Panama Canal Museum Review


Material Information

Panama Canal Museum Review
Physical Description:
Panama Canal Museum
Panama Canal Museum
Place of Publication:
Seminole, Fla.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Panama Canal Museum (Seminole, Fla.) -- Records and correspondence.
Panama Canal (Panama) -- History.
Canal Zone -- History.
serial   ( sobekcm )


Panama Canal Museum

Record Information

Source Institution:
Panama Canal Museum
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 660020455
System ID:


Material Information

Panama Canal Museum Review
Physical Description:
Panama Canal Museum
Panama Canal Museum
Place of Publication:
Seminole, Fla.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Panama Canal Museum (Seminole, Fla.) -- Records and correspondence.
Panama Canal (Panama) -- History.
Canal Zone -- History.
serial   ( sobekcm )


Panama Canal Museum

Record Information

Source Institution:
Panama Canal Museum
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 660020455
System ID:

Full Text




Volume 1, Issue 1

First Traveling Exhibit at Panama Canal Society Reunion

* American Association of Museums.
* American Association for State
and Local History
* Leave a Legacy Program

* Panama Canal Society of Florida,

* St Petersburg Chamber of

Inside this issue:-.

Inside this issue:

History of the American Era

The Panama Canal Museum
took its first traveling exhibit
on the road to the annual
reunion of the Panama Canal
Society of Florida. The
reunion was held the first
week in July at the new
Waterside Marriott in Tampa,
Florida. Over 3,000 Society
members were in attendance.

The exhibit focused on the
schools of the Panama Canal
through its history and had a
number of significant artifacts
on display. Large bronze bells
originally from the Cristobal
High School and the Balboa
Elementary School were
displayed. In addition, the
bust of Balboa and the large
cast brass plaque from Balboa
High School were highlights of
the exhibit.

Photos of schools from
construction days to the last
days of the American presence
when the schools were
operated by the Department of
Defense Overseas Schools
were mounted on lighted


Approximately 800 people
visited the exhibit room and
took the occasion to
remember the "good old days"
during the four day event.

In addition to the exhibit room
the museum volunteers
manned a gift shop table in
the vendors' room at the
reunion. The vendors' room is
a very popular feature of the
annual reunion.

The museum will feature a
different theme each year in
the traveling reunion exhibit.
The concept of traveling
exhibits is a popular feature of
many museums. The Panama
Canal Museum will have a
larger exhibit at the American
Victory Ship Mariners
Memorial and Museum in

Tampa in the
exhibit will
historical role
Canal in a n
display some

late fall. This
feature the
of the Panama
national defense
It will also
of the other

Museum Exhibit Room at Reunion 2000.

aspects of this unique
American enterprise that
included an entire civil
government as well as all of
the elements needed to
construct, operate and
maintain this major world

The museum is located at
8050 Seminole Mall, Suite
306, in Seminole, Florida, a
suburb of St. Petersburg.

Donations Key to Success

Gift Shop Items Popular

Plans for the Future

Concept of Giving

SCollecting is a Serious Business

Check Us Out on the Internet

The Panama Canal Museum is
on the Internet. The museum
website has been up and run-
ning for nearly two years.

The site is updated frequently
and is an effective means to

make its presence and objec-
tives known to the world and
also provide current informa-
tion on progress, projects and

The original marketing plan is

presented in its entirety as is
the complete list of directors,
relevant photos and a growing
list of Gift Shop items that
may by ordered from the mu-

Board of Directors

www anamcanamusem or

October 2000

. . . . . .

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At noon, December 31, 1999, on the eve of the millennium, the United States formally
transferred the Panama Canal to the Republic of Panama. As a result of this action, another
chapter in the long history of the United States' involvement in Panama officially came to an

The United States' role in Panama effectively began in 1850, when U. S. interests
commenced construction of the Panama Railroad to transport gold rushers destined for
California across the Isthmus of Panama. In 1903, following Panama's independence from
Colombia, the United States entered into an agreement with Panama to construct a canal
across the Isthmus. Although an earlier French effort to build an isthmian canal was
unsuccessful, the United States purchased much of the French equipment that remained
there and, in 1904, began construction of the waterway. In 1914, after ten years of
extraordinary effort, which included the creation of entire communities, fighting tropical
disease, confronting unstable geological formations and implementing construction
techniques never seen before, the Panama Canal opened to world shipping. The partnership
forged between the United States and Panama, while occasionally stormy, continued through
the rest of the Century, and its culmination effectively marked the end of the American Era
in Panama.

In 1932, several former employees, who were returning to the United States after
completion of their service in Panama, founded the Panama Canal Society of Florida, Inc. The
purpose of the Society was, "To Preserve American Ideals and Canal Zone Friendships." Over
the years, the Society has grown to over 4,000 members residing all over the U.S. and in
several countries. Its quarterly publication, The Canao/Record, tracks births, deaths and
other significant events occurring in the lives of its members. Each year, the Society hosts
an annual reunion in Florida, where friendships can be renewed and memories of times living
and working in Panama are recalled.

In 1998, a group of former employees of the Panama Canal and residents of Panama and the
Canal Zone formed The Panama Canal Society Foundation, Inc., an organization dedicated to
establishing a museum to preserve the American Era in Panama. The Foundation is legally
established in the State of Florida as a not-for-profit organization and is recognized by the
U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a tax-deductible, 501 (c) (3) activity. Its primary
objectives are to recognize and memorialize the participation of the United States in the
construction, operation, maintenance and defense of the Canal and the contributions of
citizens of all nations who made great sacrifices to ensure its success as a major artery of
world commerce. The Foundation is a member of the American Association of Museums, the
American Association of State and Local History and the Panama Canal Society of Florida.

Joseph J: Wood
December 31, 1999

Roosevelt Medal Association Logo

"In closing, all I have to say is
this: You are doing the work
the like of
which has not before been
seen in the ages, a work that
shall last through
the ages to come, and I
pledge to you as President of
the United States,
every ounce of support and
help and assistance, that it is
in my power to
give you, so that we together,
you backed by the people of
the United States,
may speedily bring this
greatest of works to a
triumphant conclusion. "
President Theodore Roosevelt
Colon, Republic of Panama
November 16, 1906:

SS ANCON, first transit of the Panama
Canal, August 15, 1914.

History of the American Era in Panama

B it... ." ., ..... '... : .
leil.. ,4 .,.

Donations the Key to Success

No matter how hard our
volunteers work, no matter
how many artifacts are
donated, without the funds to
take care of rent, legal
expenses, electricity, phone
service, postage and
insurance, no project like the
Panama Canal Museum can
While the dedication of the
volunteers and members of the
board of directors has been
outstanding and of the highest
quality, the real key to our
success thus far has been the
donations we have received.

While the number of donors
and the amounts of donations
we have received are very
encouraging, we realize that
we must strive to sustain those

levels and, if possible, increase
those numbers if we are to
meet the objective of having a
first class museum to preserve
the history of the American Era
of the Panama Canal.

The chart below shows the
donations by the donor
recognition. Also shown are
those generous donors who
have given $1,000 or more to
the Panama Canal Museum. A
chart showing the income from
the gift shop and donations at
the recent Panama Canal
Reunion is also shown.

The sale of the
commemorative limited edition
silver medallions also provided
a strong financial boost of
$38,000. Although we are still
trying to solve problems with

the supplier, the project met
its objective of providing sorely
needed operating funds for the
museum during a critical
formative stage of

The museum board is sending
out its annual donor appeal
and also targeting selected
corporate donors whose
companies played a major role
in the history of the Panama
Canal. Several corporate
donors have already come
forward and are essential to a
stable and enduring museum.

Government grants require a
proven level of success and
availability to the public. The
museum is approaching this
milestone and will pursue
grants in the coming year.

Donations will make it happen.



DONORS ($1 to $1,500)


SUSTAINING DONORS ($3,001-$4,500)




TOTAL DONATIONS (to 6/30/00)



$5,090 $3,164 $8,254

DONORS OF $1,000 or MORE

Lucille Abernathy
Alan Albright
James Cook
Sarah Marie Curies
Dollar Club
Katherine Egolf
C. B. Fenton & Co.

Curtis Fitzgerald
Jean Kaufman
Charles & Maxine Keenan
Leo Kriziza
Frank Leves
Lesley Hendricks Litzenberger
Robert Litzenberger Foundation

William and Virginia Lyons
Judith Engelke Montanaro
William McKeown, Jr.
Steve and Ellen Peck
Hobey and Lisa Richey
Lewis and Sandra Taber
Bob and Marguerite Zumbado

'The real key to
our success thus far
has been the
donations we have


I -


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. Gift Shop Items Popular and Available. ..
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Gift Shop Items Popular and Available

Display case and wall photos in Gift Shop.

As was mentioned earlier,
the Museum Gift Shop
was a great success at the
Panama Canal Society
Reunion, Panama Canal
Reviews, colored maps of
Panama, T-shirts,
Museum Calendars for
2001, and several
publications related to the
Panama Canal proved
good sellers.

Over $5,000 in sales were
realized during the

These items can still be
obtained from the
Museum Gift Shop, either
at the museum or on the
Museum Webpage, where
an order blank and photos
of the items appear.

These items are also
available from any of the
directors attending
Panama Canal Society or
other Panama Canal

The museum calendar is

scheduled to be an annual
item for sale. The photos
on the calendar will
represent the theme for
the annual Panama Canal
Reunion museum exhibit


are collections

photos with wide appeal.

the Cana

interested in
ig the 2001
Calendar with
il Zone School

collection should contact
the Museum Gift Shop or
order from the Internet.

"No party was truly
a party without the
pulsating Latin
rhythms of Lucho
A carraga."

Alfredo "Chipi" Azcarraga presents his fa-
ther, Lucho"s mementos to the museum.
Also shown, Kathy Egolf, Vice President, Joe
Wood, President and Dick Morgan, Director.

Special Donations Highlight Panama Canal Society Reunion

Perhaps no single person
epitomized the warm
relationship between the
Americans working and living in
Panama and Panamanian
society than world-renowned
organist, Lucho Azcarraga. No
party was truly a party without
the pulsating Latin rhythms of
Lucho, his organ and his
Lucho delighted Americans and
his fellow Panamanians for over
fifty years.
A highlight of the Museum
board of directors meeting
during the reunion was a
presentation made by Lucho's
son, Alfredo "Chipi" Azcarraga,
of Lucho's famous montuno hat
and shirt, autographed photos
and other personal memorabilia
that tied him so closely to the
people of the Panama Canal.

The presentation was an
emotional but gratifying
occasion and a valuable
addition to the museum.
Another special presentation
was made to the museum
board by Kelly Dawson Ryan.
She presented a set of three
miniature lighthouses that
capture specific structures in
the Panama Canal. Kelly
conceived of the lighthouse
project and has joined a major
supplier in the U.S. to market
these delightful and historical
Finally, Mrs. Lucille Abernathy
dropped in to the board of
directors meeting to see if she
could present the museum with
a donation. Museum president,
Joe Wood gratefully accepted a
check from Mrs. Abernathy for
$1,000. She joins an

increasing list of generous
donors. Mr. Wood said it was
this type of spontaneous
generosity the will make the
museum a reality.

Kelly Dawson Ryan presents canal light-
houses to museum president Joe Wood.

.................... .......................................................................................... ............ ............. ......

Volume 1, Issue 1

Plans for the Future

Museum president, Joe Wood,
and the board of directors
have set some ambitious plans
for the future, and specifically
in the coming year.

Consolidation of all the
museum activities into a single
location is a primary goal. The
more efficient use of
volunteers and increased
security, as well as availability
of the exhibits for public
access, are all direct benefits
for such a move.


directors are
officials of

in contact
the St.

Petersburg Mayor's Office, the
Chamber of Commerce and
the Downtown Development
Agency to locate a suitable
building or space at a price
that is within available

A second goal for the coming
year announced by President
Wood is to employ a paid staff
of at least two persons to
conduct the daily affairs of the
museum. An Executive
Director with museum
experience is the first priority

according to Mr. Wood.

The most pressing project for
the museum is the final
development of the traveling
exhibit for the American
Victory Mariners Museum. The
next traveling exhibit is still
under discussion with the
curator of the Mt. Rushmore
National Park.

The continued development of
suitable leadership candidates
to serve on the board is
another high priority goal.

Finally, a concerted drive for
corporate donors is scheduled
for the next quarter.

American Victory Ship Mariners Museum Exhibit

Museum offices are located in this building in
Seminole, Florida.

"Consolidation of all
the museum activities
into a single location
is a primary goal in

The SS American Victory
triumphantly arrived in her
new home port of Tampa Bay
on Thursday, September 16,
1999, completing the first leg
of her new life as the
American Victory Mariners
Memorial & Museum Ship.
The SSAmerican Victory will be
the first restored Victory ship
located anywhere other than
California. She will be the only
museum ship of its type in the
southeast U.S. and the only
floating maritime museum in
Florida. Two other Victory
ships have been restored and
are operating as museums

and memorials, including the
SS Lane Victory in Los Angeles
and the SS Red Oak Victory in
Richmond, CA. We are proud
to join them in providing the
long-overdue tribute to the
men and women who built,
sailed, and protected these
historic vessels.
The Panama Canal Museum
was invited to collaborate in
the AVMM&MS by
establishing a traveling exhibit
aboard the ship. The
Museum's exhibit was
designed by Brian Albright,
who served as the volunteer
curator for the museum.

The exhibit will center around
the role of the Panama Canal
in maritime and naval
operations in peace and war.
It will also display some of the
unique elements that made
up the Canal Zone, its society,
operations and government.
This collaboration between
two formative museums is
particularly notable since
former Canal Zone residents
are major players in both
museums. Capt. Robert
Valentine, a retired Panama
Canal Pilot, is Master of the
SS American Victory.

The SS American Victory.

Financial Fitness

Financial fitness is another
critical factor in pursuing the
dream of the Panama Canal
Museum. Under the able
direction of the Treasurer,
Joan Ohman, the Museum has
converted its accounting
system into a full service
computer accounting

The proof of the effectiveness
of this transition and the

general good health of the
museum's finances was
confirmed with the completion
of a review by an independent
audit firm. Speer, Reynolds &
Baldwin, an Orlando CPA firm
gave the museum a favorable
report in its recently
completed annual review of
the museum records.

The review showed assets of
$40,693 compared to

liabilities of only $1,262. The
balance sheet for 2000 shows
total assets of $48,847 with
liabilities of $337.

While our financial stability is
solid at our present level of
operations, our stated
objectives will require far
greater cash flow than we now

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[ .. Concept of Giving

Recognizing the generosity of
donors is important. The
museum has developed a
framework of donor
recognition that ties in closely
with the geographical
landmarks associated with a
Panama Canal ship transit.
Beginning at the Pacific
Anchorage and going to the
Atlantic Breakwater, a donor
will successively move through
15 landmarks along the Canal
depending on his or her level
of giving. Donations are
cumulative. The first transit,

or DONOR level, begins at $1
and is completed when one
contributes $1,500. Donors
with contributions from
$1,501 to $2,000 are
designated as
and will complete their second
transit when they reach

For each additional $1,500
level and, each completed
transit, the donor recognition
level increases from,

All donors are Members of the
Panama Canal Museum and
as such will be entitled to
unlimited free entry to the
museum, periodic
newsletters, and discounts in
the museum gift shop.

A Wall of Honor will recognize
and list all donors. The Wall of
Honor will also reflect the
transit progress of each donor
on his journey or journeys
through the Panama Canal.

Collecting is a Serious Business

The commitment that is
necessary to operate and
maintain a responsible
museum is awesome. The
museum must not only
guarantee that the
collections entrusted to its
care are properly recorded,
catalogued, exhibited and
preserved, but it must also
seek to insure that the
operation is sustainable.

One of the first tasks
undertaken by the
organizers of the museum
was to affiliate with
professional museum and
historical associations
such as the American
Association of Museums,
and the American
Association of State and
Local History. These
professional associations
provide the guidelines,

expertise and reference
material to establish
responsible collection and
preservation policies.
The museum board of
directors has drafted such
policies and is adhering to
them as it builds its
collection of artifacts,
books, documents,
records, photographs and
The purchase of proven
museum accessions,
collections, membership
and donor tracking
software has been
accomplished and all
records are being entered
into the computer-based
system. The software will
provide deeds of
ownership, transfers of
ownership documents,
thank you letters, and

allow the sorting and query
of records collections for
research purposes or
answering inquiries as the
museum capabilities grow.


of artifacts and

collections is another
serious matter. Storage
must be secure and for
many items it must be
temperature and humidity
controlled. The museum's
temporary storage
facilities are all secure,
locked areas. A climate
controlled storage area is
used for those items where
such is required.
The board of directors
places a high level of
importance on responsibly
collecting, cataloguing,
storing and exhibiting the
valuable items that are
entrusted to its care.


commitment that
is necessary to
operate and
maintain a
museum is

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Board of Directors


Joseph J. Wood
Tallahassee, FL

Vice President
Katherine E. Egolf
Pinellas Park, FL

Executive Vice President
Charles W. Hummer, Jr.
Haines City, FL

Joan Ohman
Riverview, FL

Marie Wright Gibson
Houston, TX

Frank A. Baldwin
Coconut Grove, Florida
Reginald M. Hayden, Jr.
Miami, FL
Jack Hern
Zephyrhills, Fl
Robert J. "Bob" Karrer, Jr.
Charleston, SC
William P. McLaughlin
Floral City, FL


Finance Director
Davis Stevenson
Lawrenceville, GA

Development Director
J. Dorn Thomas
Richmond, VA

Buildings & Facilities Director
Chris Skeie
Wesley Chapel, FL

Conservation & Protection Director

Public Relations Director
Lesley M. Hendricks
Beaufort, SC

Oral History Director
Patt Foster Roberson
Baker, LA

Audit Director
Paul Glassburn
Safety Harbor, FL


Richard D. Morgan
Sarasota, Fl.
Tom Peterson
Sarasota, FL
Marc Quinn
Paitilla, Republic of Panama
Lou Seldon
Coral Springs, FL
Bob Zumbado
Orlando, FL

President Joe Wood one of the Founders of
the Panama Canal Museum.

"Volunteers are

one of the keys to

the success of the
museum. We need

them now and we

need them


Volunteers Needed

Museum President, Joe Wood,
says, "As with any community-
based effort, the Panama Canal
Museum is in need of
volunteers to do the many
things that need doing.
Volunteers are one of the
keys to the success of the
museum. We need them
now, and we need them

Volunteers are needed for doing

clerical work, helping curate
and catalog the artifacts,
running the gift shop, moving
items from storage to the
exhibit areas and back again,
assembling exhibits. On and on
the list of opportunities grows.

Graphic artists, painters,
computer whizzes, exhibit
designers, movers and shakers,
these all are needed for a
healthy organization that largely

will rely on volunteers
committed to preserving the
history of the American Era of
the Panama Canal.

If you are interested, please call
the museum or Email and offer
your services. Let us know
what you can offer and how
often you can commit time.

Please help us make this
project a success.

Volunteer Board of Directors meet in
Seminole, Florida.

Panama Canal Museum
8050 Seminole Mall, Suite 306
Seminole, Florida 33772-4712
Phone: 727-319-9338
Fax: 727-394-2737
Email: president@panamacanalmuseum.org

Preserving the History of the American Era

Mailing Label


SPanama Canal Museum Mission

The Panama Canal Society Foundation, Inc., doing business as The Panama Canal Museum, shall
Establish and operate a museum that can be used by present and future generations of scholars,
@ students, genealogists, and others for research and educational purposes and that will preserve the
$ memory of the American Era in Panama. The museum shall collect artifacts, including objects unique @
iM to the Panama Canal, such as books, publications, manuscripts (e.g., letters, diaries, and postcards), i
photographs, maps, machinery, curios, art work, and other pertinent items of historical importance A
and interest. The purpose of the museum is to research, collect, document, catalog, preserve, store,
exhibit, and interpret items that reflect the history of the United States' participation in the
Construction, operation, maintenance, and defense of the Panama Canal as a service to world
t maritime trade. The emphasis is on memorializing the contributions of individuals, families, and t
t organizations of the United States, while at the same time recognizing the involvement of the French, @
West Indians, Panamanians, and others in this unique American enterprise in the twentieth century. IM

Visit the Panama Canal Museum

Our modest offices and
exhibit space are located in
Seminole, Florida on the
outskirts of St. Petersburg.
Located in the same building
as the Panama Canal Society
of Florida, it has provided an
office space, area to curate
and catalog, and three rooms
for exhibits and a small gift
The Panama Canal Museum,
is incorporated in the State of

Florida as a non-profit
educational, historical
corporation known as the
Panama Canal Society
Foundation, Inc.
While its founders all are
members of the Panama
Canal Society of Florida, the
Museum itself is a separate
and independent corporation.
But in recognition of the
mutual objectives of
preserving friendships in the

Panama Canal, the two
organizations are closely
linked both by objectives and
the desire to preserve the
unique society that made up
the Panama Canal.

Until there
volunteers to
museum hou
call and
museum and
to do so.

are sufficient
schedule regular
rs, visitors may
make an
to tour the
are encouraged

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