparents.
LARA VICTORIA SNYDER
Dr. (Col. USA Ret.) Phil and Judy Breunle of Aurora,
Colo. are extremely proud to announce the birth on June 21,
2004 of their seventh grandbaby, Lara Victoria Snyder,
daughter of Kara Lynn (Breunle) Snyder and David G.
Snyder III of Oviedo, Fla.
Phil and Judy Breunle holding Lara Victoria
DYLAN LEONARD WERTZ
Dave (BHS'91) and Debbie Wertz of Bradenton, Fla.
announce the birth of their son Dylan Leonard Wertz on
June 20, 2004. Dave is the son of Diane (Roscoe) Murphy
and the late Ray Murphy of Sarasota, Fla. and the late
Leonard Wertz of New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Dylan's paternal great-grandmother is Edna Wertz of
San Antonio, Texas. His maternal grandparents are Pat and
Bob Naidel of Osprey, Fla.
"Christmas On The Isthmus"
Parties at the Tivoli, with a huge Christmas tree---
Dancing to Lucho's music, or watching Leroy play that
was a fascinating sight to see.
Dr. Herr, Mr. Thompson, or Dr. Kennedy directing the BHS
The music was performed like magic,
because by "them" we were inspired.
The "Marti's" always competed with the "Panzer's,"
to see who decorated the most---
The "Panzers" usually won with their abundance of lights,
they were always a truly great host.
It was a tradition, to drive around the Canal Zone
to see the many Christmas lights---
The brightly decorated "Santa Claus Lane,"
was always "my" favorite sight.
Only from Goethal's Memorial, did we "Zonians"
enjoy "snow," ah....that is, "soap-flake snow"--
The bubbles looked like real snowflakes,
softly flying high into the Prado's palm trees---
as long as the wind would blow.
By boat, our Christmas trees would arrive---
The trees were limited, and nobody will ever forget...
waiting in those very long lines....
Beautiful poinsettias bloomed "on time" so "naturally,"
but the Christmas tree was the best part of Christmas time---
Their pine scent was so unlike our abundant trees of mango,
palm, or lime.
Burning the Christmas trees together after Christmas,
a sense of friendship and community---
The blaze would be huge at first,
but later the fire was just right for cooking marshmallows or
on a small branch from a tree.
"Christmas On The Isthmus"---
So many wonderful lasting memories....within each of us.
Written by Jo Marti
Debbie, Dylan Leonard and Dave Wertz
?e7w DEEP SORROW
"Eternw Rest Cgie to to emw, 0 omrd:
aNd pet eit upoe a te "
William V. Butler, 94, of Clearwater, Fla. died October
16, 2004 at Sylvan Health Center, Clearwater.
He was born in East Brady, Pa., and came to Florida in
1976 from the Panama Canal Zone, where he retired as a
canal ship operator. He was an Army Air Forces veteran of
World War II and Catholic.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Stella; two daugh-
ters, Shirley Heinsohn, Ohio, and Katherine Denos,
California; six grandchildren; and several great-grandchil-
William Robert (Bob) Byrd died in Kerrville, Texas on
August 27, 2004. He was born August 19, 1918 in Colon,
Republic of Panama and graduated from Cristobal High
School in 1937. He continued his education in the United
In 1941, he married Mildred Hoecker. He retired from the
Panama Canal Company in 1973, where he was general fore-
man Stevedore, and he and Mildred moved to Kerrville,
Texas. She preceded him in death in 1978. He then married
Lois Goin Erickson in 1979.
Robert was very active in Boy Scouts, Salvation Army,
American Heart Association, American Red Cross,
Corporation of Firemen, Elks Lodge, camping with Good
Sam Club, and Lions Club of which he was a member since
1963. He was a member of the Panama Canal Society, Inc.
He is survived by his wife, Lois M. Byrd of Ingram; son,
Donald of San Antonio; daughter, Mary (Pidgie) Stone and
son-in-law Christopher, Ingram; and two granddaughters.
Robert's step-family includes four stepsons, three stepdaugh-
ters and four step-grandchildren. Sister, Carolyn Hirsch of
Niceville, Fla., and brother, Jesse Byrd of Kansas City, Kan.,
and a close family friend Philip Allen of San Antonio also
Albert "Al" B. Collins died on August 29, 2003 in Fort
Valley, Ga. after a short illness.
He was born in Dudley, Ga. and went to the Canal Zone
at the age of 12 with his parents and brothers. He lived and
worked most of the time on the Atlantic side. After graduat-
ing from CHS he started working with the Commissary
Division and later with the Motor Transportation Division.
He was a member of Sojourners Lodge AF&AM and Abou
Saad Shrine Temple in the Canal Zone and Al Sahik Shrine
Temple in Macon, Ga. He lived a very interesting life in the
Canal Zone and Panama.
After his retirement in 1973 he moved to Fort Valley
where he had a 670-acre working and recreational farm. He
felt he was always on vacation when he was on the farm.
There was hunting, fishing, swimming, horseback riding,
ATV riding and camping. Never a dull moment.
He is survived by his wife Anita Boggs Collins (CHS'37),
daughters Brenda Collins Rice (CHS'61) and husband Jon of
Jupiter, Fla., Alita Collins Adams and husband "Rick" of
Atlanta, Ga., and son Mark Collins (CHS'72) and wife Robin
Gibson Collins (BHS'80) of Fort Valley, Ga.; eight grand-
children and seven great-grandchildren. His brothers, Hollis
and Harold of Los Angeles, Calif. also survive him. He was
predeceased by his brothers Jesse "Dee" and Emmett
James E. Dillon, 57, of Quincy, Mass. passed away sud-
denly at home on August 12, 2004.
He was born in Ancon, Canal Zone. James was the son of
the late John and Agnes Dillon of Gamboa, and moved to
South Weymouth, Mass. in 1961 when his father retired. He
was a retired programmer from Instron Corp. and a Vietnam
veteran. He was fluent in German, Russian, French, and was
working on another language at his passing.
He is survived by his sisters Mary Connard of Florida,
Helen McDonald of Virginia, and a brother Richard Dillon of
George Arthur Gerchow M. (Millin), 67, passed away
peacefully after a brief illness on October 9, 2004 in Panama.
He was born in Bocas del Toro, Panama on December 26,
He was a graduate of Cristobal High School. George
worked with the Panama Canal Company as a police officer.
He worked in the Coordination and Liaison Office, and the
Housing Office as a housing inspector, which was his last job
with the Panama Canal Company. He retired in 1998 with 35
years of service.
He was a very well liked and impressionable person who
got along with everybody. Many of his fellow police officers
attended the funeral mass. He enjoyed reading, traveling, fine
dining and discussing historical facts.
He is survived by five children: Charles, Michele, George
Jr., Katia and Kenneth; and 11 grandchildren.
Capt. Billy G Gewin, 76, died on September 8, 2004 in
Houston, Texas where he was receiving treatment for
Billy was born in Millet, Texas on December 5, 1927. He
went to sea as an able-bodied seaman in the Merchant
Marines and worked his way up to captain. He was hired by
the Panama Canal Company in 1965 where he was employed
as a ship pilot and port captain until his retirement in 1990.
He retired to Portland, Texas, where he lived until his death.
Billy was a member of the Masons, the Shriners, the Elks
Club, and the VFW. He served with the U.S. Air Force in
Survivors include his wife Elda of Portland, Texas; his
son Jim of Pompano Beach, Fla.; his daughter Becky and his
son Mark, both of San Carlos, Costa Rica; his son Douglas of
Austin, Texas and his grandson Andr6s of San Carlos, Costa
Rica. Billy was preceded in death by his first wife, Gene.
Joseph T. Grills, Jr. of Poway, Calif. passed away on
September 16, 2004.
Joe was born in Westerly, R.I. on August 29, 1932. At the
age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the U.S.,
Germany, Korea, and the Panama Canal Zone. In 1959, he
joined the Canal Zone Police where he was a beat cop, a
patrol officer, a juvenile unit detective and was selected to set
up the first narcotic unit in the Canal Zone.
In 1972, he went to work in the Baltimore Office of the
Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) which
later became the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
An offer to transfer to San Diego was jumped on by the entire
family and there they stayed until Joe retired in 1983.
After retiring, he got his private investigator license and
kept it until his death. He was very active in the Assoc. of
Former Federal Narcotics Officers (AFFNA), was a member
of the Board of Directors, helping to set policy for its more
than 800 members. He planned many national conferences
and his latest project was setting up the Enrique S. Camarena
Educational Foundation dedicated to teaching children to stay
away from drugs.
As a member of the California Association of Licensed
Investigators (CALI), Joe served several terms as the San
Diego District Director and was always supportive of CALI
programs and legislative efforts. Because of his work with
CALI and AFFNA, he continued to maintain good rapport
with the entire law enforcement community as well as the
He is survived by his wife, Annabelle; siblings Bell
Ridenour and Jimmy Grills; and stepsons, Richard and
Christian J. Gundersen, 83, of Tampa, Fla. died
September 15, 2004 at his residence. He was predeceased by
his wife, Phyllis Brennan Gundersen, a former teacher in the
Born in Norway, he came to New York with his family as
a teenager. He was a master mariner and worked for 23 years
as a Panama Canal pilot. After his retirement, he and his wife
moved to El Valle, Panama where they had built a home.
They moved to Tallahassee, Fla. in 1982. In 2002 they moved
to Aston Gardens in Tampa, Fla.
He was a member of the Egypt Temple Shrine, Scottish
Rite of Panama Canal, the Masons, and the Panama Canal
He is survived by his grandson, Steven (Bobbie) Worley
and granddaughter, Esther (Jeff) Joireman, both of
Washington state; and five great-grandchildren.
Irene Wright Hollowell, 100-1/2 years old, of Houston,
Texas, passed away October 23, 2004.
Irene was married to Lee Wright and they lived in Balboa
many years ago from the 1930s to the early 1950s. Lee
Wright worked as a machinist in the Dry Dock Division in
Balboa. He came to the Canal Zone during the last of the con-
struction of the Canal and was a Roosevelt Medal holder.
Irene worked as a secretary for the Administration
After Lee passed away, she married Marion Hollowell of
Houston. Irene had no living survivors.
Charles Leroy Leeser Jr., known as Roy to his friends
and family, also nicknamed "Bocas", 81, passed away peace-
fully at his home in Dothan, Ala. on August 22, 2004.
Roy grew up in the Panama Canal Zone and worked for
the Corps of Engineers until his retirement at the age of 58.
He was a life member of the Elks Club, a member of the
Panama Canal Society, and frequently golfed at the Olympia
He will be buried at sea by the U.S. Navy in recognition
of his service to his country in the Armed Guard during
Roy is survived by his loving wife Judy and children Pam,
Penny, Roi and Russel, their mother Doris, and six grandchil-
Maxine M. Logan, 80, of Titusville, Fla. passed away
August 26, 2004 at Vista Manor in Titusville.
Maxine was born in New Castle, Pa. and came to Brevard
County in 1978 from the Panama Canal Zone. She worked as
head of the National Red Cross in the Panama Canal Zone.
She was a member of St. Teresa Catholic Church and was an
extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur L.
Logan, Jr. Survivors include her brother Joe Montgomery,
sisters, Helen Montgomery and Agnes Brooks; niece, Phyllis
Murphy and many great nieces and nephews.
Richard Harold McConaughey, 86, of Ocala, Fla. died
September 5, 2004 at his home.
Richard (Dick) was born in Ancon Hospital, Canal Zone
and spent the next 57 years living and working in the Canal
Zone. As a pipe and steam fitter, he first worked for the
Mechanical Division and then spent most of his career with
the Locks Division of the Panama Canal Company until he
retired in 1974. He was a Life member of Elks Lodge 1414,
Masonic Darien Lodge, and held office with the Pipe Fitters
Dick and his wife Juanita retired to Ocala, Fla. where he
enjoyed traveling, gardening, playing cards, and watching
major league baseball.
In addition to his wife of 61 years, Juanita (Taylor)
McConaughey, he is survived by his sons: Robert of Merritt
Island, Fla. and William of Houston, Texas; two daughters-in-
law, Kathie and Donita; nine grandchildren and 13 great-
He was preceded in death by his son David H.
Helen Michaelsen McGurn, 84, of Belleair Bluffs, Fla.
died October 26, 2004 at East Bay Nursing Center, Largo.
She was born in the Panama Canal Zone and came to
Florida in the late 1950s from Patchogue, N.Y She served in
the Women's Army Corps during World War II. She was self-
employed, making and selling crafts.
Survivors include three brothers, William, Connecticut,
John, Inverness, and Fred, Massachusetts, and two sisters,
Teresa Metzger, Timber Pines, and Agnes Frye, Oakhurst,
Preston E. Minton, 91, died October 3, 2004. He was
born October 27, 1912 in the town of Jenny Lind, Ark. the
son of Thomas P. Minton and Amelia (Heydenreich) Minton
and the brother of Violet Minton.
Preston retired from the U.S. Navy where he worked at
Fort Amador as well as the Panama Canal Department of
Motor Transportation. He arrived in the Canal Zone in the
1940s and was one of the founding members and a predomi-
nant member of the Diablo Camera Club until his retirement.
He was an excellent photographer and he also helped to start
arranging trips for the Club to travel throughout Panama, as
well as many Central and South American countries. His pho-
tographs still hang throughout his house in Coronado, Panama
where he moved after his retirement.
Preston was also a member of the American Legion and a
U.S. Navy veteran of WWII. He loved photography, music,
animals and carpentry. Because of his love of music at times
you could hear the music from his large collection of records
coming from his second-story fourplex apartment on Ackee
Street. His love for animals made him almost like a Dr.
Doolittle. When he retired to Coronado, he tended to an array
of animals from frogs, foxes, raccoons and black panthers to
vultures. His love for carpentry was reflected throughout
things made in his house. All of the children who knew him
called him Daddy Preston.
Preston is survived by his wife Faye C. Minton.
Emily Johnson Price, 88, died August 28, 2004, in
David, Panama, where she was living with her daughter,
Edelin Price de Alvarez.
She was born December 25, 1915, in Baltimore, Md.
After graduating from Bryn Mawr College in 1937, Emily
went to visit her parents, Captain and Mrs. Lee Payne
Johnson, who were stationed at the Ammunition Depot on the
West Bank. At a party in Panama she met James L. Price
(Jungle Jim). They were married in New York in 1940. After
spending several years in the States, they returned to Panama
where her husband resumed his travel business.
In 1952 Emily went to work for the Clubhouse Division
of the Panama Canal Company. She went back to New York
in 1956 to complete her Masters degree in library science
from Columbia University. After returning to Panama she
worked 21 more years with the Panama Canal Library, end-
ing 25 years of service as Director of Libraries and Curator of
the Library Museum.
She is survived by two children, a daughter, Edelin Price
de Alvarez of David, Panama, and a son, James Kyle Price, of
Wilmington, N.C., six grandchildren, and thirteen great-
Lt. Col. Vernon Leo Schafer, AUS Ret., died September
28, 2004 in San Diego, Calif. He was 95 years old.
He was born in Chicago, Ill., the son of Elizabeth Ann
Groenke and Joseph Matthew Schafer.
He served in WWII in the Balkans and Greece, Edgewood
Arsenal in Maryland, the Korean War, and his last assignment
was in the Panama Canal Zone as head of the Army and Air
Force Exchange Service from 1959-1962.
On December 3, 1962 he married Catherine "Catsy"
Hopkins Taylor of Port Deposit, Md. and Balboa, Canal
Zone. After the riots in Panama in 1964, they made their
home in San Diego, Calif. He was an avid golfer until age 92
and heard there were 64 courses in San Diego County.
He was predeceased in death by his stepson, Michael W.
Taylor of San Diego, and is survived by his widow, Catsy;
two stepdaughters, Susan Pitney of San Diego, Calif. and
Layne Ashton of Tarpon Springs, Fla.; seven grandchildren
and eighteen great-grandchildren.
Roy R. Shuey Sr., 80, died at home in Orange Springs,
Fla. on August 20, 2004 with his wife JoAnn and his loyal
dog Toby at his side. Roy and JoAnn were eight days away
from celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary.
He was born in house #1437-D, Owen Street, Balboa. He
attended Canal Zone schools and graduated from Balboa
High School with the class of 1942. He served an apprentice-
ship with the Army, and built airfields in the Canal Zone dur-
ing WWII. He then transferred to the Panama Canal
Company and spent the rest of his career in Gamboa at the
Aids to Navigation Division. Roy was in charge of all the
buoys and lighthouses in the Canal when they were gas,
before they switched to electric battery power. The last two
years of his career he taught shop to the prisoners at the Canal
Zone Penitentiary. Roy and JoAnn left Gamboa in 1974 and
retired to Orange Springs, Fla.
Roy is survived by his loving wife JoAnn, son Ray, and
daughter Lorraine, all of Orange Springs, and a grandson
Jeffery of Philadelphia, Pa.
Hazel Howe Sigvartsen, 85, of Dunedin, Fla., died
October 4, 2004 at home under the care of Hospice of the
She was born in New York City and came to Florida in
1950 from Fairview, N.J. She graduated from the
Metropolitan School of Nursing in New York City. She was
an Army Nurse Corps veteran of World War II, serving as a
lieutenant in the Panama Canal Zone. Locally, she worked
from 1963-1973 as a psychiatric nurse at Anclote Manor,
Tarpon Springs, and 10 years for H&R Block Co., preparing
income tax returns.
She was a member of Episcopal Church of the Good
Shepherd, Dunedin. She was a bowling team champion at
Clearwater Chick League at Ten Pen Lanes and the Highland
Lassies League at Dunedin Lanes. She was a Girl Scout
leader, Red Cross volunteer and member of the Metropolitan
School of Nursing Alumni Association, the American Nurses
Association and the Florida Nurses District 33 Association.
Survivors include a daughter, Marti S. Royo, Palm
Harbor; two sons, Neil, Oldsmar, and Carl, Tarpon Springs; a
sister, Mary Lu Kiernan, Dunedin; four grandchildren; and
Charles D. "Bill" Tillman, 87, of Hendersonvile, N.C.
died October 23, 2004, at Pardee Hospital following a period
of declining health.
A native of Canada, he lived in the Panama Canal region
for 32 years before moving to Henderson County in 1970. He
was a son of the late Charles W. and Kate Smallman Tillman.
He was general contractor in metal fabrication for Bildon
Corporation. He worked for 32 years in general construction
in the Panama Canal area.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth Tillman; a daughter,
Shirley Crafton and her husband, James, of Hendersonville;
two sons, William G. Tillman of Hendersonville, James A.
Tillman and his wife, Terri, of Hendersonville; two sisters,
Shirley Galbreath of Montreal, Canada, and Kate Groves of
Toronto, Canada; seven grandchildren; and two great-grand-
Virginia Sydney (Clement) Townsend, 94, passed away
on July 31, 2004 in Ocala, Fla. where she had lived since she
and Wesley (Red) Townsend retired from the Canal Zone in
Virginia was born to Charles (a Roosevelt Medal holder)
and Alice Clement at Ancon Hospital on November 15, 1909,
grew up in Las Cascadas, moved later to East Balboa, and
graduated from Balboa High School in 1927. She graduated
from Winona State Teacher's College in Minnesota in 1932
with a Bachelor of Education in Kindergarten Ed. and Phys.
Ed. In 1938 she married Wesley in Balboa Union Church
where she had been baptized as a child. She and "Red" were
active in church activities and in Star and Circle, the square
dance group. She returned to teaching after a hiatus of full-
time mom, teaching kindergarten and first grade at Balboa
Elementary School until her retirement in 1971.
As an adult, Virginia's life revolved around raising Frank
and Sydney, along with numerous cats and a couple of gato
solos; teaching, overseeing the yearly hatching of chickens
and emphasizing phonics to create good readers for her first
graders at Balboa Elementary School; and promoting the
ideals of Girl Scouting, serving as a leader for Troop 24 and
as Council President. She was awarded the Thanks Badge for
her outstanding service, particularly for establishing the Lady
Baden Powell Committee to promote interaction between the
three scouting groups in Panama: the U.S. Girl Scouts, the
International Scouts, and the Muchachas Guias of Panama.
Her service to Balboa Union Church was so outstanding that
a Sunday school room was named for her: the Townsend
When she and "Red" retired to Ocala, she continued with
her service to church and scouts, teaching Sunday school at
First United Methodist and serving as recruiter and trainer for
the Heart of Florida Girl Scouts. She was awarded a second
Thanks Badge for her service; and in 1995, she was named as
one of Ocala's "Women of Distinction" for over 60 years of
Girl Scouting. She received the Flame and Cross award for
her service to the church, and she also received the
"Outstanding Older American Award" from the Ocala
Chamber of Commerce for her volunteer work with the
Laubach Learn to Read program.
Virginia was predeceased by her husband of 62 years,
Wesley "Red"; a sister, Betty Smith; and brother, Caleb
Clement. She is survived by her son, Frank Townsend and his
wife Marvel (Davison) of Gainesville, Fla.; her daughter
Sydney and her husband Ron Corbett of Ocala, Fla.; three
grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
George K. (Dick) Wanke, 77, passed away on August 18,
2004 after a long battle with lung cancer.
Dick was born in Panama City and grew up in the Canal
Zone in Pedro Miguel. He graduated from Balboa High
School in 1945. He and his family moved to southern
California where he joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff's
Department in 1951. He was a Deputy Sheriff until his retire-
ment in 1982.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Janice Cooper
Wanke (BHS'45), two children, Sharon and Glenn; and nine
grandchildren. He was predeceased by a son, David. Two
older brothers also survive: Carl (BHS'37) and his wife Pat
Kent Wanke (BHS'39) and Ronald Wanke (BHS'43).
Dorothy "Dottie" Yocum, 88, passed away October 7,
2004 at The Vineyard Inn, Seminole, Fla.
She was born in Ohio and after graduating from high
school, she worked for ten years for the Ohio Match
Company. During that time she met Ernie Yocum (deceased)
and they were married in 1938. Dottie went to Panama in
1943 with her husband where she worked at Albrook Air
Force Base in the Accounting Division. In 1948, Dottie and
Emie returned to Ohio until 1963. Then they returned to the
Atlantic Side of the Isthmus where Dottie worked at the Coco
Solo Hospital while Ernie worked at Ft. Gulick. Dottie was
very ative in the Eastern Star and also the Sweet Adelines.
They lived in Ft. Gulick until Ernie retired in 1976 and set-
tled in Largo, Fla.
Dottie was the Chaplain of the Panama Canal Society of
Florida for 24 years. In Largo Dottie was active in the First
Baptist Church of Indian Rocks and sang in their choir.
Survivors include a sister, Rosalie Cook, Hampton, Va.,
five nieces and a nephew; eight great-nieces and four great-
The Society office will be closed during the
Holiday Season from
December 23, 1004
and will reopen for business on
January 3, 2005.
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Hoskins, Martha K.....................mathahoskins @ comcast.net
Howle, Charles and Bonnie..................BBHowle@aol.com
Humphrey, Linda (Strohrer)....................email@example.com
Inman, Juith (Beeby) and Gary..........firstname.lastname@example.org
Keller, Mary (Peggy Magee).................email@example.com
Kimball, Sheri (Alexaitis).....................firstname.lastname@example.org
Kirkland, Lem and Kathy.............email@example.com
Kourany, Tita and Victor......................Tita.Kourany@fiu.edu
Lang, William and Mary Jo...................firstname.lastname@example.org
Lopp, George and Linda.......................email@example.com
Lubera, Jack and Sue............firstname.lastname@example.org
Mallett, Jr., Richard.....................................email@example.com
Mano, Anna "Ceci"..................................firstname.lastname@example.org
McDonough, Ivy (Pat)..................IPMcDonough@aol.com
Murphy, Jim & Louise (Russon)....email@example.com
Phares, Randy and Jennifer.......................firstname.lastname@example.org
Potocek, Gloria (Dahlstrom)............email@example.com
Rindfusz, Edwin and Rose (Monzon)........firstname.lastname@example.org
Rowe, Mary Lynne and Jack...........email@example.com
Seeley, Wayne and Bonnie (Willis)....firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaw, Hilda (Miller)........................email@example.com
Sizemore, Jr. LaMar T. and Vicki.........firstname.lastname@example.org
Stoakley, Tom and Connie..................CZP533@yahoo.com
Wagner, James and Rhonda................Jimboa22@yahoo.com
Wickery, Shirley (Garza)..........email@example.com
Willoughby, William C.........................firstname.lastname@example.org
Wong, Francisco M..........................email@example.com
Woodruff, Woody and Elsie..........firstname.lastname@example.org
Young, Jean (Owen)....................................email@example.com
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Attached is a picture of Isaac and Helen Aanstoos-Hay
dancing during the Despedida at the recent Annual Reunion.
Isaac and Helen attended and participated in the Dance Class
scheduled at the Reunion. The Reunion in Orlando, by the
way, was a great success!
Helen Aanstoos-Hay and Isaac Hay
Old friends shopping for Panama treasures at the Canal
Millie Joyce, Brenda McArthur, Titina Joyce, and JoAnn
Morton. JoAnn's granddaughter in front.
POCONO REUNION 2004
September 9-12 meant Pocono time again for those of us
in the middle Atlantic states, mainly New Jersey, Maryland,
Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Rosemary Gilead and Norma Martin drove up from
Virginia to pick up Shirley Erickson. They drove up through
the fringes of Hurricane Ivan but made it to the Chateau in
good time. On arrival they found mostly the class of 1944
who were there to celebrate their anniversary, those of us not
in that class blended in and had a ball. We missed many of the
usual "suspects": Logsdens, Ridges, Krouses, Michaelsens,
Blanche Brown and others. Incidentially, Blanche stayed in
her new villa in Tampa where, though she was prepared for
all three storms, Tampa was missed. Pat Whitam and her
husband Bob were also no-shows due to a painful back injury
Pat was suffering.
In her absence, Marian Royston and Bob Harvey acted
in her place as hosts. They did a fine job. Rick Darrah had
the room next to the hospitality room so he would be nearby
to act as barkeep to a well-stocked bar, thanks to him and
Gordon Davis and possibly others. We kept them quite busy
during our three-day stay. Name it and we could have it.
The hospitality room was always occupied with old and
new friends who never lacked for things, people and events to
talk about. The leader on that score had to be John (Bucky)
Hall from the Atlantic side. His wife Anne, not a real Zonian,
when asked if Bucky talks about the Zone much at home said,
"Only 365 days a year".
If you were looking for a quick coffee fix at any time--no
problem, it was there waiting in the hospitality room in the
large coffee urn provided by Gordon Davis along with dozens
of delicious doughnuts.
Norma Martin had brought two lovely framed needlework
depictions of a girl in her pollera and a young man in his
montuno. She offered to have them raffled off, money to go
to defray some of the bar expenses. Winning ticket was won
by one of the tickets Bucky Hall had bought. It went to a
grandchild. He was delighted.
Following wonderful dinners Friday and Saturday nights,
Bob Harvey asked for those who wished to speak about
growing up on the Zone. Doris Fradette had many memories
which she expressed colorfully to which we could relate.
Bucky wanted to talk about Cristobal and the life he experi-
enced there, all bright and clear in his mind and he conveyed
those thoughts for all of us to enjoy.
After leaving the dining room Saturday night we were all
told to go to the hospitality room to learn more about the
building of the Canal than any of us had ever known. Our
speaker was Alan Bentz who not only was an expert on the
subject but he had some extraordinary films as well. Lacking
a projector, they had to be shown on laptops, but that did the
trick. Jack Clement and his wife Anne also had most inter-
esting things to show and talk about as well. Most of us had
lived on the Zone for 20 or more years but had never known
the things we were told and shown that night.
Bob asked if Norma, as our resident poet laureate, had
anything to offer and of course she did. When finished there
wasn't a dry eye in the house. Norma has a special way with
words when put to paper that are all keepers and particularly
beautiful as she reads them aloud. Hanky anyone?
After Bucky talked about his life in Cristobal, Shirley
wanted to tell of one of her unforgettable experiences there
when she was about sixteen. She went one day with her moth-
er to pick up her dog at the vets at Mindi Dairy. She told of
her encounter with two pets (patients) tied to a pole, she got
too close and before she knew it two monkeys leaped, one
landed on her head, all four feet pulling her long red hair, tail
wrapped around her face, and the other clamped onto her leg
(she was in shorts) biting harder with each of her blood-cur-
dling screams. Help arrived and a tetanus shot and a little
iodine and she was okay, but no one needs to caution her
about standing close to cute little monkeys any more.
Sunday morning found most of the guests in the
Chateau's lovely dining room to partake of the magnificent
buffet we remembered from last year. Four of us gals from
rooms 1002-04 found a table, not long before Rick Darrah
asked if he could join us. There was a definite affirmative
answer. As it developed he became our gracious host for
which we offered our thanks.
It was then time to retrieve our gear and say our final
goodbyes and head for home. Goodbyes get no less painful as
the years go by. We can only pray that we will all be up and
around and able to come back next year. Friends are special.
We treasure ours. Most of us have known one another since
childhood, often we're as close as family.
Rosemary Gilead, as chauffeur, drove Norma Martin and
me (Shirley Erickson) back home to Mt. Holly Springs, Pa.
and Leesburg, Va. and Arlington, Va.
Again--besos and adios.
Mt. Holly Springs, Pa.
HERNANDEZ FAMILY GATHERING
Glenda Kochel, Lucky Dunlap and Asa Harris in Ruidoso,
The Rileys reunited at the Annual Reunion. See the
Back: Maritza Riley and Jeff Riley. Front (L-R): Jim
Jr., Jim's daughter Traci Oliver, James Riley Sr.
James W. Riley, Jr.
Lake Mary, Fla.
Mike Hernandez Sr., Maria (Kerley) Hernandez, Glenda
Kochel, Tita (Clarke) Dunlap, Mike Hernandez, Jr., and
Panama Canal Society
2005 Membership Dues
need to be paid by
December 31, 2004
Lillian Schwarz recently visited her brother Hugh
Norris in San Antonio, Texas. Hugh moved there to be near
his son James, daughter-in-law Lina and granddaughter Ara,
from Dothan, Ala.
Hugh still looks charming at 82, but wishes that he could
see as well.
Lillian Schwarz and Hugh Norris
Charles N. Norris
MORE REUNION NEWS
The Sprague family enjoyed the Orlando Reunion and
the new facilities. After the reunion, Al and Marsha Sprague
spent a few days with Joe and Joanie (Sprague) Kilgallon in
Sarasota. They gave a party for Al and Marsha and included
friends and ex-Zonians from the area
Marsha Sprague, Al Sprague (signing his prints at the
Vendor booth), and Kassie (Sprague) Taylor on far right.
Jim Giles, Terr3 iSprague, Giles, Pat lMerriheather)
Sprague, Bob Sprague, Joanie (Sprague) Kilgallon, and
Joe Kilgallon at the Annual Ball.
Joanie (Sprague) Kilgallon
BOXING IN PANAMA
On Saturday, October 1, 2004, an international boxing
program was held at the new Figali Convention Center in
Fort Amador (the site of the Miss Universe pageant a couple
of years ago). Latin American Federation titles were at stake
in four of the seven matches held. Boxers hailed from
Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and, of course, Panama.
The most interesting fight of the evening featured
Roberto "La Arana" Vasquez, Panama's most promising
fighter today, facing Freddy Belefio of Venezuela. The bout
went the 12-round distance with the Panamanian earning a
well-deserved unanimous decision. With this triumph, the
Panamanian positions himself for a shot at the world title.
As at most fights, personalities from the boxing world
made an appearance, and this one was no exception.
Peter Moreland, Ismael "The Tiger of Santa Isabel"
Laguna (former Lightweight Champion of the World), and
Dr. Juan Anguizola, Roberlo "MNano de Piedra" Duran
(the legendary five-time World Champion of the World),
Pablo Prieto and Skip Berger.
Balboa-Ancon, R. de P.
EIGHTH ANNUAL SURF SESSION
For the 8th consecutive year, a group of surfers who grew
up in the Canal Zone gathered at the Typhoon Lagoon wave
pool at Disney World and held a surf session to honor the
memories of two inspirational Canal Zone surfers. Friends
and family members of Greg Martinez (BHS'78) and David
Payne (BHS'83) opened the event with a memorial prayer
liturgy led by David's father, the Reverend Clarence Payne,
and Greg's sister, Teresa Martinez. Teresa read some words
contributed by Greg's widow, Janette (Sousa). To kick off
the surfing, the first waves were left unridden for Greg and
This year's event was held on Thursday, July 29, 2004,
during the annual Panama Canal Society Reunion. Surfers
participating included Adam, Alex and Andre Azcarraga,
Ed Dolan, Jim DesLondes, Mark Dekle, Ralph Furlong,
Mike Geddes, Brandon, Eric, Matt, Pat and Richard
Grimison, Justin Lohse, John Magee, Louis and Teresa
Martinez, David McArthur, Erica Menendez, and Wil and
Payne family members attending included David's par-
ents, the Reverend and Mrs. Clarence Payne; David's sister
Anita Miller and her children Rosie, David, Paul and John;
David's aunt Carmen Menendez; David's cousin Al
Menendez, his wife Kelly and daughters Erica and Alyssa.
Also attending were Kelly's parents, Don and Jean
Jamieson, on hand to cheer on Erica as she surfed in the
event for the first time
Martinez family members attending included Greg's
mother Ann Hoag; Greg's sisters Mimi Azcarraga, Teresa
Martinez and Maria Witte; Greg's brother Louis Martinez;
and Greg's nephews Adam, Alex and Andre Azcarraga.
This was a milestone year as the younger generation of
the Martinez and Payne families participated in the surfing
for the first time. Erica Menendez and the Azcarraga brothers
together with Brandon Grimison, Olivia Rogers and close
friends of the Azcarraga boys, Vlad Muscalu-ban and
Victor Sang, caught some great waves and served notice that
the younger generation will be making their presence known
at the event in the years to come.
Louis Martinez, Pat Grimison, and Jim DesLondes
Merritt Island, Fla.
Dawn (Crowell) (BHS'55) and Dan Gressang (BHS'54)
recently traveled to Georgia to visit with Dawn's brother
Richard Crowell and his wife Linda.
Richard Crowell, Dawn (Crowell) Gressang and Linda
Enclosed is a copy of a picture I would like to submit for
the December Canal Record.
Mountlake Terrace, Wash.
Friends were quick to respond to Molly (Engelke)
Williford's call for help when hurricanes Charley, Frances
and Ivan threatened to flood her house. "Gold Roll" member
Rod Brayton was the "chofer", trailer operator, supervisor
and photographer. "Silver Roll" members were Ross and
Nicol (Jasny) Brayton, Dawn (Brayton) Benson, Kristy
(Brayton) Anderson, Windy and Donna (Wertz) Sasso,
Ron and son Nolan Farnsworth, and Carl Slattery. They
worked as diggers, loaders, stackers and resters. Molly served
in the same capacity and was a "water girl" to boot.
1i I ad&e ,
The Silver Roll: Foreground clockwise: Nolan Farnsworth,
Nicol Brayton (Jasny), Carl Slattery, Donna Sasso
(Wertz), Dawn Benson (Brayton), Ron Farnsworth, and
Molly Williford (Engelke) and a mountain of sand.
Left to right Carl Slatter), Nicol Bra3 on (Jasn)), Kristy
Anderson (Brayton), Ron Farnsworth, "Too Tall" Sasso,
Ross Brayton, and Dawn Benson (Brayton).
Ron Farnsworth and "Too Tall" Sasso
Buzzy Kennon and
Wesley Chapel, Fla
2004 ANNUAL REUNION MEMORIES
submitted by Barbara Voss-Kulig
A TUG OF CANAL HISTORY FOUND
ALIVE AND STILL GOING STRONG
I was reading recently the October/November issue of the
marine publication Professional Mariner, in which an article
described an accident to a Canadian tug on the St. Claire
River, which forms the border between Ontario, Canada, and
Michigan. In the photo accompanying the article, the tug
Evans McKeil is aground on the shore with a slight starboard
list, and two tugs standing by her.
As I looked at the photo I was struck with a sense of hav-
ing known this vessel in my youth. (I am now eighty-seven).
I got out a small magnifying glass and studied the hull and
superstructure, and despite the changes in her appearance, I
thought "By George, I think this vessel resembles one of the
two sister tugs built at the Balboa Canal Zone Mechanical
Division in the early nineteen thirties the U.S. Arraijan and
the U.S. Alhajuela, two beautiful Indian words for regions of
Panama." The two vessels when launched at Balboa were
forerunners of the changes that were to occur in tugs through-
out the United States. When the tugs were built at Balboa
Mechanical Division shipyard, the yard had been serving
shipping of the world since the opening of the Panama Canal
and had the largest graving drydock in Central and South
America, and to my knowledge, still does.
The two tugs were of the new propulsion system, diesel
electric drive, with Pilot House control of the propellor. This
advanced control at the fingertips of the tug pilot eliminated
the more trouble-prone method of bells and signals which
were hand operated by the tug pilot to the tug engineer, and
which could be misinterpreted by the engineer with an
increased time lapse for the propellor to respond to com-
The tugs were designed and built at Balboa where naval
architects, foundry men and blacksmiths, as well as machin-
ists, electricians, pattern makers, etc., were all on the regular
staff of the Panama Canal. Steel towing and mooring bitts
were cast in the yard, and even the very large brass ship's bell
of beautiful tone was made by these skilled people.
As a teenager I used to go down to the shipyard after
school to see how much progress had been made on the tugs'
construction, as the hulls sat high up on building blocks.
Many of my school friends' fathers were the builders of these
very advanced tugs, and their descendants today remember
these beautiful tugs as well.
The tugs replaced two old steam-powered tugs at the
Atlantic and Pacific ends of the Canal and served from the
early 1930s until well after World War II, up to the 1970s in
the Arraijan's case.
During World War I the tugs went to sea on several occa-
sions to assist disabled vessels and in the case of the
Alhajuela to assist torpedoed ships into Cristobal pier.
The Alhajuela suffered a terrible accident during WWII
when she was enroute from the Cristobal port to the Naval
Base at Coco Solo. With her deck lights dimmed, as required
by wartime regulations, she was crossing Limon Bay at about
4:00 a.m. The tug was giving a lift to a Panama Canal pilot
who was scheduled to control the undocking of a Navy ship
at Coco Solo. A Navy seaplane taking off in the darkness for
the Caribbean U-boat patrol crashed into the Pilot House of
the Alhajuela, killing the pilot, master, and most of the sea-
men, as well as the Chief Engineer, engine room crew and the
seaplane's crew. The disaster was a deep grievance to the
people of Cristobal and the Fleet Air Base.
Since available new construction in the States was
stretched to the maximum for the Navy and Merchant Marine
demands, the catastrophically wrecked Alhajuela was rebuilt
by the skilled people of the Panama Canal Mechanical
Division. She returned to serve the shipping of the Panama
Canal for another thirty years. A brass commemorative
plaque was cast in the yard and mounted which listed the for-
mer crew members lost in the tragedy.
When I returned to the Canal after serving in World War
H and later in the Korean War, I found myself on board the
Arraijan as her Chief Engineer and happy as a lark. I later
went on to become the Marine Surveyor and Port Engineer of
the Panama Canal.
Very significantly the two very senior tug men of the
Panama Canal, Captain John Carlson, and Chief Engineer,
Frank (Red) Willoe (deceased), both chose to remain with
the tug Arraijan at Balboa, C.Z., despite the arrival of new
and modem tugs from the U.S. They both declined transfers
to the newly arrived tugs, and said they were happy right
where they were on the venerable old Arraijan.
When I saw the photo of the tug Evans McKeil in the
Professional Mariner, I contacted Blair McKeil and he con-
firmed my identification of the tug as one of the two sister
tugs of the Panama Canal.
What a sense of well-being it is to know that this lovely
old tug, whose name has been well known by shipping of the
world using the Canal, is in the good hands of the McKeil
Marine Ltd. of Hamilton, Ontario, and is still in service.
Who would have believed that a vessel built in the trop-
ics, and serving in the tropics for many years would wind up
working in the northern great lakes for a Canadian company.
Retired Panama Canal workers and their descendants will all
greet the news with happiness and amazement that the
Arraijan is still serving.
LOOKING FOR THAT PERFECT GIFT?
CONSIDER A MEMBERSHIP IN THE
PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY.
- ~- -
Tug US ARRAIJAN circa 1940 at Balboa Harbor
CARNIVAL OF VICTORY
Look what I won in the last Canal Zone Study Group auction a Foto Flatau postcard 58 years old. It is called the "Carnival
of Victory" one year after World War II. How I miss those carnival days, the last four days before Lent, Central Avenue full
of everyone singing "Pescao" and dancing cumbias. In this postcard we can see the 1946 Canal Zone Queen Betty Presley.
The float is on Central Avenue, near the old railroad station (Cinco de Mayo) and Calidonia.
In Queen Bet *court are Jackie Hulchings Standing Marguerite FI~nn. Connie Baile. Shirle Bailes. Maril n Fonn.
Beatrice Wohlfarth, Rosemarie Nickisher, Barbara Bartholomew, Lorraine Terry, Millie Vintson, Donna Patterson,
and Elizabeth Lundy.
Submitted by Jeanne Flynn Stough
CHRISTMAS AT THE PANAMA CANAL
Published by Etude, the music magazine, December 1951
By Subert Turbyfill
Music has helped Americans in the tropics get the spirit of the holiday season.
For thirty years the highlight of the Christmas season for the American citizens living and working at the Panama Canal
has been the Christmas Musicale, presented by the combined choirs outdoors at night. Probably the Christmas season is the
one time of the entire year when all of those Americans whose work requires them to live far away from the United States feel
the pangs of homesickness for their native land most keenly. That feeling is all the more emphasized at the Panama Canal,
located only a few hundred miles north of the equator in the middle of the torrid zone, because the American Canal one is so
Christmas in the Tropics falls in a clear, warm sunshine-by-day and moonlight-by-night time of the year. When Mrs. Helen
Baker and first supervisor of music for the Canal Zone schools, began presenting the Christmas Musicale, there were twen-
ty-five or thirty high school students singing and playing the old familiar Christmas music for an audience of three or four
hundred. Now the combined Choirs and orchestra, under the direction of Neil V. Branstetter, total well over three hundred
and the audience totals reach some two thousand a year. While these Americans do miss a "White Christmas," they have been
able to re-create a sincere and heart-warming feeling of the joyous season which is peculiarly their own.
Certain traditions have grown up in connection with this typically American music program, given in the "American
colony" of a Latin-American nation with its Spanish-culture background. The Balboa High School band opens the celebration
with a thrity minute program featuring the Christmas carols. The band plays from the steps of the high hill leading to the prin-
cipal governmental administration building and can be heard throughout the entire residential area. Audience members gen-
erally arrive early for the observance, and many comment favorably on the "Christmas prelude" which the unseen band pro-
The old French carol Angels We Have Heard on High, is used for the processional. With the girls in thin, flowing, white
gowns, and the boys in white shirts and white trousers, all singing and marching down the winding stairs and along the grass-
bordered and flower-lined walks, the traditional opening always sets the proper emotional spirit for Christmas.
The use of the word "always" in the preceding sentence only emphasizes the exception. The foregoing description and
explanation have been correct except for the one time when the weatherman did not believe the almanac, which states that the
rainy season is over by December 15. That year the day, too, had been "clear, warm, and sunshine-by-day", and the Christmas
Musicale began in the evening in the traditional manner. A capacity audience was in attendance, and the attentive response
was delightful. Half-way through the program audience interest was centered on the combined choir presentation of The
Heavens are Telling, and no one noticed anything about the weather.
Tropical rains seldom come at night, and even when they do, they are not announced by thunder and lightning. As the com-
bined choirs swelled to a crescendo in the famous Haydn composition, the tropical heavens really began telling the rain came,
suddenly and completely. The audience members were wet before they could even scamper for shelter, but the director kept
his choir and orchestra performing until the end of the number.
During the somewhat scattered but sincerely heavy applause, the performers, with clothes dripping and music and instru-
ments soaked, took shelter. The water-soaked, diaphanous, white gowns of the girls and even the boys white shirts seemed
transparently insufficient clothing for Christmas music performers. Because of the mild weather in December and the fact that
the rain stopped as suddenly as it had begun, performers and audience members suffered no bad physical results.
The little upright piano, with the top removed and with the microphone set directly against the back so that with electric
amplification one single piano is sufficient to keep three hundred singers on pitch, sat directly in the middle of that heavy trop-
ical downpour. Water ran completely through it from top to bottom. Later it was discovered that while performers and audi-
ence members had to have their clothes pressed, the piano and the orchestra instruments required no care whatever. But resi-
dents at the Panama Canal are happy that on other occasions there has been no rain at the Christmas season.
Schubert's Ave Maria, in an arrangement, which features the violin section, has long been a favorite for the orchestra,
which on occasion had done the Pastoral Symphony from Handel's "Messiah" as well. Intermezzo from "Cavalleria
Rusticana" by Mascagni nearly always appears on the program, as does How Lovely Are Thy Messengers from "Saint Paul"
by Mendelssohn, Lovely Appear from the "The Redemption" by Gounod, and the already mentioned The Heavens Are Telling
from "The Creation" by Haydn. Bach chorales sung in Latin, as well as the familiar Ave Verum by Mozart, share honors with
the solo numbers featured on the annual program. Director Branstetter chooses the outstanding available soloist, instrumental
or vocal. In addition to their choice selections,, the Holy City for trumpet or trombone, and Cantique de Noel for soprano or
tenor (with the first soprano section obbligato) are heard regularly.
The big audiences have long ago come to expect to demand the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" as the con-
cluding number of the one-hour formal program. An invitation is extended to the members of the audience to join with the
combined choirs in singing the wall-known and well-loved Christmas carols for the informal, concluding part of the celebra-
The basis of the personnel of the combined choir consists of all student singers in the three glee clubs of the Canal Zone
high school at Balboa. In addition, former members, junior college singers, and visiting college and university students home
for vacation join in the Christmas Musicale. The citizenry of the Panama Canal is a closely-knit unit, and Director Branstetter
has only one requirement for membership in the singing unit of the joyous season ability to sing and knowledge of the selec-
While the combined choirs have been working for weeks on the preparation of the festival, which is to highlight the
Christmas season for the American citizens working for the federal government at the Panama Canal, the stage and theatre
people have been at work providing choirs and orchestra. The program is of double importance in creating and maintaining
the mood and spirit of Christmas, with the warm weather, the many Commissary "toy sales," the hundreds of decorated
"states" fir trees, the thousand of colored lights around many of the living quarters, and the general feeling of summer. For
nearly all Americans, the only real feeling of Christmas comes after they have heard and seen the annual Christmas Musicale.
Unless the audience members can see the singers of the combined choirs, those audience members have every right to feel
cheated. If the lighting is so overdone and flamboyant as to call attention to itself and to the mechanics of stage technique, the
choir members and the director have every right to feel cheated. Such a production as that given at the Panama Canal at
Christmas time cannot be the success that it is unless the musical presentation is properly emphasized. By being seen as well
as heard. That means that the lighting must be so correctly done that while it definitely is subordinate it does its proper share
to emphasize the whole.
The setting used nowadays for the presentation is excellent, with huge banyan trees backing a beautiful, well-kept lawn
which faces a big three-story building, along the front of which is a high, wide porch. There is a broad sidewalk for the floor
of the orchestra pit, and sufficient steps extend the entire length of the porch, so that the massed combined choirs can be
arranged on different levels. But the only high thing between those banyan trees and that building is the solitary flagpole.
Providing sufficient illumination outdoors for three hundred and fifty performers, when there is nothing on which to hang the
light instruments, requires considerable ingenuity.
Four spun aluminum reflectors, each with a sand-colored screen covering a 500-watt bulb, are placed directly above the
heads of the singers on the first row of the combined choirs, in about the same place that a light bridge would be if the festi-
val were given indoors. Those four lights are on wooden trestles lashed to the balcony of the long porch, and they provide illu-
mination for the orchestra as well as the combined choirs.
Part of the combined chorus and orchestra of over 300, directed by Neil V. Branstetter, in a Christmas Musicale at the Canal
Spotlights are fastened to the flagpole. If a shadow is cast through the light on the choir, the spotlight is too strong; unless
the director and the soloists can be seen clearly, the spotlight is too weak. An extra spotlight must be placed as high as possi-
ble to the light the director's stand properly. No shadows can be permitted to distract the attention, either of performers or of
Outdoors in December a "house light" is needed for people to find their seats and read their programs. A quarter-inch steel
cable, stretched from the flagpole to the porch balcony and secured taunt with turnbuckles, carries an enameled reflector with
the 1,000-watt bulb. The bright light cast by that flood is about fifty feet in diameter, and it spills out for another fifty feet on
all sides. The most important thing, of course, about stage lighting, even when used to highlight the combined choir presen-
tation of the traditional Christmas music outdoors, is dimmer control. A four-dimmer portable board with a maximum capac-
ity for sixty amperes is sufficient to care for the Christmas Musicale at the Panama Canal. And the "electrician" practices his
cues as often as the combined choirs rehearse in the outdoor setting.
Many Americans feel, when they spend their first Christmas at the Panama Canal, that Christmas under the tropic stars
and the palm trees, a Christmas which is not cold nor white, is not really Christmas at all. After three or four Christmas
Musicale presentations, the great majority come to feel that now they know the kind of Christmas which best exemplifies the
true spirit of the holiday season, which puts the mood on the occasion rather than on the gift-giving. Seeing as well as hear-
ing the old familiar Christmas music outdoors in the middle of what should be winter; taking part in the singing of the old
familiar Christmas carols outdoors with enough light so that a person can read what little he doesn't already know from mem-
ory Christmas at the Panama Canal affords an experience which many Americans like to repeat.
FELICES PASCUAS Y PROSPER ANO NUEVO
The man who could beat Tarzan
Reporter, Chris Anderson
THE SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Alan Ford could swim faster than Tarzan.
Ford grew up in Panama, and as a kid he would swim in
the pools and rivers around his town. One day in the 1930s,
when he was barely a teen, Johnny Weissmuller showed up to
give a swimming clinic.
All of the kids gathered around him and gawked. Ford
remembers timidly shaking Weissmuller's hand when the
clinic was over.
At that time, Weissmuller was the greatest swimmer in the
world and the owner of five Olympic gold medals.
"He was the greatest thing that ever came down the road,"
Who knew what would happen later? Weissmuller would
go on to play Tarzan in the movies, and Ford would go on to
shatter Tarzan's world record.
In 1943, Ford swam 100 yards in 50.6 seconds, breaking
Weissmuller's world record of 51 seconds. Weissmuller's
record had stood for 16 years.
Ford would break his own record five times over the next
On March 18, 1944, Ford became the first person in the
world to swim 100 yards under 50 seconds. He was timed in
49.7 seconds at Yale, and it was a monumental moment in
It was the swimming equivalent of Roger Bannister
breaking the 4-minute-mile barrier in track.
After Ford did it, it took eight years for someone to do it
Ford is now 80 years old, has lived in Sarasota for 16
years, and has emphysema.
From 1950-85, he designed oil refineries and chemical
plants, and also helped operate them. Some of those years
were spent working in Holland and India.
He's been watching the Olympics each night and when he
sees the swimmers waiting for their events, "I can still feel
my stomach knot up," he said.
In the 1948 Olympic Games in London, Ford won a silver
medal in the 100-meter freestyle. He swam a 57.8, and was
edged out by Walter Ris' 57.3.
Events were hand-timed then, and some thought Ford
might have won. It was that close. Ford, to this day, feels Ris
won and does not hold any bitterness inside.
"I'm pretty sure it was called correctly," he said. "It was
disappointing not to win, but I was still very happy. The
pressure is tremendous to go through the quarterfinals and
At 18, Ford went to Yale to study and swim. He graduat-
ed in 1945, earning a degree in mechanical engineering in just
He was three semesters into his studies when he joined
the Navy during World War II, and he was allowed to stay at
Yale as part of the Navy's V-12 training program.
Ford served in the Navy until 1948. Though he hadn't
done much swimming in nearly three years, the Olympics
kept nagging at him.
"I'd always wanted to be in the Games,' he said.
Ford, along with his wife, Beverly, left his home in
Syracuse. He returned to Yale to train with his former college
To support himself, he did some work for an air-condi-
tioning company and was also paid for research he did at
"There was no money or any allowance for living,"
Beverly Ford said. "It's so interesting to read about Michael
Phelps. He's a multimillionaire. They wouldn't allow an ama-
teur to take 25 cents from someone in those days."
He trained from February until the trials in July and tried
desperately to make up for lost time.
"He went off every day as if he had a job," Beverly Ford
said. "He'd come home with bloodshot eyes from swim-
Beverly Ford did not go to London for the Olympics. She
stayed home with her four-month-old daughter, Joy. She
found out how her husband fared by seeing him on a news-
reel at an Esther Williams movie.
Ford marched into Wembley Stadium for the opening cer-
emony wearing a coat and tie and remembers walking past
the box that held the King and Queen of England.
Since World War II ended just three years before the
Olympics, the times, of course, were different, and still some-
"There was still some rubble on the streets in London
from the war," Ford said. "And there was no fancy Olympic
Village. We all lived in an old Royal Air Force barracks."
Ford's silver medal was handed to him in a leather box. It
said "14th Olympiad" on the back, and there was also an
image of Big Ben.
When he returned home to Syracuse after the Olympics, a
dinner was thrown in his honor in a grand ballroom.
The man who could swim faster than Tarzan was present-
ed with a single gift.
It was a movie projector.
All content THE SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE
and may not be republished without permission.
The Society office will be
closed during the
Holiday Season from
December 23, 2004 and will
business on January 3, 2005.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW December 7,1951
NEWS FROM YOUR COMMISSARY STORES
CHRISTMAS CAROLS IN THE AIR
The occasional sound of timeless hymns from Clubhouse record players, children being specially good and helpful, bans
on the youngsters entering certain dry closets and storage rooms at home, all add up each year to the realization that, despite
the continued heat and the verdant appearance of the countryside, the most important Christian holiday of the year again
approaches the Canal Zone, even as it does in the snow-clad New England States. Continued practicing of Christmas car-
ols by the neighbors' school-age children seems to have even the childless Zonians humming or whistling the old, familiar
tunes at unguarded moments.
Because of the recently terminated longshoremen's strike, which created havoc with ocean shipping through the Port of
New York, it appeared for a while that we might have to make a great many special arrangements to ensure that all of the
"fixings" for a Merry Christmas would be in the stores in time for the jolly season. With the strike now a matter of histo-
ry, however, we can return to established procedures and still be certain that all of the traditional merchandise will be avail-
PLENTY OF TOYS AND GIFT ITEMS
As practically all Zonians knew at the time, there was no possibility of the strike affecting the local toy situation, since
these important items had already arrived and been placed on sale. There are still plenty at both of the Toy Sections for
those who may have deliberately under-budgeted at the time of the Toy Sale opening in October and who now feel that,
with a few dollars of spare retroactive pay in the hand, they can approach the liberality of former years in their toy buying.
Some of the more important items that sold out early have been re-ordered and placed on sale and a few new, late-arrivals,
have been sent out. There may now be none left, but the imported mechanical toys that were placed on sale in November
indicate a sound reason for re-visiting the special sections, where you are welcome just to look around to avoid missing
new items. Both toy sections are self-service, with cash payment plans, and visitors won't be disturbed in their "browsing."
Gift items abound throughout all of the larger stores and are constantly being added to as new shipments arrive. It would
require too much space and effort to try to enumerate all of the enticing things we have, but there is certain to be the exact
item that is wanted for each particular age or taste. Some of the especially nice things you may wish to look at are sterling
silver and plated tableware, the lovely new pattern of hand-cut English crystal that was recently exhibited, new conven-
ience for the house through the modern household appliances, beautiful and exclusive designs in lamps and pottery.
AND AS FOR EATING
Christmas seems to call for eggnog and, as usual, we will offer the mixed product (minus only the "nog") for those who
value convenience. Other mixers you will want may include the popular sparkling Commissary Club Soda, or cream, milk,
eggs, cinnamon, etc., for your own recipe for a Yuletide drink. Set up the buffet with a cold, sliced, canned ham, a few dish-
es of pickles, olives, sliced fruit cake and other "snacks" and be all set for your friends who drop in while making their
rounds of calls on Christmas Day a buffet set-up also serves as a "wife-saver" and will keep cooking to a minimum. For
Christmas Eve, we suggest the traditional turkey menu, possibly with chestnut stuffing, or roast goose, backed up with fresh
cranberry sauce or attractive molds of the canned cranberry jelly. Fruit cake (your own favorite recipe, the delicious ones
that we have baked at Mount Hope, or the States cakes, plain or brandy flavored), plum pudding, pumpkin and mince pies
savory from the oven, yum-m-m.
We are planning to make delivery (within our regular delivery districts) of natural Christmas trees, family size, on
December 18th and 19th. For the few who especially want their trees ahead of that time, however, we have a small lot due
to arrive Monday, December 10th, and can arrange for delivery the following day. If interested, please discuss the matter
with your store's manager or supervisor. We hope also to have the customary and very popular table size chemi-colored
trees, and there will he a limited number of holly wreaths.
STORES WILL OPEN DECEMBER 24
Although all stores are customarily closed on Mondays, for the benefit of last-minute shoppers, as well as to avoid a
three-day period when stores are closed, all stores will operate on December 24th.
THE THATCHER FERRY BRIDGELESS STAMP
This August the American Philatelic Society held its
annual stamp show in Sacramento. One of the main exhibits
was a full pane of 50 Thatcher Ferry Bridge stamps without
the bridge. This was possibly the first time that these stamps
have been shown outside the Smithsonian Institute's National
Like many Zonians, I searched all of my used envelopes
looking for one after the newspapers announced that someone
in the US had found a full pane. Sadly I never found any. The
reason that I or any other Zonian never found one of these
errors is best related in the Canal Zone Stamps book by Plass,
Salz, and Brewster.
"On October 12, 1962 the Canal Zone Postal Service
issued a 4 cent black and silver Thatcher Ferry Bridge
Commemorative stamp to honor the dedication and opening
of the bridge on that date."
There is an interesting story behind the missing bridge
error. Although the Giori press used to print them can apply
up to three colors (inks) from a single plate, in this case the
authorities wanted just two colors and wanted the silver of the
bridge on top of the black. If the printing had been done from
a single plate, either there would have been a small space
between the colors, which would have spoiled the design, or
the black would have bled slightly into the silver. For such
reasons some Giori press stamps, such as this one, are put
through the press more than once, each time to receive a dif-
ferent color from a different plate. For the Thatcher Ferry
Bridge there were two passes through the press and two
plates, one for each color. Consequently there are two differ-
ent plate numbers on each pane, one for each plate and color.
One sheet of 200 stamps, four panes of 50, did not receive the
silver impression and thus had the bridge missing. While pro-
cessing first day covers of the stamp, an alert clerk at the
Canal Zone Philatelic Agency noticed that a plate block of
four stamps on one of the covers had only one plate number,
the black one, and was missing the silver number. Also, the
clerk noticed that the silver bridge was missing from the
stamps. The authorities made an immediate search of the
Agency's stock and found the remaining 46 stamps from the
pane the plate block came from and also found two additi-
ional panes with the error. Shortly afterwards, H E Harris &
Co., a large Boston mail order stamp outlet, discovered the
upper right pane of 50 stamps with the missing bridge error
in its shipment of 5,000 Thatcher Ferry Bridge stamps it had
ordered from the Canal Zone Philatelic Agency. The Agency
had unknowingly sent the error pane to the Harris company.
A similar event occurred at the same time when the
United States issued a 4 cent stamp on October 23, 1962, hon-
oring Dag Hammarskjold, U.S. Scott No. 1203. One pane of
this multicolored stamp was discovered with the yellow print-
ing inverted. James Kelleher, a special assistant to U.S.
Postmaster General J. Edward Day, decided to make a special
printing of the error so that "all God's children, even the lit-
tle tikes" could afford a copy. In spite of immediate and
tremendous protests against this decision, Day backed up
Neither man knew much about stamp collecting or the
morals and ethics of the hobby. Over 40 million copies of the
error were intentionally issued.
The C.Z. postal authorities heard of this special printing
about the same time the missing bridge error was discovered,
and they decided that they should follow the example of the
United States and issue a special printing of the error. The
Canal Zone ordered 100,000 copies of the error, which were
to be sold at the Canal Zone Philatelic Agency for the face
value of 4 cents. The Canal Zone announced the special print-
ing in the philatelic press and the Agency accepted orders for
Fortunately this was not to be. Henry E. Harris decided to
fight the decision and promptly filed with the U.S. District
Court in the District of Columbia for a preliminary injunction
against the CZPS special printing of the error. Mr. Harris first
had to fight Federal attorneys for the right to have his case
heard by the court in Washington rather than in the Canal
Zone, and then had to fight for the right to sue the United
States. On March 25, 1965, after nearly two and a half years
of litigation, the District Court granted Mr. Harris' motion for
summary judgment holding unlawful the defendant's pro-
posed special printing. The court held such action to be in
excess of authority granted to postal officials in applicable
On September 1, 1965, Assistant U.S. Attorney General
John W. Douglas wrote Mr. Harris stating that the three error
panes in the possession of the CZPS would be destroyed of as
follows: one pane would be destroyed (presumably the part
pane of 46 and the plate block on first day cover), and the
other two would be laminated, one being donated to the
National Postage Stamp Collection at the Smithsonian
Institution in Washington, D.C. and the other donated to the
Canal Zone Library-Museum. Mr. Douglas further stated that
the donated panes were never to be distributed to the public.
This being the case, only the 50 copies from the Harris pane
The Harris pane was exhibited in 1966 at SIPEX (the
Sixth International Philatelic Exhibition) in Washington, D.C.
The pane was broken up in 1969 and the Harris company
originally priced singles at $2,000. The plate block with the
black plate number but missing the silver plate number was
kept intact as part of a block of 10 (5 x 2). At least two other
blocks of four were saved, the remainder of the pane appar-
ently being broken up into single copies.
Today these stamps sell for about $7,000-$9,000. If you
did not make it to the APS Stampshow they can be viewed at
the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum website,
THE THATCHER FERRY BRIDGELESS STAMP
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Panama Canal Museum
7985 113th Street, Suite 100, Seminole, FL 33772-4785
Phone: (727) 394-9338 Fax: (727) 394-2737
Those who have visited the Panama Canal Museum website (panamacanalmuseum.org) in recent months have noticed the
new look that is evolving as Joey Zornes, elected to the museum's Board of Trustees in March, has become more and more
involved as the Museum's webmaster.
Viewers to the website can click on several different sections, three of which are shown below:
Learn The website enables people to learn about the museum, the history of the American Era of the Panama Canal, the
Panama Canal today, and how to make a donation to the museum.
Visit Take a virtual tour of the Panama Canal Museum on our website or visit the museum at 7985 113th Street, Suite 100,
in Seminole, Fla, on Monday through Thursday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Act Make a donation, become a member, become a volunteer, employment opportunities! If you would like to become a
member or make a donation, use the form found both on the website and in every issue of the Canal Record. Contact the muse-
um if you would like to volunteer or submit a resume to be considered for any future employment opportunities.
Shop Come to the museum to shop at our store or use the forms that appear in the October issue of the Canal Record, in the
museum's fall mailing, and on the museum website. Some of the new offerings include the 2004 commemorative ornament,
featuring the Roosevelt Medal; the 2005 Panama Canal Museum Calendar with a Panama Railroad theme that commemorates
the 150th anniversary of the railroad; and the Panama Canal Museum's Panama Canal Trivia Game, which is available for
Wall of Honor Check the Wall of Honor on the website or in the Fall issue of the museum's publication for its members,
the Review, to see how your donations are enabling you to transit the Panama Canal! Those who have already completed tran-
Eighteen Complete Transits:
Leo J. Krziza
Nine Complete Transits:
Estate of Anna Ruth Werkheiser
Five Complete Transits:
Grace Jones Carey
Yanes, Helen, Charles, and Frank R. Leves
James P. MacLaren
Bob and Marguerite Zumbado
Three Complete Transits:
C. B. Fenton & Co., S. A.
Albert and Jane Nahmad
Two Complete Transits:
James C. Cook
Reginald and Beverly Hayden
Lesley M. Litzenberger
One Complete Transit:
BSA, Explorer Post 21, Balboa
John K. Brayton
Capt. William and Connie Glassburn Dawson
Alan R. Ford
Paul D. Glassburn
Thomas R. Goethals
Carol Ruoff Goulet
Charles and Sandra Hummer
Charles and Maxine Keenan
William and Virginia Lyons
Dr. Robert and Evelyn Matheney
S. Griffin McClellan III
John and Judith Engelke Montanaro
Richard and Julieta Morgan
Hobey and Lisa Richey
Robert J. Roy, Sr.
Lewis and Sandra Taber
J. E. Dorn Thomas
Zelma R. Treadwell
Steve and Mary Vaughn
i II I roll
BHS CLASS OF 1955
Celebration of the 50th anniversary of our graduation
will consist of three days of open house with plenty of
food and drink plus a sit-down dinner. It will be at the
Caribe Royal Resort, Orlando, Fla. June 30 through July
2, during the 2005 PCS Reunion. Magically, a
photo/music parade will take us back to the 50s and a new
yearbook will bring us back to the future in 2005.
All BHS classmates, come join in the fun! Send your
500 to 600 word bios and current photos to Chuck
Hummer to make the new yearbook complete, even if
you can't come.
Joan Hensler Toscar
jtoscar @ gbronline.com
CHS CLASS OF 1960
Our 45th Reunion plans are underway and all we need is
YOU to make it the success of our last reunion! Save the
date: June 30 July 3, 2005!! Orlando, Fla. Please make
sure we have an up-to-date address, (snail mail and email
address). Contacts for the event are:
Ruthanne Joy Himes Greenwood
127 1/2 Opal Ave.
Balboa Island, CA 92662
joy78 @ balhoaisland.com
36 Yeardley's Grant
Williamsburg, VA 23185
firstname.lastname@example.org (Andy Nash)
Our website for the event is:
Join the Panama Canal Society to receive detailed infor-
mation about the reunion. Make reservations early you
can always cancel with no penalty.
CHS CLASS OF 1965
40TH REUNION FOR YEAR 2005
We are to hold our 40th Reunion for the year 2005 at
the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Fla. during the
annual Panama Canal Society Reunion (June 29-July 3,
Early planning will assure a memorable reunion so
please send in your name, address and email address to
the committee members listed below right away. Also,
start your own search now for your long-lost classmates
and help us build a huge class list for our 40th reunion.
The Castaways will be providing dance music for the
party night of Thursday, June 30, 2005. For more infor-
mation, please visit the class website at
For more information, contact:
Beverly Phillips (Dreyer)
1730 Arbolita Lane
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Sue Lubera (Roscoe)
2155 Matthews Road
Big Pine Key, FL 33043
suzanneroscoe @ peoplepc.com
CHS CLASS OF 1975
30TH YEAR REUNION
Plans are being made to hold the CHS
Class of 1975 30th reunion in conjunction with
the 2005 Panama Canal Society's Annual
Reunion in Orlando, Florida.
For more information, please contact me
with your current address or e-mail.
Cherie Danielsen Lee
5515 Cactus Forest Dr.
Houston Texas 77088
cherie.d.lee @ worldnet.att.net
BHS CLASS OF
The Balboa High School Class of 1980 will hold a
25th Reunion during the Panama Canal Society Reunion
to be held June 29 July 3, 2005. For more information
please visit the class website at www.bhs80cz.com or
contact one of the following class members:
1275 Island Drive
Merritt Island, FL 32952
Sue Kelleher White
6210 South Himes Avenue
Tampa, FL 33611
6409 Hunt Road
Port St. John, FL 32927
This is a reminder:
All mini-class reunion organizers
need to be a current member of the
Panama Canal Society.
Please contact the Panama Canal
Society Mini-Reunion Coordinator for
the 2005 Annual Reunion for further
Contact: James M. Parthenais
Mini Reunion Chairperson
minireunions @ pancanalsociety.org
Any and all Class Reunions
Every ten years, as summertime nears,
An announcement arrives in the mail,
A reunion is planned; it'll be really grand;
Make plans to attend without fail.
I'll never forget the first time we met;
We tried so hard to impress.
We drove fancy cars, smoked big cigars,
And wore our most elegant dress.
It was quite an affair; the whole class was there.
It was held at a fancy hotel.
We wined, and we dined, and we acted refined,
And everyone thought it was swell.
The men all conversed about who had been first
To achieve great fortune and fame.
Meanwhile, their spouses described their fine houses
And how beautiful their children became.
The homecoming queen, who once had been lean,
Now weighed in at one-ninety-six.
The jocks who were there had all lost their hair,
And the cheerleaders could no longer do kicks.
No one had heard about the class nerd
Who'd guided a spacecraft to the moon;
Or poor little Jane, who's always been plain;
She married a shipping tycoon.
The boy we'd decreed "most apt to succeed"
Was serving ten years in the pen,
While the one voted "least" now was a priest;
Just shows you can be wrong now and then.
They awarded a prize to one of the guys
Who seemed to have aged the least.
Another was given to the grad who had driven
The farthest to attend the feast.
They took a class picture, a curious mixture
Of beehives, crew cuts and wide ties.
Tall, short, or skinny, the style was the mini;
You never saw so many thighs.
At our next get-together, no one cared whether
They impressed their classmates or not.
The mood was informal, a whole lot more normal;
By this time we'd all gone to pot.
It was held out-of-doors, at the lake shores;
We ate hamburgers, coleslaw, and beans.
Then most of us lay around in the shade,
In our comfortable T-shirts and jeans.
By the fortieth year, it was abundantly clear,
We were definitely over the hill.
Those who weren't dead had to crawl out of bed,
And be home in time for their pill.
And now I can't wait; they've set the date;
Our fiftieth is coming, I'm told.
It should be a ball, they've rented a hall
At the Shady Rest Home for the old.
Repairs have been made on my hearing aid;
My pacemaker's been turned up on high.
My wheelchair is oiled, and my teeth have been boiled;
And I've bought a new wig and glass eye.
I'm feeling quite hearty, and I'm ready to party
I'm gonna dance 'til dawn's early light.
It'll be lots of fun; But I just hope that there's a
few others who can make it that night.
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PANAMA CANAL SOCIETY, INC
7985 113th Street, Suite 334
Seminole, Florida 33772-4787
POSTMASTER: Send Address changes to the Canal Record,
7985 113th, Street, Suite 334, Seminole, Florida 33772- 4787
at the Largo
and at additional
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