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P ANAMA" CANALCAAI~ i
David S. Parker
Charles R. Clark
Frank A. Baldwin
Panama Canal Information Officer
PANAMA CAL An
Official Panama Canal Publication
Morgan E. Goad win, Press Officer
Willie K. Friar, Tom6s A. Cupas
Eunice Richard, Fannie P. Hernindez,
Jase T. Tui6n and Luis C. Noli
Review articles may bereprinled without further clearance. Credit to the Review will be appreciated.
Subsciptlions: $1 a year, airmail $2 a year; back copies (regular mail), 50 cents each. Published twice a year.
Make postal money orders payable to the Ponoma Canal Company, Box M, Balboa Heights, C.Z.
Editonal Ofices are located in the Administration Building, Balboo Heights, C.Z. Printed at Ihe Printing Plant, La Boca, C.Z.
The building of the Canal
through the eyes of clhil-
New plans afoot for Pan-
ama's tranquil "Island of
What's In A Name?
Clues to a colorful past in
local place names
Painters Make Striking
Dramatic photographs of
Thatcher Ferry Bridge
being made spic-span
Passing Parade of Ships
Vast armada reflects
Tropical treats for the
Nine million gallons a
year flow from Panama's
Sketches in this issue by Carlos Min-
dez and cartoons by Peter Gurney.
EVERYONE HAS HEARD OF
wicked Captain Fokke who cursed
the Almightly one day 300 years ago
while beating against the wind as he
tried to round Cape Horn. He and his
phantom ship have sailed the seas ever
since haunting all honest mariners.
While assembling pictures of inter-
esting ships using the Panama Canal for
-4 the 6-page feature that appears in this
issue, it was found that nearly every
unusual ship, except the Flying Dutch-
man, has been here at least once.
The Tusitala of New York was no
Flying Dutchman but she was almost
as interesting. In 1929 when she was
'_L still making transits of the Panama
Canal, she was the only United States
flag sailing ship remaining in the trade
S between Atlantic and Pacific ports of
S the United States. In the picture taken
in 1927 showing her in Gatun Locks,
she was on a regular trade route be-
S tween Seattle and Baltimore and at that
time had on board a cargo of magnesite
The Tusitala was built in 1883 in
Greenock, Scotland, and was regarded
as a good example of the fine models
turned out at that time.
Painted a sparkling white and with
every stitch of canvas set taut, the
vessel presented a yacht-like appear-
ance which inspired pride in the hearts
of old sailors.
She was purchased by a group of
men in New York in 1923 and her name
changed to Tusitala or "Story Teller,"
a name conferred by Samoans upon
Robert Louis Stevenson, who spent the
last years of his life in the South Seas.
The formal change of flags was marked
in New York by a ceremony befitting
the occasion, according to an account
of the event. A bottle of champagne was
broken on the bell by \Vill H. Low,
artist, and old friend of "R. L. S.,"
and a few words of benediction were
spoken. Christopher Morley, who was
at the helm, read a letter from Joseph
Conrad addressed to the new owners.
With Bo Str4eu
And Bdqkt Co&u
A FLek New Lok at the
KIDS ARE FUNNY PEOPLE.
And their imagination, when
stirred only slightly, can produce some
pretty fantastic ideas. THE PANAMA
CANAL REVIEW set out to prove this
point by sponsoring a contest among
fifth and sixth grade students in Canal
The children were provided statistics
on such things as the amount of con-
crete used to build the locks, the volume
of material excavated from Gaillard Cut
and the number of holes perforated to
sink dynamite charges during the con-
struction of the Canal. Then they were
asked to use their imagination.
The results were just short of over-
whelming, despite the fact that classes
in the Latin American schools were
nearly over and there was not time to
obtain entries from them.
Renderings came in crayon, pen and
ink, oils and water colors, bright colors
and bold strokes. Many showed amaz-
ing ingenuity and quite a few revealed
a keen sense of humor in the young
artists. One child, obviously feeling
that President Theodore Roosevelt had
adequately summed up the story of
the Canal, painstakingly copied one of
Teddy's better-known quotations and
sent that along as her entry.
On the Covers
The work of the two first-place win-
ners appears on the front and back
covers. Author of the watercolor on the
front cover is 10-year-old Laura Otter,
daughter of Maj. and Mrs. Jason 1. Otter,
of Howard AFB. The back cover is a
crayon drawing by Ted Osborne, 11,
son of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore M.
Osborne of Panama City. Ted's father
is employed at Fort Amador. Though
both children have been on the Isthmus
less than a year, they have already
learned much about the Canal and its
history in school and through their own
The first-place winners received a
plaque on which is mounted a piece of
rock from Gaillard Cut, a 3-month pass
to any Panama Canal movie theater,
and were taken on a comprehensive
tour of the printing plant, where they
learned about offset printing from real
Veteran lithographer Juan Fernmn-
dez V. explained to the children
how their original artwork was photo-
graphed, color separations and plates
made, before the printing process ac-
tually began. Laura and Ted were
given proofs of each of the four colors
used in printing the cover-red, yellow,
blue, and black-to show their class-
mates at school.
The workings of the offset press,
where the final product rolls off, were
explained by Mario B. Rivera.
Drawings and paintings selected for
second prize and those chosen for hon-
orable mention are reproduced on the
next two pages. Two hundred and fifty-
two students from both sides of the
Isthmus entered the contest. V. C.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
Thed c+-hca k l
OU- o f'r-.CQono'lI
COu\d W&cld I
Grade 6, Ancon
^*:-,^. Nancy Rodr~ ^guez^
" ? EXCAVATED DIRT
F-ROI CANAL -
7 CVEREST g
Jerri Love, Second Prize
Grade 5, Fort Gulick
Grade 6, Margarita
Grade 6, Balboa
Rodolfo Mon Connie Hallada
Grade 5, Margarita Grade 6, Diablo Heights
Grade 5. Fort Gulick
Grade 6, Margarita
Grade 6, Gamboa
Grade 5, Margarita
Grade 5, Fort Gulick
Grade 6, Los Rios
Grade 6, Balboa
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
By Jos6 T. Tufi6n
Architectural drawing showing some of the 55 modern cabins to be constructed on the ad
cent island of El Morro as a part of the hotel complex that will include the Taboga Hot
LOSELY LINKED TO THE
colorful history of Panama. Ihhe
picturesque island of Taboga has kiiom n
the fury of marauding pirates, the intol-
erance of the Conquistadores, the bold-
ness of the Gold Rush adventurers, and
the glory of producing a saint. Through
it all the island has remained unsullied.
An idyllic hilly island in Panama Bay,
reminiscent of Capri, Taboga is only
about 12 nautical miles, or an hour by
launch, from Panama City. Its proximity
and its white sand beaches have made
it a prime candidate for further develop-
ment by the Republic of Panama Tourist
Plans are now afoot to build a hotel
complex which would include the pres-
ent Hotel Taboga and 55 modern cabins
to be constructed on El Morro, a small
adjacent island. It would be adminis-
tered bv the Hvatt International Hotel
Although Vasco Niisez de Balboa, the
first Spaniard to set foot on the small
dot of land, called it St. Peter's Island,
the Indian name of the ruling cacique
prevailed and nearly 450 years after its
founding, the island still maintains the
simplicity and flavor of bygone days.
Typical of the Spanish colonial set-
tlements in the New World, the little
ja- town of Taboga sprang up around the
tel. church. Its narrow streets, now paved,
are barely wide enough for the passage
of the few vehicles on the island.
The absence of traffic noises and ex-
haust fumes to pollute the clean sea
breezes and the magnificent view of
velvet sea and ships from far-off lands
waiting to enter the Canal have made
Taboga a favorite weekend retreat for
Panama and Canal Zone residents and
a year-round tourist attraction.
Quiet rural lanes fully skirted by a
profusion of bougainvillea and hibiscus
blooms in red, white, and pink, accen-
tuated by the fragrance of roses and
sweet jasmine, give Taboga the atmos-
phere of an eternal garden and the name
"Island of Flowers."
During the Spanish conquest, Tabo-
ga's inhabitants were virtually elimi-
nated. When a decree by Charles V put
an end to slavery, only about 700 slaves
remained in Panama and its environs;
the majority of these had been brought
from Venezuela and Nicaragua. Among
them were a handful of native slaves
who became the settlers of Taboga.
A new village was founded in 1524
by Padre Hernando de Luque, dean of
the Panama cathedral. He built a com-
fortable house on the island and re-
mained there most of the time. It was
Padre Luque who provided funds and
blessed Francisco Pizarro and Diego de
No traffic noises disturb the
quiet of Panama's historic
"Island of Flowers"
El Morro played an important role in world shipping a little over 100 years ago when the
Pacific Steamship Navigation Co. established its Panama headquarters there. Many forty-
niners en route to California spent their "waiting" days in Taboga boarding houses.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
I-I- ~ c--I'- _~ J~i~...~
Taking advantage of
low tide, visitors walk
over to the
island of El Morro,
where the U.S. Navy
had a "mosquito boat"
training base during
World War II.
Almagro before they set off from Ta-
boga on their conquest of the flourishing
In addition to his church duties, he
raised fruits and vegetables on the fer-
tile soil of Taboga, devoting much of
his time to his pineapple plantations.
S Padre Luque's pineapples could well be
the progenitors of the pineapple patches
that pepper the island today.
Taboganos still recall the venerable
priest by referring to a crystaline pool
in the folds of Picacho del Vigia, the
highest point on the island, as the
Santa Rosa de Lima
They remember, too, that Santa Rosa
de Lima, the first saint of this hemi-
sphere, was conceived in Taboga. Ac-
cording to Don Manuel Pefiuela, for
many years a municipal official in Ta-
boga, the parents of the young girl who
.. ... "' was later to be canonized, had lived in
S a charming house on the beach, now
t. owned by Sefiora Abigail Pacheco de
Taboga's wholesome, healthy atmos-
phere has been recognized since colo-
nial days when Panama City residents
flocked to the island during epidemics
or for a respite from the city heat. On
S several occasions, Taboga has been un-
officially the summer capital of Panama,
especially during the terms of President
._l Belisario Porras.
The Panama Tourist Bureau operates
An ancient anchor frames a scene of narrow flower-bordered lanes curving past small white a modern hotel on the island, which is
houses and Tahoga's historic church, where the little town sprang up during the Colonial era. the headquarters of numerous water
8 SPRING 1972
sports activities held during the year.
Pleasure boats from Panama and yachts
from all parts of the world may be seen
anchored in front of the hotel throughout
Hotel Chu, a two-story wooden struc-
ture built on the beach after the turn of
the century, offers adequate but not lux-
urious comfort and spectacular vistas of
Facing Hotel Taboga and linked to
the island at low tide by a sandbar, is
El Morro, a small rocky islet, where
at the end of the 17th century the
Spaniards established a fort to defend
During the wars of Independence in
Latin America, it was the three cannons
on El Morro, manned by 10 Spanish
soldiers, that fought off the attacks of
John Illingworth, in 1819. During a
second attack, however, the invaders
took Taboga, the inhabitants fleeing to
the hills. Three of the invaders were
killed and buried by the villagers, who
marked their graves with wooden
crosses. With the passing of the years,
cast iron crosses embedded in a mortar
base, replaced the wooden markers. To
this day, Taboganos in the vicinity of
"Las Tres Cruces" never fail to light a
candle in memory of the three who
dared to disturb the peace of their little
A little over 100 years ago, El Morro
played an important role in world ship-
ping. The Pacific Steamship Navigation
Co., an English company with ships ply-
ing between England and the Pacific
ports of South America, extended its
route to include Panama. Aware of the
abundance of supplies and potable
water and general healthy conditions on
the islet, the company purchased El
Morro. They built workshops, a ship
repair facility, supply stores and a coal-
ing station and brought over hundreds
of Irishmen to work in the supply base.
It was at about this time, too, that the
49'ers discovered the healthy aspects of
Taboga. many of them spending their
"waiting" days in boarding houses there.
A trace of Anglo-Saxon names can still
be seen on sparkling white tombstones
in the cemetery.
The Golden Age
Taboga was the seat of government
for all the islands in the Gulf of Panama,
including the Perlas Islands. Islanders
prospered and it was the Golden Age of
Taboga. Prosperity continued until sev-
eral years later when the Pacific Steam
transferred its shops to Callao, Peru.
Taboga Island had an important role
in the construction of the Canal. In
1883, during the French effort to con-
struct a Panama Canal, they built a
25-bed sanatorium on Taboga for ailing
and convalescing employees of the com-
pany. A few years later, in the grim
battle with disease, the French built a
50-bed, $400,000 sanatorium on the
This building was taken over by the
United States in 1905 as a rest and
recuperation center for Canal construc-
tion workers. It served this purpose
until January 1915, when it became a
vacation resort for employees and
their families and was known as Hotel
The Aspinwall was converted into an
internment camp for German prisoners
during World War I. After the war it
was once again a hotel and recreation
center and was the hub of Taboga's
social life until 1945. The Aspinwall is
gone but many an Isthmian still recalls
this hotel on the beach at Taboga and
the part it played in social activities of
that bygone era.
During World War II, the U.S. Navy
had a "mosquito boat" training base on
El Morro. The heroic record of these
boats in the Pacific theater of war
proved the efficiency of the officers and
sailors on El Morro.
Today, a modern aid to aerial naviga-
tion, at the top of Picacho del Vigia,
guides all aircraft to the Isthmus.
Numerous legends and romantic
myths have been woven into the tradi-
tions and folklore of the island. Among
these is the celebration of a water fes-
tival on July 16 in honor of the Virgin
of El Carmen, the patron saint of Tabo-
ga. A number of boats, usually led by
the most luxurious vacht of the Panama
Yacht and Fishing Club carrying a
statue of the Virgin, sail in a procession
around the island. The procession in-
cludes pleasure boats of all types and
sizes and pangas, the flat-bottom canoes
used by the fishermen, all beautifully
decorated for the occasion with the
occupants singing praises to their patron
According to Taboga lore, many
years ago, a pirate ship attempted to
attack the island and as the invaders
neared the beach, an enormous army
headed by a beautiful woman appeared,
ready to meet the onset. The pirates
were terrorized by the vision and fled
back to their boat. One who did make
it to the beach was even more mortified
when he learned that there was no such
army, much less a beautiful woman
leading it. To this day, Taboganos are
convinced that it was the Virgin of
El Carmen who saved them.
A popular swimming
hole is the "Bishop's
Pool," named for Father
Luque, the founder of
Taboganos often light
candles before the three
crosses which mark the
graves of invaders who
attacked the island in
the early 19th century.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
T HE ROOSEVELT CANAL, HAN-
na Locks I, II, and III, the Sea
of Hanna and Hanna Dam. Ever hear
of these places?
They might well have been the names
of the Panama Canal, Miraflores, Gatun,
and Pedro Miguel Locks, and Gatun
Lake and Dam, except for the consistent
spirited resistance of Gov. George W.
Davis, Gov. M. L. Walker, and others
who followed after them.
From the time the first shovelful of
dirt was turned, the Canal administra-
tion maintained a resolute policy of
preserving historic geographical names
despite repeated efforts to change them
to honor various individuals.
As early as June 28, 1904, John Bige-
low, of New York, in a letter carefully
written in Spencerian script, suggested
to President Theodore Roosevelt, that
all of the locks of the Canal be named
for "the late Senator Hanna, a statesman
and friend of the Isthmian Canal." He
also suggested that Gatun Lake be
called the Hanna Sea, and the port city
of Cristobal be known "simply as
The letter was forwarded to Cov.
George W. Davis, who, though at that
time much more concerned with the
building than with the naming of locks
and towns, made it quite clear that he
was not in favor of changing well-known
local names. Expressing his opinion in a
letter to the President, he added, "After
the greatest engineering work of the
world is accomplished there will be time
enough, it seems to me, to decide upon
the names of the ports at its principal
entrances; the course that was followed
in respect to the Suez Canal."
But this was only the beginning of
efforts to rename the locks and Canal
Zone towns that continued until recent
In April 1928, a joint resolution was
introduced in the House of Representa-
tives that Gatun Locks be named to
honor Maj. Gen. George W. Goethals,
chief engineer of the Panama Canal
from 1907 to 1912 and former Governor
of the Canal Zone; that Pedro Miguel
be named for John F. Stevens, chief en-
gineer from 1905 to 1907; and Mira-
flores be changed to Sibert to honor
Brig. Gen. William L. Sibert, division
engineer of the Atlantic Division, 1907
The resolution also called for the
naming of the dam which was known
as "Alhajuela" for Congressman Martin
B. Madden, chairman of the Appropria-
tions Committee, which obtained the
funds for building it.
Local sentiment was against all of
the proposals and the names of the
locks remained the same, but the name
of the dam was changed to Madden
even though a local newspaper con-
ducted a campaign for retaining the
historic name, "Alhajuela" which means
In resisting the changes, Gov. M. L
Walker pointed out "It is proposed to
name Gatun Locks, which were built
by Sibert, after General Goethals, and
Miraflores Locks, which were built by
Mr. S. B. Williamson, after General
Sibert. General H. F. Hodges, who was
largely responsible for the design of all
the Locks is neglected."
Governor Walker recommended in-
stead of the suggested change of names
that a Panama Canal Memorial Hall be
built in the Canal Zone containing
tablets which would give the full his-
tory of American achievement on the
Isthmus and set forth the part played
by every individual prominently con-
nected with the work.
It was proposed in 1928 that the
name of the Canal be changed to honor
President Theodore Roosevelt. Gov-
ernor Walker expressed his disapproval
of this also and said, "The Panama
Canal has been so called since the
French Company first started work.
The Canal is so known throughout the
world. To change its name now will
prove very confusing and for many
years, even if the change of name is
made, the world will continue to refer
to it as the Panama Canal."
He mentioned as proof that names
are not easily changed that in 1915,
President Wilson signed an Executive
Order changing the name of Culebra
Cut, the excavation through the Con-
tinental Divide, to Gaillard Cut to honor
Lt. Col. David Gaillard, who was in
charge of the work there from 1907 to
1913. He pointed out that the name,
Culebra, which means snake, has per-
sisted. It is still used today by many
residents of the Canal Zone and Panama.
The Spanish names of the locks are
geographic ones, already in common
usage for these sites before the locks
were built, and looking into how the
areas happened to get their names leads
one far back into Isthmian history. In
the case of Gatun, on the Atlantic side
of the Isthmus evidence indicates that
it took its name from the river which
appears on Spanish maps as early as
On the Isthmus, as in other places, it
appears that names were first applied
to rivers and streams, often with a de-
scriptive adjective to characterize a
particular body of water.
This seems true with the Gatun River
which some believe was named for "el
gato," the cat, because of its smooth
running feline quality. (Records show
that beginning about 1882 the river
was called the Gatuncillo.) There are
What, In a nIae?
By Willie K. Friar
still some local people, however, who
insist that the name came from "gatu-
nero," seller of smuggled meat, since
the area around Gatun was once known
as a place where stolen cattle were
brought for sale to travelers.
Of the three locks, the name of Pedro
M\l~,ul, pronounced "Peter Magill" by
most Americans living in the Canal
Zone, arouses the most curiosity and
provokes numerous arguments and dis-
Pedro Miguel's Cabin
One oldtimer reports that he remem-
bers well the story he heard while still
a boy that Pedro Miguel was the name
of a railroad section foreman. There
was no town there in the old days and
the stop on the Panama Railroad was
known simply as "Pedro Miguel's
Cabin." Others insist that the name was
originally San Pedro Miguel-St. Peter
Michael-the name the Spanish gave the
river which is near the town.
An 1867 history of the Panama Rail-
road refers to the river as "a narrow
tidewater tributary of the Rio Grande"
which the railroad crossed on an iron
bridge. Others say that the area was
named by the French to honor a saint
and then translated into Spanish.
But further research indicates that
the name goes back still farther in his-
tory. Early accounts of the conquista-
dores in Panama mention a soldier
named Pedro Miguel, a contemporary
of De Soto, and a 1729 Spanish map
shows a hill named Cerro Pedro Miguel
as well as the river, Rio Miguel.
Miraflores, which means "look at
flowers" was not chosen because flowers
were growing where the Pacific side
locks are located. It was actually a
The name dates far back in Isthmian
history but a check of old records gives
no clue as to how, why, or when the
name was first applied to this area. It is
a common Spanish surname and chances
are that Miraflores was named for an
individual during Spanish colonial days.
There are several South American coun-
tries with towns of this name.
Many other place names date far
back in the history of the Isthmus and
retaining them in the face of campaigns
by congressmen and others bent on
honoring builders of the Canal has not
been an easy task.
Most Canal Zone towns are still called
by their original names. There was an
attr-mpt by a congressman to change the
hisftric name of Gamboa to Goethals.
= ^~-- A.
Lynn Niswander, student assistant with the Canal organization, points out a river named
Miguel on a 1729 map in a book of Spanish maps at the Canal Zone Library. Early Spanish
maps of Panama show that many local geographic names can be traced far back in the
history of the Isthmus. A hill named Cerro Pedro Miguel also appears on this map.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
Gamboa, the home of the Canal's
Dredging Division, which first came to
prominence when the French Company
began excavation, is the Spanish name
of a fruit tree of the quince family. It is
also a well-known surname still found
today in Panama and Spain. Since the
tree is not native to Panama, it seems
likely that the name goes back to some
of the early Spanish explorers.
Ancon, an old Pacific side settlement,
is considered by many to be the most
sonorous of Canal Zone names. The
name, which goes back hundreds of
years in Isthmian history, means anchor
age. In 1545, Pizarro, seeking to control
the Isthmus of Panama and its rich
ports, sent two expeditions from Peru.
The first pillaged the old city of Pan-
ama before it was recalled. The second
was divided into forces, one of which,
under Rodrigo de Carbajal, landed at
"Ancon, a small cove 2 leagues from
Panama." Later, Ancon was particularly
known for the French hospital located
Margarita, on the Atlantic side of
the Isthmus, got its name from the little
island which is now Fort Randolph, but
where the island originally got its name
is lost in history.
Next to Colon, on a coral reef, the
French dumped spoil from their canal
and on this artificial plateau they built
warehouses, shops, round houses, office
buildings, and quarters. They named
this section Christophe Colomb, or
Christopher Columbus. It was an easy
step from the French "Christophe" to
the Spanish "Cristobal."
The Pacific terminus of the Canal was
not called Balboa until 1909. The name
was suggested by the Peruvian Minister
to Panama, who advanced the idea that
the southern terminal of the Panama
Canal should honor the discoverer of
the Pacific Ocean, just as the northern
terminal honored the discoverer of the
new world. Up to that time, the two
Pacific side settlements at the southern
end of the Canal were known as Old
La Boca and New La Boca, which
means the mouth.
Some of the new Canal Zone towns
got their names by popular vote. Among
these are Curundu, Rainbow City, and
The area now known as Curundu was
once called Skunk Hollow. But some
residents decided that it should be
changed and suggested Jungle Glen as
a more fitting name. Others were for
keeping the name of Skunk Hollow.
An editorial in The Star & Herald of
March 18, 1943, was in favor of retain-
ing the name stating: "Friends of tradi-
tion and Skunk Hollow need to arouse
themselves if they want to save the
name. They deserve encouragement.
This world tends to become a dreary
and orthodox place. Whatever piquancy
and humor is inherent in the name of
Skunk Hollow should be preserved for
the coming generations. They, to
whom the old place has the associations
of home and friends, cling to the old
name. They might agree that a rose by
any other name would smell as sweet
but not Skunk Hollow."
A letter to the Panama American
urged compromise. The writer said:
"We do not suggest that the warring
factions compromise by agreeing to
such a name as Jungle Hollow, although
something might be said for such a
name. But we see no reason why every-
one could not at once agree to the adop-
tion of the name Skunk Glen. This
would retain the saltiness of the original
name and would preserve the memories
of the oldtimers. At the same time it
would constitute a decided concession
to the aesthetes. Let's make it Skunk
Glen and return to the business of
winning the war."
The problem was solved by ballot
and a headline announced the result,
"Skunk Glenners Vote Overwhelmingly
for Name Curundu." Curundu was the
name of the little river nearby. It is a
historic name, which has been spelled
a variety of ways, but the exact meaning
is not known.
By Popular Ballot
The new town of Los Rios was named
by popular ballot in 1954 with Sibert
and Alhajuela being considered also as
Pedro Miguel 6boa /
possible choices. The streets had already
been named for local rivers and it was
decided that it would be fitting to call
the town, "the rivers."
Rainbow City was named following
a contest, sponsored by the PANAMA
CANAL REVIEW. The name was sug-
gestcd because of the pastel or rainbow
colors of the houses. Even the sewage
disposal plant is a cheerful pale green.
Paraiso, near Pedro Miguel Locks,
which means paradise, was a stop on
the "dry season trail" between the At-
lantic and Pacific and early Canal Zone
legend has it that Sir Henry Morgan
first saw Old Panama from a hilltop
near Paraiso. It was also a headquarters
for one of the working sections of the
French Canal Company.
During the 1850's when surveyors
and engineers were laying out the rail-
road line, they found a pass which led
into what F. N. Otis, a few years later.
described as "the beautiful undulating
valley of Paraiso, or Paradise, sur-
rounded by high conical hills where
Nature in weird profusion seems to have
expended her choicest wealth."
Middle of 16th Century
The Pacific side community of Diablo
Heights can be traced as far back as
the middle of the 16th century. Accord-
ing to Isthmian histories, the narrow
Isthmus of Panama was terrorized by
bands of Cimarrones, runaway Negro
slaves, who preyed upon the treasure
trains on the Camino Real. They be-
came such a threat to life and property
that the Spanish viceroy sent expedi-
tions to clean them out. They managed
to evade their attackers and in 1552
were granted recognition by the Gov-
ernor of the Province.
At that time, they had three main
villages, one of which was called Diablo
or Devil. It was located near the present
site of Diablo Heights. In 1940, the
Canal Zone director of posts objected
to the decision to name the post office,
which was located there until March 31,
1961, Diablo Heights pointing out there
was already considerable confusion over
Balboa and Quarry Heights which were
often written as "Q Heights" and
"B Heights." He suggested Cerro Dia-
blo which would retain the name but
put it all in Spanish, but the Governor
decided to keep the name and Diablo
Heights it remains.
Names sometimes are the result of
mistakes or misunderstandings. A good
example of this in the United States
is Nome, Alaska, which received its
name because a mapmaker misunder-
stood the note his supervisor had placed
on the map. Not knowing the name of
the place, he had written the question,
"Name?" and the mapmaker misread it
and wrote in Nome.
Darien, which once was the name of
the entire Isthmus, but now identifies a
province of the Republic of Panama,
was an Indian word misunderstood by
Balboa. When Balboa arrived at the
coast of the Isthmus he came upon a
river whose name the Spaniards phonet-
ically translated as "Tarona." The tend-
ency to change the letter "T" to "D"
changed the name to Dariena and
Darven. Due to the consistent substitu-
tion of the letter "i" for the letter "y"
in words which have the latter in their
center, it finally became Darien. The in-
correct name was immortalized in the
famous although historically inaccurate
stanza of Keats "Endymion" . "Cortez
with eagle eyes . silent on a peak in
There are still sporadic attempts to
change the names of the locks, town-
sites, and streets of the Canal Zone but
chances seem good that the long-time
policy of the Canal Zone to maintain
historical place names will continue.
And it is likely that there will still be
spirited arguments concerning such
place names as Red Tank, Empire, Ta-
bernilla (little tavern), Ahorca Lagarto
(hang an alligator), and Matachin.
Matachin had already become such
a subject of discussion that Governor
Davis took time out from the business of
running the Canal Zone to discuss it in
the Canal Record of December 25, 1907.
He wrote: "It may seem almost heart-
less to shatter and destroy the beliefs of
the oldest as well as the youngest Isth-
mian inhabitants respecting the history
of the name of Matachin, which is
known to all Panamanians as that of a
station on the line of the Panama
Although many local people insisted
that it meant "Kill a Chinaman," the
Governor went on to debunk the story,
still told today, that the name denoted
the site of a camp for Chinese railroad
workers who committed suicide by
drowning, hanging and throwing them-
selves in front of passing locomotives.
Then referring to a map published in
1684 "more than 200 years before the
Chinese tired of life on the Isthmus (if
they ever did)," he pointed out that a
place of that name was known to the
Buccaneers. It may have been the stop-
ping place where the butcher, whose
occupation it designates, supplied the
weary travelers with fresh meat.
It has been said of Panama that there
are few other places on earth where so
much of the history of the civilized
world has been enacted with so little
trace of it remaining. But clues are
there, for the observant, in the names of
places along the Canal and through-
out the Isthmus where historical names
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
pr Jr..- ri .
-- a- *
By Vic Canel
O UR PHOTOGRAPHER GOT HIGH
recently. High on the Thatcher
Ferry Bridge to get some dramatic pic-
tures of painting crews as they tackled
the annual dry season project.
More than 300 feet above the Canal's
Pacific entrance, he walked the 12-inch-
wide beams without a hint of acropho-
bia, as painters worked on the second
half of the cantilever arch to complete
the last phase of the 5-year painting
The bridge is painted in sections: First
the underside from the east embank-
ment to the center span; then the under-
side from the west embankment to the
center span; then the trolley under the
bridge; and finally the cantilever arch is
painted in two installments.
Each section is given two coats of
aluminum paint and it takes about 1,050
gallons-enough to paint about 1,400
average size bedrooms-should anyone
Up for a breath of fresh air-or to enjoy
the spectacular view, painter
Alberto Caballero takes a short break
from his chore of painting
the inside of this steel beam on the
Thatcher Ferry Bridge.
Tied in a boatswain's chair, a painter
works on one of the upright steel beams
high above the Pacific entrance
of the Canal.
be interested in an aluminum bedroom.
In addition, about 750 gallons of red
lead are used each vear to prevent
Preparations for the dry season paint
job begin in December, when 20 men
are hired on a temporary basis to pre-
pare the rigging and scaffolding. Then,
in January, another 30 men are hired to
do the chipping, scraping and actual
painting, which usually is completed
about the end of April. Annual cost of
the bridge maintenance is close to a
quarter of a million dollars.
Strict safety rules are enforced and
each workday starts with a safety meet-
ing. "You only make one mistake up
there," says Robert E. Budreau, general
foreman, buildings, who has been re-
sponsible for the job from the start of
the present 5-year cycle.
Despite 25- to 35-mile-an-hour winds,
no worker has ever fallen from the
bridge, Budreau says-not even a pho-
t ic .99.9.9
9 9 .9 t 9. 9
+ C 9.
C C .*9.
HIGH OV[R TH[ I
Painters Make Striking Pictures
The dramatic photos on these pages are
the work of Arthur L. Pollack,
who was snapped by
a coworker as he walked the
beams high atop the Thatcher Ferry
Bridge in search of
unusual camera angles.
Silhouetted against a clear dry season sky,
workers apply aluminum paint
to a "forty five"-the big 45-degree
steel beams in the bridge superstructure.
Traffic across Thatcher Ferry Bridge moves along in two lanes
nearly 200 feet below as workmen Alvin J. Staples,
in white T-shirt, and Jos6 G. GonzAlez
proceed with dry season painting.
These two men are responsible for
keeping the bridge shipshape.
They are veteran Canal employees
Robert E. Budreau, left,
general foreman, buildings, and
lead foreman, painter.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
missing Parade of Ship,
GRACEFUL SAILING SHIPS NO
longer transit the Panama Canal
with the frequency they did in 1914.
The little plodding tankers and cargo
ships that took on coal at Cristobal, and
made their way stolidly across the Pa-
cific, have been replaced by 825-foot
tankers and container ships that travel
at more than 25 knots.
Ship traffic through the Panama
Canal has reflected the progress of the
world from the horse and buggy age,
when ships sailed with the wind, to the
atomic age, when a nuclear power plant
may be the source of energy.
Sailing vessels, palatial yachts, sturdy
tugs, whaling fleets, offshore oil drilling
rigs and ships on scientific expeditions
all have been a part of the great stream
of traffic which has moved through the
Panama Canal or visited the terminal
ports during the 57 years that the Canal
has been opened to world traffic. During
that time there have been more than
The war "to make the world safe for
democracy" was just beginning in 1914
when the SS Ancon made her initial
transit through the newly opened
waterway at Panama. The huge cranes
Ajax and Hercules, manufactured in Ger-
many, barely made their way across
the Atlantic before Germany and Britain
closed the sea to shipping. Transports
filled with British troops from down
under came north as the war began
and returned as the war ended.
The Pacific Fleet returned through
the Canal at the end of hostilities and
an expedition led by Rear Adm. Richard
E. Byrd came south on its way to dis-
cover the frozen Antarctic. The U.S.
Navy frigate Constitution, launched in
1797 and famed in history as "Old
Ironsides," arrived at Cristobal in 1932
on a public inspection trip to the West
Coast. Old Ironsides was towed through
the Canal in 9 hours and 23 minutes
and spent time in drydock in Balboa in
preparation for the trip to California.
As the traffic through the Canal grew
during the years before and after World
War II, improvements in the Canal
facilities resulted in channel lighting,
widening in the Gaillard Cut area, and
new towing locomotives.
Almost as important as the first full
transit of the Canal in 1914 was the
first nighttime transit of the 665-foot
bulk carrier Allen D. Christensen early
in 1966. This was the largest commer-
cial vessel ever to make the complete
transit after dark.
The longest ship to transit the Canal
was the old German American Line
cruise ship Bremen that passed through
the Canal southbound in February
1939. Her overall length of 936.8 feet
has never been surpassed. The widest
ship was the U.S. Missouri which tran-
sited in September 1952. Her measure-
ments were 888 feet in length with
beam of 108 feet.
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The passage of 33 vessels of the Pacific Fleet, 30 of them in only
2 days, July 24 and 25, 1919, constituted the largest operation in the
Canal up to that date. The ships, many recently from the war zone,
were handled in groups with a Canal pilot in charge of three de-
stroyers. Before transit, they took on large orders of coal and fuel oil.
The USN "Hayes," one of the first catamarans operated by the U.S.
Navy Sealift Command under the sponsorship of the Naval Research
Laboratory, passes through en route from California in September
1971. Constructed specifically to conduct acoustic research for anti-
submarine warfare application, it has space for bulky equipment.
M~Ize f~Xa3XM3L 4
One of the most complicated and
costly transits was made by a fleet of
inactive floating U.S. Navy drydocks
moving from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
Since they were too wide to fit the locks
thev were turned on their sides at the
former Mechanical Division in Balboa
and towed through the Canal by Pan-
ama Canal tugs. Even on their sides,
the drydocks got a clearance in the
locks chambers of only 6 feet 9 inches.
All of the five drydocks had to be re-
turned to a horizontal position in Cris-
tobal and prepared for sea.
In recent years, the Panama Canal
has made efforts to accommodate almost
any type of vessel that can be fitted into
or over the locks. Plans were made last
November to take care of a proposed
catamaran drilling rig so large that it
would fit in two lock lanes simultane-
ously and straddle the control houses as
it was locked through. The Canal
authorities were game and gave the
green light to a U.S. west coast ship
building corporation that had made
plans to build the gargantuan vessel.
The builders, however, have postponed
plans for the time being.
Already beginning service are a fleet
of container ships, some up to 950 feet
in length that will travel between
Europe and the Far East at a service
speed of 26 knots. The first, the Kama-
kura Maru of the NYK Line, went
through in January.
Not all ships that pass through the
Panama Canal these days are outsized.
Recently a whole fleet of mini-freight-
ers, newest of the growing number of
small highly automated cargo ships,
started passing through the waterway
from Corinto, Nicaragua to New Or-
leans by way of Turbo, Colombia and
Pensacola, Fla. They measure in at 215
feet in length and have a cargo capacity
of 3,000 tons in containers or bulk cargo.
Anxcoin to txhe
Quite a contrast to the record cargo of
60,391 long tons on board the Arctic
transiting March 1970.
Then there was the smallest boat
ever to transit. Appropriately named
Ancon II, a shipshape 3-foot-long model
cruiser went northbound May 23, 1970.
The radio-controlled craft was guided
by a chase boat manned by Air Force
Maj. Kenneth Thomas, her owner-
builder, and veteran Panama Canal
Pilot Capt. William T. Lyons. The pas-
sage through the Canal was guided at
all times by the Marine Traffic con-
trollers in Balboa. The Canal's smallest
customer took more than 12 hours to
transit and paid 72 cents in tolls.
Of the world fleet of ships, which
numbers over 19,000 vessels of 1,000
gross tons and over, more than 800 are
too wide to fit into the locks and over
500 more oversize ships are under
construction or on order. E. R.
Officially opening the Panama Canal, August 15, 1914, the old SS
"Ancon" nears midway point in her 50-mile journey. The ship had
been used as a cement carrier during construction days and after
the Canal was opened was converted into a transport for Canal
employees. It ran between Cristobal and New York via Haiti.
:.- '.. .. ...
United States Lines' Lancer class "American Astronaut," one of 16
mammoth high-speed container ships in the company's fastest tri-
continent services returns from the Far East to the Port of New
York. The trim giant transports her full share of the line's inven-
tory of over 20,000 freight containers filled with general cargo.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
The Canal Takes All Types
Round-shaped or egg-shaped
As long as they are shipshape
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A strange craft named "Sea Egg" by its
owner-skipper John C. Riding, went through
the Canal in September 1967 on its way
around the world. The "Sea Egg" has an
overall length of only 11.9 feet and a 5.3-
Assisted by a Panama Canal tug, a large Coast Guard navigational buoy known as a LNB,
moves through Miraflores Locks. It represents a new generation of highway markers for
marine traffic. The hull supports a 38-foot tower which has a 7,500 candlepower light.
One of the most complicated transits was made hy a fleet of floating U.S. Navy drydocks
moving from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Too wide to fit in the locks, thev were
turned on their sides and towed through the Canal. When they reached Cristobal,
they were righted and again made ready to put out to sea and continue their journey.
36-inch SS "Ancon II" chugs north through
Miraflores Locks. The radio controlled 3-foot
model cruiser is the smallest vessel to transit.
_i ,----- --
The amphibious jeep "Tortuga" is dwarfed by the tanker "Cristobal" as it is locked
through Pedro Miguel in May 1955. The "Tortuga," owned by Frank and Helen Schreider
of Alaska, was en route to the southern tip of South America via highway and sea. The jeep
was given the same service as a full fledged commercial ship up to and including a pilot.
Capt. Robert Rennie sits on top of the small seagoing vehicle for lack of a bridge.
Three pieces of floating equipment-one drilling rig and two deep sea drilling ships with rigs
towering from 204 to 208 feet above the waterline arrived here in February 1970. They
were the "Glomar Challenger," one of the newest and largest of the vessels conducting ocean
bottom research; the "Big John," an oil drilling rig being towed to Borneo from Texas; and
the giant deep water drilling vessel "Navigator," which was en route from Texas to Australia.
Under tow of a seagoing tug, the derrick
barge "Choctaw" squeezes through Mira-
flores Locks with only 2 feet to spare. It
made its first transit August 9, 1969, on its
way to a drilling project near Australia.
,rt ft~ i
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One of the most unusual ships to transit the Canal was the American flag cable ship "Long
Lines," the largest cable laying and repair ship in the world. It is the first commercially
owned and operated cable laying ship sailing under the flag of the United States.
A Russian cruise liner "Shota Rustaveli" ties up at Balboa with British cruise passengers
aboard. The vessel was one of five Soviet ships that transited the Canal one weekend early
in March of this year. She has made several trips through the waterway in recent months.
Chugging along through Gaillard Cut is the
side paddlewheel steam tug "Eppleton
Hall," one of the last survivors of her type.
The Spanish training ship "Juan Sebastian
Elcano" with more than 100 cadets aboard,
moves north through Miraflores Locks.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
The U.S. Navy frigate "Constitution,"
launched in 1797 and famed in the history
of the United States as "Old Ironsides,"
arrived at Cristobal the evening of Decem-
ber 22, 1932, from Washington, D.C., via
Guantanamo. After a 4-day stay at Cristo-
bal, the vessel transited on December 27.
Lashed to the U.S. "Bittern," the German
Submarine U-88 moves through Pedro Mi-
guel Locks. One of five surrendered sub-
marines taken to the United States for ex-
hibition, it arrived at Cristobal August 6,
1919, en route to San Diego for display.
L .* l I '2" <
The New Zealand transport "Willoera" dis-
plaied this strange zebra-like camouflage
when it went through Gaillard Cut in 1919
with a load of New Zealand troops. This
type of protective painting seems strange
today as methods of camouflage have
changed radically since World War I.
Submarines C-I to C-5 comprising the First
Division of the U.S. Navy submarine flotilla
which had been stationed at Cristobal since
December 12, 1913, were placed in drydock
in the east chamber of the upper level
of Catun Locks Monday, March 9, 1914.
Four catchers of the Norwegian whaling
fleet that transited in 1951, lock down
together in Pedro Miguel. The 14 catchers
and their 22,000-ton mother ship, "Thor-
shovi," transited October 17. They carried
565 men. The mother ship with a crew
of 285 and each catcher a crew of 20.
U.S. Naval personnel and a number of their
dependents perch on the deck of the U.S.
Nasy's newest Polaris Missile submarine
"Daniel Boone" as it passes through Mira-
flores Locks. The nuclear powered sub was
the first of its type to use the Panama Canal.
The NS "Savannah," the world's first nuclear powered merchant ship, arrived at Cristohal
September 16, 1962, for a history-making transit of the Canal en route to the Seattle World's
Fair. Her nuclear reactor has the capacity to take her around the world 14 times without
refueling. She was built by the United States to demonstrate peaceful use of atomic energy.
The "La Valley," the first steam vessel to
pass from ocean to ocean through the Canal
leaves Miraflores lower chamber January 7,
1914. before the Canal was officially opened.
The Belgian flag ship "Temse," the largest commercial vessel to transit since the passenger
liner "Bremen," which still holds the record, moves on her way from Rotterdam to Chile in
December 1971. She measures 875 feet in length and has a beam of 104 feet. Traveling in
ballast, she paid only $22,333.68 in tolls. She was en route to Peru to pick up bulk ore.
Two Italian passenger liners pass in Gatun Lake. The Lloyd Tries-
tino Line "Galileo Galilei," in the foreground, is a 27,906-ton ship
that makes regular transits through the Canal carrying about 1,500
passengers on round-the-world voyages. The Italian Line "Leo-
nardo da Vinci," in the background, has made only one transit.
Looking like a ship without a superstructure, the "St. John Carrier,"
one of the world's largest newsprint barges, lies at dock at Balboa.
The North German Lloyd trans-Atlantic
liner "Bremen," the largest commercial
vessel to transit, moves through Pe-
dro Miguel Locks. Tolls were $15,243.
Breaking the Canal cargo record for the second time, the super
carrier "Arctic" moves south through Miraflores Locks with a cargo
of 60,391 long tons of coal. The "Arctic" measures 848.8 feet in
length and 105.85 in beam and used the maximum draft allowance
of 39 feet 6 inches on this trip. She was carrying coal to Japan.
The British flag ship "Diklara," a new type container ship, made her
first trip through the Canal last November on her maiden voyage.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
Cruise Ship "Hamburg"
THE NEWEST WEST GERMAN
passenger liner TS Hamburg has
made five trips through the Panama
Canal this year and will make one more
at the end of June before her present
cruise season is completed. She is the
fourth German flag vessel to carry the
name Hamburg since the turn of the
The 24-million dollar luxury liner,
the flagship of the German Atlantic
Line, was launched at the Howaldts-
werke-Deutsche Werft AG shipyard in
Hamburg in 1968.
Known for the amount of space set
aside for both public and private rooms,
she has 319 spacious cabins including
20 deluxe apartments for a full com-
plement of cruise passengers totaling
The sleek vessel has a cruising speed
of 23 knots. Her unusual funnel sup-
ports a 32-foot diameter circular plate
designed to lift fumes and smoke up
and away from the sun and sports
The "Other Woman"
When the winter winds blow up
north and the trade winds blow in the
tropics, yachts and other small boats
converge by the dozens on the Panama
Canal. There have been an unusual
number of pleasure craft through the
Canal this year, some of them in the
million dollar class and others strictly
on a shoestring. Some are being used
just to transport their owners from here
to there, and it is a good way to go if
one happens to like the open sea in a
One of these was the Other Woman,
a fitting name for a sailing craft being
used by her owner for a 2-year trip
around the world without wife and
family. Canadian Douglas Reed, with
a crew of four, arrived at the Canal in
February from the Bahamas aboard
the 39-foot auxiliary sailing yacht. The
craft made the transit and continued on
her 28,000-mile journey by way of the
Galapagos and the South Seas. It is the
Chinese, Nat'l. ---
German, West --
South Korean --__-
United States .
No. of Tons
transit of cargo
Avg. No. Avg. tons
transits of cargo
TRAFFIC MOVEMENT OVER MAIN TRADE ROUTES
First Half Fiscal Year
Trade routes-(Large commercial vessels, 300 net tons or over) 1972 1971 1961-65
United States Intercoastal ------------- 145 156 231
East coast of United States and South America ---------- ---- 452 566 1,208
East coast of United States and Central America ----_----- 311 330 241
East coast of United States and Far East ------------- 1,433 1,706 1,133
United States/Canada east coast and Australasia .---------. 187 217 171
Europe and west coast of United States/Canada ---- 399 484 459
Europe and South America--------------------- ------ 629 594 592
Europe and Australasia ------ --- ------ ----- 234 249 176
All other routes --------------- ------------- 2,847 2,489 1,420
Total traffic--------------- ------------6,637 6,791 5,631
MONTHLY COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC AND TOLLS
Vessels of 300 net tons or over-(Fiscal years)
Tronsits 1 Tolls (In thousands of dollars)
August ---- -----
December ---- --___---__
January --- __ _
Totals for fiscal year -__
1 Before deduction of any operation
CANAL COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC BY NATIONALITY OF
First Half Fiscal Year
PRINCIPAL COMMODITIES SHIPPED THROUGH THE CANAL
(All cargo figures in long tons)
Pacific to Atlantic
First Half Fiscal Year
Manufactures of iron and steel ------
Lumber and products
Ores, various ---------
Petroleum and products ----------------
Metals, various -------------
Food in refrigeration (excluding bananas) ---
Autos, trucks, accessories and parts. _-____-
Canned food products ----------------
Salt __----- ----------------
All other -___-----_ _-- ------------
Total __--_..- ------_------_
Atlantic to Pacific
First Half Fiscal Year
Petroleum and products ------------ -
Coal and coke ---- ----
Soybeans___---- ------- -----
Phosphate --------- ---------
Ores, various -- ------ --
Corn ----- -------------
Wheat _---------------- -
Manufactures of iron and steel -- ---
Paper and products--- ---------
Autos, trucks, accessories, and parts-----
Caustic soda ------------------
Small I_---- ------------
U.S. Government vessels: 2
Small 1----- ---------- -
100 206 311 124
53 87 67 82
Total commercial and
U.S. Government----------- 3,646 3,611 7,257 7,416 6,123
1 Vessels under 300 net tons or 500 displacement tons.
2 Vessels on which tolls are credited. Prior to July 1, 1951, Government-operated ships transited
PANAMA CANAL TRAFFIC
STATISTICS FOR 6 MONTHS OF
FISCAL YEAR 1972
TRANSITS (Oceangoing Vessels)
Commercial.----------.. 6,637 6,791
U.S. Government _------ 206 311
Free---____- ----- -- 31 60
Total------------ 6,874 7.162
Commercial __$46,133,275 $47,483,685
U.S. Government 1,343,557 1,886,257
Commercial.... 51.553,579 59,709,183
U.S. Government 821,399 1,345,737
Free --_--_ 41,532 90,215
Total.__ 52,416,510 61,145,135
0 Includes tolls on all vessels, oceangoing
S0 Cargo figures are in long tons.
first attempt by a Canadian registered
yacht with a Canadian captain to circle
Russian flagships are not new to the
Panama Canal but there was a surge
of them early in March when three
freighters, one scientific trawler, and a
cruise ship with more than 600 pas-
sengers passed through the waterway.
The passenger vessel Shota Rustaveli,
owned by the Black Sea Steamship Co.
and chartered by the Charter Travel
Club of London, arrived in Balboa
March 11 with a crew of 354 and 665
passengers who had boarded the ship
in Australia. The vessel tied up in Bal-
boa in the morning and the passengers
went sightseeing. The ship transited
northbound in the afternoon en route
to Southampton via Curacao.
Also transiting northbound the same
day was the Vysokogorsk, a cargo ship
traveling from Manchurian ports to
Three of the vessels went through
the Canal almost at the same time
March 11. In fact they met in Mira-
flores Locks. They were the freighter
Novocolynsk traveling from New Zea-
land to Dunkirk with wool and general
cargo; the Akademik Knipovich, a
Soviet government-owned scientific
fishing trawler en route from Val-
paraiso, Chile, to Las Palmas, Canary
Islands; and the Parkhomenko, south-
bound from New York to Guayaquil.
C. Fernie & Co. represents all the
vessels except the Parkhomenko which
was handled on this transit by Pacific
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
CANAL TRANSITS COMMERCIAL AND U.S. GOVERNMENT
First Half Fiscal Year
1972 1971 1961-65
Pacific Atlantic Total Total Total
By Eunice Richard
AS THE U.S. ARMY TROPICAL
Survival School in the Canal Zone
has learned, there is very little growing
or living in the jungles of Panama that
cannot be used as food.
Some of the animals, vegetables, and
fruits may even be used to make gour-
met dishes, Mrs. Gladys R. Graham, an
enterprising young American housewife
discovered some 25 years ago when she
came to the Isthmus and spent several
years living in the Interior of Panama.
She learned to prepare a number of
succulent dishes with native foods and
before she left the Isthmus, wrote and
published a cookbook, "Tropical Cook-
ing," which, sadly, is no longer in cir-
culation. The Canal Zone Library has
only one copy left and it is dog-eared,
worn, and stained from years of use by
curious cooks. But it is to be published
again soon by the Isthmian Anthro-
pological Society and will be on sale
later this vear.
Meanwhile, Culinary Capers offers a
few of Mrs. Graham's more unusual
recipes. Perhaps some Isthmian house-
wife will look for the ingredients in the
local Panama market or have her hus-
band go hunting in the jungle if only to
give her family a change from frozen
As Mrs. Graham says, one day some-
one will bring home a freshly killed
armadillo and swear that he has heard
it is edible. It is!
In Brazil the armadillo is often
cleaned, seasoned, and baked in his own
shell with a generous portion of minced
parsley added to the rest of the season-
ing. In the southwest of the United
States the meat, at its best during the
winter months, is treated much the
same as raccoon and opossum. It can
be successfully fried like chicken or
roasted. In any event BE SURE to
remove the kernels (glands) from under
the forelegs and in the fleshy part of the
hindlegs and back. There are seven of
them. Do it as soon as possible.
24 SPRING 1972
2 tablespoons salt
L4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup broth or bouillon
Clean armadillo and remove fat. Par-
boil 1 hour in water with other ingredi-
ents, except the broth. Place in a roast-
ing pan, add the broth and roast un-
covered 2 hours at 375 degrees. Serves
If there are no hunters in the family,
most people can get this excellent meat
in the Panama market if one talks to a
butcher and places an order. Conejo
means rabbit in English. But the Pan-
amanian conejo is more of a rodent,
with longer hairless tail, head like a rat
and small ears. He is a member of the
kangaroo family and grows up to 30 or
40 pounds. The tender white meat is
somewhat dry and should be larded or
roasted in the skin to preserve the
juices. Clean the conejo and stuff with
apple or sausage and apple dressing.
Roast at 350 degrees until tender. Baste
with orange juice or wine.
Mrs. Graham says that the conejo pin-
tado is not the same animal as conejo for
it refers to the South American Paca.
The meat is white and sweet. Roast him
whole, stuck with cloves and basted with
orange juice and your family and guests
will want to desert the meat markets
and take to the woods for provender.
This delicious fruit or vegetable is
plentiful in Panama but few people
seem to use it. Mrs. Graham says it is
more popular in song and story than it
is on tables in Central America, but that
may be the loss of those who do not
eat it. If potato is not available, bread-
fruit is a delightful substitute. Some
oldtimers prefer it to potatoes. It has a
tangy, tantalizing piney fragrance.
She says there are several ways to
prepare breadfruit. Some insist it should
be boiled when it is mature but still
green. They prefer it either hot, mashed
like potatoes, or boiled, sliced, dipped
in beaten egg, and fried. Others insist it
should be allowed to ripen until it is a
rich brown and just turning soft. Then
they bake it whole, exactly like potato,
and remove the seed before bringing it
steaming hot to the table. There its
sweet balsam flavor calls only for a little
salt and pepper and lots of butter.
Cooked this way, the breadfruit should
be put into an oven at 375 to 400
degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. The
next day it can be diced and used in
stews or soups.
One of the most versatile of the Isth-
mian fruits and vegetables is the cha-
vote also known as chocho. Mrs. Graham
says it is the answer to a cook's prayer.
If one wants a root to serve instead of
potatoes, boil it. If one needs a green
salad, peel the fruit and shred it with
other green stuff. If you want a substi-
tute for spinach, strip the leaves from
the vine. The entire chayote plant can
he used in one way or another.
The fruit, something like summer
squash in flavor, is slightly pear-shaped
and a delicate green, with slight grooves
along the sides. Some are spiny, and
some, when past the youngest stages of
tenderness, have a bit of a center seed
and a few root sprouts showing at the
bottom. They run from the size of a
fist to half again as large and all parts
are edible except the skin.
Peel three chavotes and cut in %-inch
slices crosswise. Dip in beaten egg, then
in cracker crumbs and fry to a golden
brown in hot fat. Drain on paper, then
sprinkle salt and pepper and keep in the
oven until time to serve. Serve as soon
as possible. It is superior to eggplant.
Mrs. Graham said that it is excellent
stuffed also and gave this recipe.
Wash and simmer three large cha-
yotes till tender (about 40 minutes).
Cut in half, scoop out the pulp and mash
it with salt, pepper, grated cheese and
a small amount of grated onion. Top
with more grated cheese or buttered
toasted crumbs. Pop into the oven for
10 or 15 minutes and serve.
Breadfruit has been a popular food in the Western Hemisphere ever since 1793 when bread-
fruit trees were brought from Tahiti to the West Indies by Captain Bligh of "Mutiny on the
Bounty" fame. The breadfruit is one of the many trees introduced to the Isthmus from the
West Indies. A large specimen of the tree is located on Corgas Road in the Canal Zone.
These delicate green chavotes are among the many tropical vegetables and fruits found at
Chinese gardens in the Canal Zone. All parts of the chayote are edible except the skin.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
HOW TO OPEN A COCONUT
Those who are new to the tropics will
find there are two kinds of coconuts in
the markets. In addition to the ripe coco-
nut well known in the north, there is the
green coconut, which in Panama is
called a "pipa." Mrs. Graham recom-
mends whacking off the top with a ma-
chete and drinking the clear water inside
with a straw. One can pour it into a
pitcher and serve it as a beverage. It is
the purest beverage available and
always cool. If the pipa is green, one can
scoop out some of the soft rich meat
just developing inside the shell. As the
meat hardens, the water takes on more
of a coconut flavor and by the time the
thick husk is golden brown on the
outside, the water has become milk.
Mrs. Graham had no problem re-
moving the meat from a ripe coconut.
She said to punch the eyes in with an
ice pick or similar tool, drain off the
liquid and then tap briskly around and
around the shell with a hammer. It will
split approximately in half. Another way
is to put the whole coconut in a hot
oven for 10 minutes, tap with the ham-
mer and the meat will all come out in
one or two pieces, ready to use. Be
careful not to lose the liquid.
Grate all the meat from one whole
coconut into a pan or bowl and pour
about a quart of hot water over the pulp.
When the liquid has cooled just a little,
stir it and mash against the sides of the
bowl with a spoon or your hands. The
pulp may be squeezed out by hand or
the whole thing strained through a
cloth. After it has been cooled and pos-
sibly chilled overnight in the refriger-
ator, the top cream can be whipped and
used instead of whipped cream.
CHICKEN IN COCONUT
Mrs. Graham says this is a Philippine
dish and it sounds wonderful for a
tropical treat, glamorous and tasty.
1 young chicken
1 large or several small coconuts
Parboil the chicken about 25 minutes,
then disjoint it. With a sharp heavy knife
or small saw, cut off the top of the coco-
nut neatly. Pour the milk into a bowl
and with a fork score and partially shred
the meat that clings to the shell. Salt
and pepper the chicken heavily, rubbing
the seasonings into the flesh; pack the
pieces tightly into the coconut shell.
Add the shreds of meat and milk. Re-
place the top and seal it with biscuit
dough. Bake in a moderate oven 1 hour.
Instead of one large coconut, several
small ones can be used to serve each
PEJIBAYE OR PIVA
This is another good thing that grows
on a palm tree in the tropics. In the
local markets or along the side of the
road to the Interior are found huge
clusters of red and yellow fruits in
bunches like grapes, each fruit about an
inch and a half through. They are the
fruit of a palm tree growing fairly com-
monly throughout Central America.
Mrs. Graham recommends that they be
boiled for 30 minutes in sea water or
salted water. They are as good as sweet
potatoes or chestnuts and are well
adapted to meat and poultry stuffings
and as snacks with cold drinks.
Mrs. Graham says that most people
have to develop a taste for papaya, a
most healthful fruit, which also is used
as a meat tenderizer. She says that many
people prefer the red or pink papaya
to the yellow. There are some more
strongly flavored with pepsin than
others. If you get the fruit while it is
still half-green, "score" it lengthwise in
a half dozen places using the tines of a
fork. The strong tasting milk will ooze
right out and leave the bled fruit much
milder. But remember that the milk is
.1 stomach aid and if there is a dyspeptic
in the house, give it to him with all the
healing pepsin in his portion.
If there is an unusually tough piece
of meat to stew or pot roast, dice a
couple of 2-inch pieces of green or
nearly ripe papaya or a portion of a
large leaf right in with the meat and
seasonings. It won't flavor anything but
it will take the toughness and determi-
nation right out of the meat fibers. Or
wrap the meat in a couple of washed
green papaya leaves and leave it in the
refrigerator for a few hours.
Papaya is great just as it is served
cold like a melon but it also is good as
a vegetable. Mrs. Graham says to cut
mature but green papaya into individual
portions. Take out the seeds but don't
peel it. Dot with butter, sprinkle with
sugar and cinnamon, bake in a casserole
or pan with ,i inch of water in the
bottom for 35 minutes in a moderate
oven. Some people substitute lemon
juice and salt for sugar and spice. Others
insist that a sprinkle of grated cheese
adds zest and sparkle.
F~ ~2 - __
---- --~ -
Chayote, pineapple, yucca, coconut, and many other familiar and not so familiar vegeta-
bles and fruits are available for the creative cook to adapt to her favorite recipe.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
More Than Nine Million Gallons of Suds
Stream From Panama Breweries Each Year
By Luis C. Noli
AKEEN TASTE FOR FOAMY
beer has made brewing one of
Panama's largest industries.
Two official statistics suffice to pro-
vide an indication of the size of the beer
industry and its role in the national
In 1970, beer sales in the Republic,
which has a population of 1.4 million
inhabitants, amounted to 36,099,190
liters (approximately 9.5 million gal-
S lons). That same year, the industry paid
$2.913,500 into the National Treasury
in production taxes alone. Ten years
ago, the figure was 20,270,358 liters
(just over 5 million gallons).
Four breweries, two of which are
subsidiaries, account for Panama's beer
production. The oldest and largest is
Cerveceria Nacional, S.A. (National
Brewery, Inc.), whose subsidiary, Cer-
veceria Chiricana, S.A., operates in
David, Chiriqui Province. The other
parent brewery is Cerveceria del Baru,
S.A. (Baru Brewery, Inc.), which was
established in David and subsequently
set up a subsidiary in Panama City,
Cerveceria PanamA, S.A., that operates
the company's main plant.
It may come as a surprise to many
people that the brewing industry in
Panama will mark its 63d anniversary
Thirty-five Panamanian and Amer-
ican investors joined in launching the
country's first brewery-the Panama
Brewing and Refrigerating Company-
on October 15, 1909. The first Panama-
made beer, named for Balboa, the dis-
coverer of the Pacific Ocean, was put
on the market on September 1, 1910.
Some of the country's most prominent
names-Duque, Preciado, de Obarrio,
Espinosa-were associated with that first
brewery. An American, Theodore Mc-
Ginnis, was appointed general manager
-and he proved the company's best
public relations man. He became so
identified with the new beer, that he
came to be known as the Duke of Bal-
boa. There is a story that he and his
wife went on a European tour in the
early 1930's and everywhere were re-
ceived with special deference-he was
signing the hotel registers as the Duke
and Duchess of Balboa.
The Balboa Brewery, as the pioneer
company became popularly known, was
alone in the field until 1926, when the
Atlantic Brewing and Refrigerating
Company was founded in Colon by an-
other group of Panamanian and Amer-
ican investors. The new company, too,
got its popular name from its product
brand-Atlas beer. It soon shifted oper-
ations to Panama City.
The man in the forefront was Henri
DeJan, a former employee of United
Fnrit Co. With him were such promi-
nent Panamanian businessmen as Car-
los Eleta and Pedro J. Ameglio as well
as some well-known Americans, Ernest
C. Fearon, Bert L. Atwater and Theo-
dore A. Aanstoos.
A third brewery-the German Pa-
cific Brewery-appeared on the scene
in 1927. Its beer was named Milwaukee.
Again, popular usage of the name was
such that the company eventually
changed its corporate designation to
Milwaukee Brewery. Oscar Terin was
the first chairman of the board. Among
the company's founders were members
of the Herbruger family.
The three breweries competed fierce-
ly. So fiercely, in fact, that by 1938
it became evident to the directors of
the three companies that there was only
one way out-a merger. Negotiations
were completed and on March 7, 1939,
the Cerveceria Naaional, S.A., came
into being. The merger brought to-
gether the country's most powerful
businessmen, making the new com-
pany one of the most solid firms in
One prominent Panamanian name-
Duque-has been associated through
three generations with the country's
brewing industry since its start. Jos6
Gabriel Duque was among the founders
of the first brewery, the Panama Brew-
ing and Refrigerating Company and, in
fact, was its first president; his eldest
son, T. Gabriel Duque, served as Pres-
ident of the Cerveceria Nacional from
1943 until his death in 1965; another
son, Alejandro A. Duque, Sr., is the
incumbent Vice President of the Board
of Directors; and a grandson, Alejandro
A. Duque, Jr., is the incumbent Assist-
ant General Manager.
In 1957, Cerveceria Nacional com-
pleted construction of a new plant at
what is now the intersection of Via
Bolivar (the downtown portion of the
Transisthmian Highway) and the re-
cently opened Via Ricardo J. Alfaro.
With a production capacity of 30 mil-
lion liters a year, Cerveceria Nacional
manufactures Balboa, Atlas and Tap
beers; it also manufactures Canada Dry
beverages, soft drinks and Malta Vigor,
a malt extract.
The present officers of Cerveceria Na-
cional are Dr. Roberto Alemin, Pres-
ident; Alejandro A. Duque, Sr., Vice
President; Rodolfo F. Herbruger, Treas-
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW 29
ltwl. '!I q U s jA-l!MW
Above: The National Brewery's plant on the Transisthmian Highway. On opposite
page: Panama Brewery in San Cristohal Industrial Park. I
urer; Alfredo Aleman, Jr., Secretary;
Alberto Arias E., Assistant Treasurer;
and Samuel Lewis Galindo, General
Manager. Other members of the board
are Rail Arias, Antonio Zubieta, Juan
B. Arias, Roberto Heurtematte and
Enrique Jimenez, Jr.
Cerveceria del Bari, S.A., manufac-
turers of Panama and Cristal beers, was
founded in David in 1958 and began
operations in that city in July 1959.
A year ago, the bulk of its operations
was transferred to its handsome new
plant at San Cristobal Industrial Park,
off the Transisthmian Highway, and its
subsidiary, Cerveceria PanamA, S.A.,
was organized. The production capacity
of the new plant is 10 million liters a
year. Besides beer, Cerveceria del Bari,
S.A., manufactures Polaris beverages.
The company's board of officers in-
cludes Harry Strunz, Jr., President;
Eduardo Gonzilez, First Vice President;
Ratl C. Paredes, Second Vice President;
J. J. Vallarino, Jr., Treasurer; Aristides
Abadia, Secretary; and Bolivar Vallari-
no and Carlos Eleta, Directors. J. J.
Vallarino, Jr., is also the General
Man's taste for beer dates back to
earliest history. There is recorded evi-
dence that in Mesopotamia 6,000 years
ago, beer was made with a specially-
baked bread which was mashed with a
barley malt and allowed to ferment.
Beer also was drunk in ancient Egypt,
Greece and Rome. Cuneiform writings
on a clay tablet found in ancient
Nineveh indicate that beer was among
the provisions on Noah's Ark.
Today, the popularity of beer is en-
hanced by improved brewing processes.
Consumption figures are evidence that
Panama's product is no exception.
Chemists test every step of the brewing process. Some 350 tests are carried out before
the beer reaches the consumer.
- II'---I ~~--- ~-
K":J m-M uc
Panama Beer Industry
In Sixty-third Year
2OPEJA EUA C ANADA
Malting barley, the basic ingredient of beer,
is imported from Europe, Canada and the
United States. A special type of rice grown
in Panama is used as a cereal adjunct.
Yeast is to beer what oxygen is to man-a
vital element. Its digestive enzymes con-
vert the malt sugars into alcohol and
carbon dioxide gas.
A fully automatic bottling set-up fills and caps hundreds of bottles
per minute. Every step of the process is inspected.
In the brewhouse, the ground malt and rice are first cooked separately in huge kettles. The
malt mash is known as wort, which after mixing with the cooked rice, is boiled with hops.
After the boiling process, the hopped wort goes through a strainer to separate the hops
from the wort which is transferred immediately to coolers. The next step is fermentation.
Tv' -I 3'
The wort ferments in huge tanks for at least a week. The brew is then transferred to storage
or aging tanks and after about 8 weeks to finishing tanks, ready for bottling and barrelng.
All of the equipment, tanks and kettles are subject to the most rigorous sanitary standards.
Well trained employees carefully monitor each phase of the brewing process.
A young couple samples the local product at the Pub, a popular
gathering spot for the Canal Zone's college students.
30 SPRING 1972
50 Years Ago
T TERRIBLY SHAKEN UP AS A
result of the beastly condition of
the cow trail, footpath, towpath or
whatever name could be used to de-
scribe the only means of communication
between Panama City and the Interior,
members of the Panama Rotary Club
returned from their trip to La Chorrera
satisfied with the experience and more
than ever resolved to keep hammering
away on the fact that a central road
should and must be constructed from
Panama City out to the Interior." This
was the report in the English language
Star & Herald in April 1922 after a
group of Panama Rotarians attended
the annual fair in the town of La Cho-
rrera. The report said that the members
of the club started at 9:35 a.m. in a
truck furnished by Harry Nichols and
made the 29-mile trip to Chorrera after
'2 hours of body racking jolts.
The Panama Metal Trades Council
joined the fight against the plan for
Canal employees to pay rent for their
housing. But it was a losing battle after
the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in
New Orleans denied the petition sent
by H. A. McConaughey, president of
the Council, for an injunction restraining
the U.S. Government from collecting
The cornerstone for St. Luke's Cathe-
dral in Ancon was laid April 23, 1922,
in a ceremony led by the Masonic orga-
nizations in the Canal Zone and attended
by President Porras, the Governor of
the Canal Zone, U.S. Ambassador South
and many other prominent residents.
25 Years Ago
HOUSING WAS THE CONCERN OF
the 12 members of the House Merchant
Marine and Fisheries Committee who
spent several days in the Canal Zone in
May 1947 looking into Zone affairs "as
a prelude to enactment of legislation for
Canal improvement and expansion."
Upon their return to Washington, they
announced that housing improvement
was needed but that in order to do so
rents must be increased.
\ .t t- the Panama Line ships loaded
Srlli C final employees who had not had
i: 1i vacation since the beginning of
\\orll War II, the AFGE started a
m:ok.: to charter planes to fly employees
to trl, United States. In the spring of
I'l 17 lome 1,300 persons were waiting
p.I..Issge on the Panama Line ships.
The Board of Consultants for the
Isthmian Canal Studies, composed of
eminent engineers in several different
fields, met for a week at Diablo Heights
early in 1947 to discuss work progress.
Reports were heard from a party of 19
engineers who had spent 17 days in the
Darien jungle making surveys along the
proposed Caledonia route.
70 Years Ago
A 70-FOOT STEEL BEAM, THE
connecting link joining the two sections
of Thatcher Ferry Bridge, was bolted
into place temporarily May 16, 1962
as work on the bridge across the Canal
neared completion. The placing of the
connecting steel beam was accompanied
by the cheers of Canal and bridge work-
men and the tooting of Panama Canal
tugs. The bridge was opened formally
in October of that year.
In February 1962 the first six new
Japanese built towing locomotives were
delivered to Gatun Locks for tests. More
than twice as powerful as the old loco-
motives, they also are faster, an impor-
tant factor in increasing the number of
lockages. The first three were shipped
to the Canal aboard the Pioneer Myth
and unloaded directly onto the east wall
return tracks at Gatun Locks. The
second three arrived 2 weeks later and
were set up on the center wall at Gatun.
While the engineers and Japanese in-
spectors prepared the new locomotives
for their task of towing ships through
the locks, a training program was started
for all employees operating and main-
taining the new mules.
One Year Ago
THE TIVOLI GUEST HOUSE, ONE
of the landmarks of the Isthmus, quietly
closed its doors last year after more
than a half century of service. Its guests
departed, the furniture was put up for
sale, and Gov. David S. Parker pulled
the newly installed security doors to-
gether at 5 p.m., April 15, officially
closing the famous old hotel. The only
event scheduled after the closing was a
party) for the staff, some of whom had
worked 30 to 40 years at the Tivoli.
There was a change in personnel in
the Canal Zone's top level job last year.
Gov. and Mrs. WV. P. Leber bid farewell
to the Canal Zone and the new Gov-
ernor. Maj. Gen. David S. Parker, and
Mrs. Parker arrived. This is Governor
Parker's third tour of duty in the Canal
Zone. He has served as Military Assist-
ant to the Governor and Lieutenant
Last vear marked the end of service
as a passenger vessel for the venerable
SS Cristobal which was converted to a
12-passenger freighter. Arrangements
were made with Braniff International
for charter flights to provide transpor-
tation for Panama Canal employees
during the summer months.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
,3 c't- -
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