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Vol. 3, No.9 BALBOA HEIGHTS, CANAL ZONE, APRIL 3, 1953 5 cents
m .. . - = --
LOGK OVEHAULS frequently uncover strange
things. A current Canal mystery is how this 10-ton
boulder, and two others like it, got to the southern
approach to Miraflores Locks east chamber.
The rocks were found by Diver Raymond F.
Industrial Bureau Continue
None of the essential services provided res
by the Industrial Bureau will be elimi-
nated by the force reduction of approx-
imately 20 percent this month but the
reduction will, in a measure, fix a ceiling
on the ability of the Bureau to accept
extensive repair work.
The immediate cause of the present
- - - - � . . 4*
Hesch while he was inspecting the fills on which
caissons were to be set.
He placed slings around the rocks; they were lifted
out by crane. Several old slabs of concrete were
found at the same time.
Will Be Limited
;pect to marine repair work is expected
go a long way towards eliminating
costly and unsatisfactory expedients
adopted in the past such as force reduc-
tions and hasty build-ups or long furlough
periods for the personnel to meet high
and low peak work loads.
The Industrial Bureau (formerly Me-
I . .f wI- S * S \ I *B J
A new system of passenger
reservations has been adopted
which is designed to guarantee
the fullest possible use of the
three Panama Line ships with-
out detriment to
However, Canal employees planning to
go on vacation in the United States and
Traveling by Panama Line ships are being
urged to get their reservations in early.
Late last month, just before his de-
parture for Washington to attend Senate
subcommittee hearings, Gov. J. S. Seybold
told THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW that
while the steamship line is operated prj�
marily for employees, the fullest use must
be made of its facilities in order to reduce
operating costs as much as possible.
He pointed out that space not utilized
for Canal employees and their families
could well be sold to commercial pas-
sengers who want assurance of return pas-
sage, with resultant increase of revenue,
but that priority will be given to em-
ployees-at all seasons of the year-pro-
vided they give adequate notice of their
A new system of space reservations,
within the Line organization, has just
been established, he said, in order to ob-
tain the fullest use of the three ships.
An allotment of cabins on each ship is
reserved for assignment by the Canal
Zone office to employees. The remaining
'S ,. * , * I it. n
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
n Vacation? Automob
Aid In Arranging Fo
So yo'regoing on i'acation and taking
Have you tried the Automobile Club
for help? Isthmian-wide, it has its head-
quarters in the Canal Zone.
If you're a Nervous Nellie or a Timid
Thomas, or maybe just an ordinary
cautious Canal Zone driver, possibly you
may want assistance ini getting out of New
York City. The Automobile Club will
Through the New York Club the Auto-
mobile Club will provide a driver who is
thoroughly experienced in the chaotic
confusion that is New York traffic and
who, for a small fee, will drive you and
your car to the outskirts of the city and
start you on your way.
This is just one of the many services the
Automobile Club is prepared to offer. The
Club will get a "Triptik," one of those
handy, specially prepared booklets which
give just about every bit of information
A TRIPTIK, bound in golden yellow paper be-
cause this year is the AAA's Golden Jubilee year, is
presented by J. O. Barnes, left, to Mr. and Mrs.
E. R. Japs. Mr. Barnes is Secretary-Treasurer of the
nV Sc'* I � t f1lt I I* P 3 * I
The Automobile Club can, and has,
obtained tickets for its members for cir-
cuses, baseball games, and theaters. A
Zonian, expecting to be in Detroit, say,
on the Fourth of July, can be sure before
he leaves the Canal Zone of a ticket to
the Tigers' game, provided the team plays
at home that day.
Through its associate clubs all over the
United States, Canada, or Mexico, the
Automobile Club can put its members in
touch with emergency road service in case
of accidents. The bill for such services is
paid by the local club without charge to
the member, within reasonable limits. Its
associate clubs can also provide Canal
Zone members with aid in getting doctors,
help them'get checks cashed, tell them
where sick animals can be treated, assist
in getting hotel reservations.
Any Service, Anywhere
In fact, according to the local Secretary-
Triptik which was prepared for them is the last they
will get in the Canal Zone. Mr. Japs, Superintendent
of Storehouses, is retiring April 30; he and his wife
will leave the following day by Panama Line. The
I I � ** � * - * � - 1 i m m - r *a
minute changes in itinerary be necessary,
an amended Triptik is waiting for the
member when his ship docks in New York.
The most elaborate automobile trip
arranged for any local member, as far as
Mr. Barnes recalls, was one from New
York to Alaska, down the U. S. west
coast, into Mexico as far as Mexico City,
and back to New York via Texas and the
eastern states. The Club, however, is
just as willing to plan a much simpler
trip-a tour through New England,
Service For Europe
The extension of its service to Europe
is something comparatively new but, Mr.
Barnes says, the Club is now arranging
for three or four such trips a year. The
Club obtains carnets, which simplify in-
ternational travel, and equips the local
driver with an international driver's
license. This last costs $7.50.
Helping its members plan their vacation
trips and providing them, without cost,
with maps of the national parks, of high-
speed highways like the Pennsylvania
Turnpike, or detailed maps of cities or
states, is the most time-consuming of the
Automobile Club's work here, according
to Mr. Barnes.
But the Club has other, if not so well-
known, services. It arranges to get auto-
mobile licenses for people who may be off
the Isthmus at license change time. It
can advise its members on shipping cars
and what insurance they should carry for
maximum protection although the Club
itself writes no insurance as many of the
larger clubs in the United States do.
However, the Automobile Club here will
secure insurance for its members from
local representatives of U. S. companies.
Camp At El Valle
On the Isthmus the Automobile Club
maintains a camp at El Valle, a pleasant
retreat some 70 miles from the Canal
Zone. There no telephones ring to jangle
town-tired nerves and the nights are cool
enough so that blankets are comfortable.
Members and their families can stay at
the camp for $1 a night or $5 a week;
there is a reduced rate for small children.
Guests of members are charged $3 a night.
The caretaker of the camp is accommo-
dating Saturnino Cherigo who has lived
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
At March Meeting
Housing, a subject as frequently dis-
cussed as any by Canal employees,
occupied much of the time of the March
Lt. Gov. Harry 0O. Paxson, presiding
over the conference in the absence of the
Governor, told the conferees that the
U. BS.-rate housing problem was "shaping
up pretty well," and that the housing
situation would not be as acute as had
"We are trying to build new houses
before we tear the old ones down," he
said. "For instance, we hope to have the
houses at Corozal built before we start
to tear down the Flats quarters." He
added that several of the Diablo 12-
families, some of which have been vacant
for some time, will come down before
Corozal is completed.
A housing question which was dis-
cussed lengthily was the change in
manner in which housing applications are
to be made. After much talk around the
conference table Colonel Paxson said
that he was deferring the date on which
the change would be effective.
Conferees who represent labor and
civic organizations raised such a number
of questions on the applications change
which, in order to speed up assignments
and cut down on vacancies, would limit
quarters applications to a choice of three
houses by number, three specific loca-
tions, or three types-that Colonel Pax-
son said he would take additional time
to study this.
Although he deferred the effective date
for the change, the Lieutenant Governor
asked the conferees to suggest to the
people they represent that all long-stand-
ing housing applications be brought up
to date. Many applications are out-
dated because of changes in types and
locations of quarters.
In answer to a question from W. E.
Percy, a Central Labor Union representa-
tive, as to who determines housing con-
ANNIE OAKLEY had better look to her laurels.
While still not in the Oakley class, 16-year-old Donna
Elizabeth Geyer, Cristobal High School Junior, is
well on her way up in shooting circles. She has just
won the Expert Rifleman Medal, second highest
award in junior shooting, from the National Rifle
Association. To win the award she had to score 40
out of 50 on each of 10 targets, shooting from a
Donna, shown above with her coach, Noel E.
Gibson, is not the only girl Expert Rifleman in the
Canal Zone but is the only one on the Atlantic side.
Isthmus-wide, she shares honors with Norine Dill-
man, 17, of Balboa High School, who was made
A matter of expediting traffic at the Ancon
Laundry crossing, raised late in the
meeting, will be studied.
In answer to other questions raised at
previous meetings, the Lieutenant Gov-
That the Gamboa Clubhouse building
is to be scrapped as soon as clearance is
received from the Board of Directors, but
that the abandoned building would be
boarded up should the clearance not be
reasons, at the lack of an eye specialist
at Colon Hospital.
This matter, as well as others about
Colon Hospital such as a report that
dental appointments must be made
months in advance, was to be referred
to the Health Director.
In the course of the discussion on
hospital services for Atlantic side resi-
dents, Colonel Paxson commented on the
possibility of consolidating Coco Solo
and Colon Hospitals, telling the con-
ferees that the decision will not be made
Expert Rifleman in August 1951.
Donna has been shooting for the past 2yeas, ever
since, her mother says, "she finally wore her family
down and got our permission." She has done well
from the beginning and Mr. Gibson calls her "not
only a crack shot but a swell kid."
Both Donna and Norine are now qualifying for the
highest junior, award, that of Distinguished Rifleman
which calls for stupendous shooting from prone,
sitting, kneeling, and stand positions.
Donna is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donovan
I. Geyer of Colon Beach. Her father works in
the Commissary Division's Refrigeration Plant at
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
April 3, 1953
Mosquitoes in the Canal Zone?
course not, newcomers exclaim. Eve
one knows that General Gorgas wij
them out years ago.
Consequently they, as well as peo
who've been here much longer, are s
prised and irritated (mentally as well
physically) when a mosquito bites th(
In most cases, the mosquito bite
nothing worse than an irritation for of
200-odd species of mosquitoes wh
thrive in this humid climate only a few
of the disease-carrying type.
No reliable source has ever claim
Health Bureau experts point out, t
mosquitoes were ever completely exi
minated in the Canal Zone. W
General Gorgas and his men did was
control mosquitoes so that yellow fe
and malaria, which killed 2,394 of
French Canal force in 8 years, were
longer the deadly scourges they had be
No cases of urban yellow fever hI
originated min the Canal Zone since 1I
1906. From September 30, 1905,
September 30, 1906, there were 398 '
larina deaths in the Canal Zone. 'I
years later malaria had ceased to b
leading cause of death although the i
laria rate was 282 per 1,000 employ
223 Malaria Cases
During the past calendar year only
employees of the Canal organization c
tracted malaria; these cases were inclu<
in the 223 reported from residents of
Canal Zone and the terminal cities
Colon and Panama. Most of these I
laria cases originated outside the sanita
Despite the drop in the malaria r
malaria still can be contracted here i
malaria still can be fatal. At the requ
of THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW, exp
from the Health Bureau have summari
some of the current facts about
sanitation of the Canal Zone.
Its topography and climate, they pc
out, are ideal for the prolific propagatio]
insects. In addition to the approximat
200 species of mosquitoes-not all
which bite humans-there are a number
of biting insect pests, including the
It is obvious that all of these insects
cannot be controlled or eradicated and
there is no health or economic reason to
attempt such a Herculean task.
Fight Disease Carriers
Because it cannot achieve the im-
possible the Health Bureau concentrates
on the possible: Combatting the com-
paratively few flying insects which can
carry disease. Urban yellow fever-
"Yellow Jack" -is no longer a menace
here, but jungle yellow fever appeared in
the Republic of Panama only a few years
ago. Its virus was found in monkeys;
mosquitoes which bite them can-and
do-transmit the disease to man. Because
these mosquitoes breed in treeholes and
live in treetops they are beyond control.
Fortunately humans can be immunized
to jungle yellow fever by vaccination,
available without charge at the Board of
Health Laboratory at Gorgas Hospital
from 8 a. m. to noon each Wednesday and
1 to 3:30 p. m. each Wednesday at the
Colon Health Office.
Yellow fever can also be transmitted
by another mosquito, the formerly
common Aedes aegypti which bred and
lived in cities and towns. The experts
believe that this pest has been eradicated
through the recent expensive and labor-
ious campaign conducted jointly by all
health organizations in the Canal Zone
and Republic of Panama.
Beware Of "Ann"
The remaining insect of the greatest
medical importance is the malaria-
carrying anopheles. During the last war
the armed services here, in an anti-
malaria campaign, pictured her as a
seductive siren with a penetrating pro-
boscis and cautioned their people to
"Avoid Ann." Local malaria-control
people still consider this excellent advice.
There are some 18 species of this mos-
quito in the Canal Zone, with greatly
varying breeding and flight habits, but
SIDNEY MILLER of Gatun inspects, for the
presence of anopheline larvae, a sample of water
dipped from cattle tracks in the Mindi Dairy pasture.
RICHARD A. WILLIAMS, Sanitation Inspector
from Ancon, uses a microscope to identify a sample
of mosquito larvae brought in from the field.
only one, Anopheles albimanus, is con-
sidered significant as a carrier, or vector,
This particular "Ann" breeds min fan-
tastic numbers in mat-type vegetation
growing in the lakes and rivers; it also
shows a marked preference for such col-
lections of sunlit water as those exposed
by felling of trees, grading, blocked drains,
water-filled cattle tracks, or tire ruts.
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
FOR YOUR INTER
AND THEIR SHADOWS
How many times have you wished you
could gaze into a crystal ball and foresee
what's ahead? If you ever have, then
there is no question that you're really
Some people have a different name for
Safety Engineers, but underneath it all
we're human too. The big trouble, how-
ever, is that our crystal ball isn't any
better than yours, so we have to do a bit
of guessing along with everyone else. It is
believed, we all agree, that we are much
better off not knowing too much about
the future. There are many heartaches
ahead for all members of the human race,
and a large percentage
enough to stand up to
vance what lies ahead.
'"Ignorance is bliss," has
place is not in Safety.
are not strong
knowing in ad-
The old saying,
its place but its
Since we would rather meet the future,
little by little, as it comes along, rather
than all in one big jolt, take a look at the
past. There's a key there to the future.
You may or may not believe that the past
plays a very important part in pointing
out what lies ahead, but we will give you
Bureau Award For
ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION
odds that it will tell you more than any
crystal ball ever did.
Ten years ago certain coming events
were casting their shadows before, and
we made certain predictions. But no, we
were dreaming, failing to face realities-
"After all there was a war on and we had
a job to do. We had to take chances. We
couldn't waste time trying to practice
safety. Maybe later, but right now we're
too busy." We heard all the old alibis,
believe it or not, even some new ones.
Now, in spite of what appeared on the
surface to be resentful opposition, what
really did happen? We quote from the
January 1942 Safety Zone:
"Accident experience in the States has
usually shown that the accident rate not
only increases with an increasing force
but actually rises faster. In spite of a
tremendous increase in our working
forces (35,705) with naturally a large
number of inexperienced help, the acci-
dent rate has been reduced considerably.
For that reduction, the foreman who put
safety into their production schedules are
the most responsible. Further reductions
will fall on the shoulders of these same
men." This was in the beginning of 1942.
Now we quote from the January 1943
"The year 1942 went out with almost
the entire Panama Canal hanging on to
the end of an accident curve which they
really brought down. More and more
divisions are getting on the bandwagon,
as foremen find out that in spite of all
doubters accidents can be prevented.
December (1942) was the first time in
history that every major division got into
the green at the same time, and the first
a major division worked an entire month
with no disabling injuries."
Also, to top the whole thing off, every
major unit had a better record for the year
194Y than for the previous year. Who needs
a crystal ball for Safety?
Now we look at 1952, 10 years later,
and compare it with 1942. In 1942 there
were 29 killed, 24 permanently disabled,
and 4,150 (that's right, four thousand one
hundred and fifty) temporarily disabled,
with a total time charge of 248,596 days.
Now considering there were twice the
number of employees in 1942 as there
were in 1952, to maintain a comparable
record the figures should be cut just by
one half. Instead, our toll for 1952 was
five killed (we have done better) seven
permanently disabled, and 427 tempo-
rarily disabled, with a total time charge
of 45,442 days.
Without having looked into the crystal
ball, what does the record reveal? Again,
not a few, not a majority but all bureaus
experienced improvements, ranging from
17 to 54 percent over their own past 2-
year record. Likewise all but two divi-
sions showed similar improvements. (The
reason these two didn't make it was be-
cause they got there ahead of the rest
with very low 2-year averages).
We are mighty pleased to be able to
publicize this record of
ments in the campaign
ache, pain, suffering, a]
that is experienced by
their families, when they
Each year during the
to reduce heart-
nd financial loss
the victims and
(See page 6)
AWARDS THIS CALENDAR YEAR
Engineering and Construction .
Health--- ----------- ........-
Community Services . .--
Marine ... .. ... ... ...
Railroad and Terminals !.
Engineering and Construction Bureau
Hpnllh Rrni ,
Disabling Injuries per 1,000,000 Man-Hours Worked
10 20 an
. (I 1 .
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
April 3, 1953
; Of Contract
Local labor forces are receiving about
$250,000 on monthly payrolls for con-
struction and maintenance work being
performed on contracts for the Panama
Canal Company-Canal Zone Government
The number employed on contract work
for the Canal is estimated at about 2,500
exclusive of supervisory and technical
Employment on projects for which
contracts are now min force reached its
peak in March and will remain at high
levels through April and May and up to
June, when a slight drop is expected be-
cause of the termination of several com-
paratively short-term contracts for dry
season maintenance work.
Several of the present contracts are
scheduled for completion before the close
of the present fiscal year, after which any
new projects that are authorized will be
financed from funds made available for
the 1954 fiscal year, starting in July.
Maintenance work being done on
contracts which will be terminated before
the close of the present fiscal year includes
and work o
r painting of Canal buildings
Coffey and Tropical Paint
tile roofing of buildings in
ng done by Industrias Unidas;
n roof hoods on Balboa houses,
by Green, Calvino & Roquer
Other comparatively short-term con-
tracts are those with Bildon, Inc., for
the rehabilitation of the baffle piers at
Gatun Spillway Dam, scheduled for com-
pletion in June; and the rehabilitation of
refrigerator and dry storage facilities at
Gorgas Hospital, to be completed in July
by the contractor, the National Flooring
Malaria And Mosquitos
(Continued from page 4) mulate to indicate
that mosquitoes, like houseflys, are be-
ginning to build up a resistance to DDT.
"Ann" Is A Nighthawk
The Health Bureau also tries to prevent
people and mosquitoes from getting to-
gether by seeing that screening is sound
and by cautioning residents against un-
necessary exposure at night-Anopheles is
~,;n b f i , o~rrnl rri nn�- n i-^ ^ i�i ni / i n ,m r nfl 1-/
r Canal Maintenance
Are $250,000 Monthly
Some of the major construction proj-
ects now in progress are those being done
on contract by Macco-Panpacific. These
include the Margarita townsite extension,
where work started in March 1952 and
is scheduled for completion in June 1953;
housing at Corozal, where work started
in January and is scheduled for comple-
tion in May 1954; and housing construc-
tion on Empire Street min Balboa, for
which the contract extends to October
Other major housing construction is
min progress at Paraiso where the con-
tractor, Tucker McClure, is scheduled to
complete the work in July 1953.
A new school building at Paraiso,
which was started in February by Gen-
eral Contractors Company, is to be
completed in July.
E. O. Hauk
n of a new school building
, on which the contractor,
e Construction Company,
in March, is scheduled for
with Industrias Unidas for
the construction of a sewage pump station
at Margarita extends from March to
Constructora Martinz, contractor for
the construction of the Goethals Mem-
orial in Balboa, is scheduled to complete
that project in August.
Other contract work for the Canal,
for which contracts will be awarded in
the near future, will include the con-
struction of a school building at Rainbow
City, scheduled for completion in Decem-
ber 1953; metal roof work in Balboa and
the reroofing of the Balboa Police Station,
scheduled for completion in June.
properly belongs to the genus culicoides,
but that makes his bite no more pleasant.
These little gnats breed in the brackish
water of tidal swamps, in tree holes and
even in fresh water. They are so tiny
that they go through screens without
difficulty. Although the gnats are much
more resistant to DDT than mosquitoes,
screens painted with DDT in kerosene
solution will keep them from biting for
about a month and insect repellant rubbed
Paraiso Housing Contract
Running Ahead Of Schedule
All of the 244 apartments which are
being built at Paraiso will be completed
by mid-June, according to an estimate of
the Contract and Inspection Division.
The contractor, Tucker McClure, was
about 6 weeks ahead of schedule at the
end of last month, as far as the housing
was concerned. Grading and drainage
is in progress and is expected to be finished
the following month.
By the end of March, 31 houses con-
taining 62 apartments had been completed
and accepted by the Canal organization.
The Paraiso housing is on-the-ground
masonry construction similar to that at
Rainbow City. Paraiso apartments range
min size from one to four bedrooms.
New Rental Schedules
On Licensed Property
Go Into Effect July 1
New rental-rate schedules on licensed
properties of the Panama Canal Company
and the Canal Zone Government will be-
come effective July 1. The new schedule,
which covers more than 300 properties, is
based on a comprehensive survey and
appraisal made last October by Arthur A.
May, Chief of the Appraisal Staff in the
Public Buildings Service of the General
The new rates and adjustments have a
wide variation because of the great di-
versity in the types of rental properties
and in the nature of the business proper-
ties licensed. The properties include land,
office space, tank storage, warehousing,
and open storage areas. The kinds of
businesses licensed vary from banking to
The property appraisal done by Mr.
May was the most comprehensive ever
undertaken and the rate revision next
July is the first of any general nature to
be made since 1946. An independent
appraisal of Panama Railroad Company
rental properties in Panama City and
Colon was made in 1938 but none had
ever been made of licensed properties in
the Canal Zone.
The appraisal last October was made
at the request of Frank Pace, Jr., formerly
Secretary of the Army, to obtain an un-
1 * 1 1 A * t 1 1 It
April 3, 1953
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
Panama Canal Company Publication
Published Monthly at
BALBOA HEIGHTS, CANAL ZONE
Printed by the Printing Plant
Mount Hope. Canal Zone
JOHN S. SEYBOLD, Governor-President
H. O. PAxsoN, Lieutenant Governor
E. C. LOMBARD, Executive Secretary
J. RUFUS HARDY, Editor
ELEANOR H. McILHENmNY
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Letters containing inquiries, suggestions,
criticisms, or opinions of a general nature
will be welcomed. Those of sufficient interest
will be published but signatures will not be
used unless desired.
SINGLE COPIES-5 cents each
On sale at all Panama Canal Clubhouses,
Commissaries, and Hotels for 10 days after
SINGLE COPIES BY MAIL-10 cents each
BACK COPIES-10 cents each
On sale when available, from the Vault
Clerk, Third Floor, Administration Building,
Postal money orders should be made pay-
able to the Treasurer, Panama Canal Com-
pany, and mailed to Editor, THE PANAMA
CANAL REVIEw, Balboa Heights, C. Z.
Moving Along On Schedule
Approximately 1,500 operators' and
drivers' licenses, or a little less than one-
sixth of the 10,000 Canal Zone licenses
outstanding, were renewed during the
first 2 weeks of March, according to L. R.
Evans, Chief of the License Section.
Canal Zone licenses issued during the
previous renewal period in 1950 for
drivers and operators of motor vehicles
are expiring this year between March 1
and June 30 and must be renewed for a
JUNIOR ROTC cadets from Cristobal and Balboa
high schools-150 strong-concluded their annual
spring training camp yesterday. The camp, which
began March 29, was held at the Army's Empire
Firing Range, as it was last year.
During the 5-day camp, the cadets witnessed
three demonstrations by the Army-one on artillery,
one on infantry weapons, and one on communica-
tions. They staged a tactical problem which took
them all over the countryside and they had an
A listing of Canal employees with
talents along accounting lines has been
made as the result of a battery of tests
given several weeks ago to 64 employees
who were not at the time working in
strictly accounting positions.
Three employees are being trans-
ferred from their former positions to
jobs in the Accounting Division, and
others who attained high grades in the
tests will be considered for vacancies,
as they occur, in accounting work.
The tests were given to uncover
"hidden talent" among employees who
were not doing accounting work. The
tests given were those drawn up by the
Institute of Accountants and were
the Personnel Bu
the 64 employees by
the tests came from
groups as the Fire,
opportunity to ride in tanks.
Here, at a barbed wire barricade which was part
of an obstacle course, four of the cadet officers go
over the tactical problem with ROTC instructor
Captain Earl J. Wilson, right. Left to right they are:
Cadet Maj. William Dawson, Cadet Lt. Col. William
Derr, both of Balboa High School, Cadet Lt. Col.
Leo Constantine, Camp Commander, Cadet Maj.
Paul Pinto, both of Cristobal High School, and
altitude explosion of an atom bomb."
A number of Civil Defense officials,
including National Civil Defense Ad-
ministrator Val Peterson, witnessed
Lieutenant Dolan was scheduled to
return to the Canal Zone late last
month after a 2-month absence. In
addition to being present at the A-
bomb explosion-for which his stay in
the United States was extended-he
had attended the Civil Defense Staff
College in Olney, Md.
Effective this week, the Local Rate
Records Branch of the Personnel Bureau
became responsible for replacing lost or
damaged identification-purchase cards for
local rate employees.
The Local Rate Employment Branch
* I � * * I | * S ' .�"
PAAOF CURRENT INTEREST
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
April 3, 1953
Of Health Laboratory
ONE OF THE SHEEP at the laboratory is bled by
Kurt F. Menzel, right, Chief Bacteriological Techni-
cian, and Joaquin Benavides, Chief Medical Tech-
nician in Parasitology. This process, similar to a
human blood transfusion, provides blood which is
A seaman was stabbed to death as he
slept on a ship in Cristobal Harbor. A
shipmate was charged with the killing.
A bloodstained shirt worn by the de-
fendant when first seen after the murder
was used by the State as evidence. So
were the stained sheet and pillowcases
that were found in his room.
The defendant said the stains were his
own blood from a thumb that had been
caught in a door.
Dr. Joel Shrager, Clinical Pathologist
at the Board of Health Laboratory, testi-
fied the blood on the shirt and bedclothes
belonged to Group A, International
System, the same as that of the victim.
He said the defendant's blood, tested in
the laboratory, was found to be Group O.
The defendant was convicted in 1947
and is serving a life sentence at the Canal
Zone Penitentiary for the famous "port-
used for serological tests for syphilis and monomu-
cleosis, or glandular fever. The attendants who have
the sheep in hand are Talbert Weeks, left, and
LeRoy Marks. People at the laboratory, incidentally
decry the practice of calling their fine sheep "goats."
field of pathology as the detective force
Characters Are Minute
The characters in the laboratory
dramas are minute and multitudinous-
human cells, microbes, parasites, and
other microscopic or sub-microscopic
entities in the human body or its invaders.
Many are old acquaintances to the
people trained to see them, known by
their looks and habits, even in untoward
circumstances that lead them to assume
unusual guises. Others are known only
by the tracks they leave or by the com-
pany they keep.
The process of making the acquaintance
of those that are unknown and cataloging
their actions in different environments
and circumstances is the primary plot
that runs through the story of the progress
of modern medicine.
A 42-year-old housewife of New Cris-
tobal goes to Gorgas Hospital. The
doctor she sees suspects cancer and sched-
ules an operation. He asks Dr. John H.
Draheim or one of the other anatomical
pathologists to be present at the operation.
An incision is made and a bit of the
suspect tissue is removed and given to the
anatomical pathologist. The surgeon,
anesthetist, and operating room nurses
wait while it is rushed to the laboratory.
There, in the histopathology section,
the province of Robert G. Grocott,
histopathology technician, the tissue is
placed on the freezing microtome and
frozen solid with a stream of carbon
dioxide gas. It is then sliced into "sec-
tions" about 5/OO1ths of an inch thick.
The sections are then immersed in dyes
where each type of cells absorbs a stain
of a different color.
Some of the better sections are put on
glass slides, covered with cover slips and
then examined under the microscope.
There are blue lacy strands and dots on
a pink background-the picture of normal
cells gone berserk.
The anatomical pathologist telephones
the surgeon that the tumor is cancerous.
Ten minutes after the tissue was taken,
the operation is resumed and the malig-
nant growth removed.
For Slower Study
The regular paraffin procedure, as it
is usually done, takes about 48 hours in
which a great deal of the work of the
preparation of tissue is done automatic-
ally in a large machine called an "auto-
This standard paraffin procedure per-
mits more leisurely and more accurate
study, and is often a part of a cooperative
effort in which "clues" from various
sections of the laboratory are combined
Iv, ~ ~. a- - -
April 3, 1953
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
in a summary of findings. These find-
ings, as presented in a report on the
examination of a surgical specimen or an
autopsy report, are termed by the medical
The protocols, or original reports on
the findings of studies concerning the
nature of disease, are compiled and writ-
ten by one of the four residents-in-train-
ing min pathology at the hospital-Drs.
Draheim, Milton J. Smith, Ferruccio
Bertoli, and Michael J. Takos.
A 4-year residency training program
in pathology at Gorgas Hospital was
approved in 1952. There had been a
regular 3-year training program there
Available For Study
The reports are then filed and cross-
indexed by Mrs. Bernadine Lally, Mrs.
Asa L. Alvarez and Mrs. Ethel M.
Pitman in accordance with an interna-
tional system and are available to any
scientist of any nation seeking informa-
tion on a specific medical problem.
The Board of Health Laboratory does
about 600 biopsies a month. Included
in these are samples of all tissues removed
min autopsies and operations-a require-
ment for all hospitals approved by the
American Medical Association.
Autopsies are performed on about 76
percent of the deaths at Gorgas Hospital
(the minimum requirement for hospitals
approved by the American College of
Surgeons is 15 percent) and on 85 percent
of the bodies received at the laboratory
The autopsy provides the most positive
proof possible of the nature of. the indi-
vidual illness, which may be very im-
portant to the immediate descendants,
and also adds its valuable bit to the vast
sum of knowledge necessary to every
advance in medicine.
Two Large Departments
To provide a very rough roadmap for
the uninitiated, Dr. Shrager explained
some elemental facts about the organiza-
tion of the laboratory. Its work is
divided into two large departments,
clinical and anatomical pathology.
Anatomic pathology, he explains, deals
with anatomic diagnoses of tissues, both
gross and microscopic, the latter known
in medical terminology as histo (for
Clinical pathology, Dr. Shrager ex-
� � * 1 d ii 1 I i 1 1
� Th = = =
*<^ 4tSiM L
COL. NORMAN W. ELTON, right, Chief of the
Board of Health Laboratory since May 1948, leaves
this month for a new assignment at the Army Chem-
ical Center, Edgewood, Md. Dr. Joel Shrager, left,
is Chief Chemist, assisted by Wilbur C.
Two other medical technicians of long
service work where they are most needed.
Francis W. Feeney, a Chief General
Technician, is also responsible for the
maintenance of laboratory equipment.
Harry A. Dunn, General Supervisory
Medical Technician, assists Colonel Elton
in the administrative work of the labor-
There are a total of 13 technicians, all
registered by the American Society of
Clinical Pathologists. There are also
three students who are enrolled in the
laboratory's training school for techni-
cians, from which 11 have been graduated
in its 5 years of existence.
- 0i -
in charge of clinical pathology at the Laboratory,
also leaves this month to return to the United States.
He has about 12 years of Canal service and has been
at the Laboratory since 1942.
Finley and Thomas C. Lear, Funeral
Directors. It is one of a few such services
in this general area, probably because
burial ordinarily takes place on the same
day as the death in this part of Latin
One of the many "detective" functions
of the laboratory works something like
this. A 10-year-old school girl in Ancon
develops a sore throat and is taken by
her mother to the Out-Patient Service at
Gorgas Hospital. The doctor there ex-
amines her throat and notes severe
He swabs the tonsilar area, then draws
the swab over a brown solid that half
1n- -. $..2 . /--JLJ L - TT" . .. _i-. . A . j.-- L_-JI- -..l -
* = t = ". =
� � == ==
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
Jobs As Matrons At Pedro Miguel Jail
ucts was an embroidered linen and lace
tablecloth, as fine as most seen in any
Central Avenue shop.
Once in a while they will have an un-
usually obstreperous prisoner, but gener-
ally the two matrons find two major
problems in their work: Bickering among
the women, and the dislike of any kind
of work by many of the prisoners.
"We just have to keep pushing them,
pushing them, to get things done," Mrs.
Samuels said for both matrons.
a " *
Right-hand driving was to become
effective in Panama in April 1943, it
was announced by Panamanian officials,
and American authorities reported that
the Canal Zone would also make the
A section incorporated
Zone traffic regulations 1
made right-hand driving
the Canal Zone coincident
change in the Republic.
SILVER BADGES, marked "jail guards," shine on the spic-and-span uniforms of the Zone s only jail matrons.
Mrs. Doris Samuels, left, wears badge No. 33; Mrs. Rose Osborne, her senior in police service, wears No. 21.
min the Canal
0 years before
with any such
In the Canal Zone, traffic signs were
changed, special instructions were given
and stickers reminding drivers of the new
system were issued in preparation for
If the word unique-which means one
of a kind-can properly be applied to two,
it fits Mrs. Rose Osborne and Mrs. Doris
Samuels of Paraiso.
Their jobs are unique; as matrons at
the Pedro Miguel jail, they are the only
two women so employed in the entire
Canal organization. The spotless jail
where they work is also unique; it is the
only one in the Canal Zone which houses
women prisoners. It also sometimes
houses juvenile boys, especially those
felony prisoners whom the Court may
consider too young to be sent to Gamboa
Hence Mrs. Osborne and Mrs. Samuels.
The two women have much in common:
Both were born in Panama City. Both
are daughters of men who helped to build
the Panama Canal. Both are married to
men who work at the Miraflores Diesel
an - . -
by the Police Division in December, 1951.
She was chosen from some 30 women and,
she says, was "elated" at her selection.
Each of the two works five days a week.
Three days both women are on duty; two
days each is on duty alone, and the
remaining two days are their days off.
On the days they work alone, they re-
port to the jail at 6:30 a. m., working
until noon. They have an hour and a
half break and then return to work until
4 p. m. On Thursdays, Fridays, and
Saturday when both work, one reports
at 6:30 a. m. and works through until
2:30 p. m.; the other reports at 2 p. m.
and stays until 10 p. m.
The pattern of their days is about the
They supervise the preparation of
ty breakfast-tea or coffee, a hot
bread and some sort of fruit-and
then see to it that the kitchen is cleaned up.
Cleaning And Chores
Some observers a
cent drop in traffic v
the new system, oc(
drivers who, it was
choose to drive until
bors had become
anticipated a 25 per-
rolume effective with
casioned by cautious
believed, might not
most of their neigh-
accustomed to the
An Army radio station, officially desig-
nated as the Armed Forces Radio Station
started operation on the first of March. It
was announced that broadcasts, solely for
the entertainment of armed forces on the
Isthmus, would be made from 10:30 a. m.
to 2:30 p. m.
Vice President Henry A. Wallace
visited on the Isthmus for 4 days.
H. V. Kaltenborn, NBC radio
tator, pronounced Panama Canal
"without parallel" and called this
^.2 at^ f1 f fM 4 4 . I.-M uf /* A l^1114 *
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
The unusually long rainy season this
year has upset the flowering schedule of
many of our local plants. Only a few
Schisolobiums flowered during their regu-
lar blossoming period of January or late
December, and since the trees have al-
ready leafed out without flowering it is
improbable that they will bloom at all
But there are some trees which dis-
regard the weather and blossom in all of
their usual blaze of beauty.
The Bronze Showers, Cassia moschata,
with their pendant clusters of flowers,
grapes, are in their prime just now. They
prefer a dry region to grow in and are thus
all the more conspicuous when they
a scrubby, parched back-
ground. Several trees may be seen in
flower on Miraflores Hill and also on the
hills behind Fort Clayton.
TWO CANAL ZONE TEACHERS, Miss Leafy
De Sousa, left, and Miss Lois Morgan will be Ford
Foundation fellowship holders this year.
Miss DeSousa, who teaches Spanish, English,
United States history, and art at La Boca Junior
High School, is especially interested in student guid-
ance. She hopes to visit
some guidance clinics, to
see some of the places like Washington, historical
Boston, and the United Nations center about which
she teaches her history classes, and possibly to work
with ceramics and graphic art. If possible she will
take the college portion of her year's work at New
York University which she attended for a semester.
Miss Morgan, who
is teaching mathematics this
year at Balboa Junior High School but who is well-
known for her art work, hopes to take special
ogy and the classification of plants at one of
or Western Universities.
like to combine this with botanical drawing and paint-
ing so that she will be fitted to do some of this work
with Isthmian flora.
SMITHFIELD HAMS from Virginia, with with a lot of other clothes for Stateside
the distinctive hickory smoke cure, have been vacations. The women's coats, in tan or
ordered for sale in the Commissaries. They brown, cost $33.50 or $63.95. The men's
are being stocked on a trial basis and are
expected in the stores about the first of April.
BRILLIANT YELLOW clusters of blossoms,
few green leaves, against
a tropic blue sky make
the Golden Shower tree one of the most beautiful of
the dry season.
The Cassia fistula, or Golden Shower,
as they are commonly called, are just
coming into bloom. The trees are natives
of Asia and are very showy when in flower.
Several of these trees have been planted
on the Prado in Balboa and many more
are scattered throughout the Canal Zone.
The long pendant pods contain a bitter
pulp which has laxative properties.
/I- S I1 I I I
how hot and humidified
you are and how
Heat the tro
and help y
Humidity the H
binations that tell
the Commissaries can
ou. Soon there
will be an
you the temperature, of
course, and the degree of humidity-very
important things to know with change of
season in the offing. The instruments are in
on a desk or
$2.50 to $4.50.
that would look good
CORN FLAKES now come with a sugar
coating that helps to keep them crunchy, and
improves the taste. The
new Kellogg's sugar-
Laj *:n ftkih *&jka�a .*
overcoats are $79.50 or $83.50.
suits in the
to 20, and junior
are available in
in misses sizes,
miss sizes, 9 to
flannel, and sharkskin.
SPRING COATS and toppers for girls of all
ages are of tweed, wool boucle, wool basket
weaves, and wool suede. For the wee ones
there are wool coat and bonnet sets in pretty
soon be in
are stainless steel aquariums
to 15 gallon capacity for $6.75 to
$17.75 and aquariums
92 to 20 gallon capacity
**.- -E - ---~e~- ~. a..
Jt- J f
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
April 3, 1953
MEDICAL DETECTIVES FOLLOW MANY CLUES
A STUDY in balance and proportion is the front entrance to the
Board of Health Laboratory building in Ancon.
(Continued from page 9) girl's doctor that
his patient has diphtheria.
Then still another phase of the "detec-
tive work" of the laboratory begins-
checking the girl's known contacts and
keeping an eye on them.
The cultures at the laboratory run into
Special prize is a culture of histoplasma
capsulatum which causes histoplasmosis,
an illness which doctors describe as fatal
if it strikes with sufficient severity to
produce recognizable symptoms in the
The disease was originally discovered
by Dr. Samuel T. Darling at the Board of
Health Laboratory in 1905 but the
organism itself was isolated there for the
first time during the past year from a case
discovered by Dr. James J. Humes at
Coco Solo Naval Hospital.
Laboratory Has "Zoo"
Some organisms the laboratory cultures
are fussy about their accommodations,
which accounts in part for the considerable
"zoo" at the Board of Health Laboratory.
The tubercle baccillus, grown in special
-- - .: * 1 * t* * *J-
to acquaint armed forces groups with the
snake population of the area.
300,O00tProcedures A Year
About 300,000 procedures are per-
formed annually by the Board of Health
Lock Overhaul To
Both sides of all sets of Canal locks will
be back in full operation by mid-May
unless something unexpected occurs to
upset the lock overhaul schedule.
Roy Stockham, Superintendent of the
Locks Division, said late last month that
the $1,700,000 lock overhaul was pro-
on schedule and that all a<
l work should be finished by
Additional 6 weeks will be n
r cleanup and the transfer
overhaul forces are at work this
t Miraflores locks where the over-
l include work on all 36 rising-
stem valves, the 6 guard valves and the
40 evlindrieal valves. All under-water
Laboratory-as many as the number
done, for instance, at the Central New
York State Public Health Laboratory in
Albany. These procedures range from
an autopsy, at least a 3 man-day oper-
ation, to a simple urinalysis which takes
only about 15 minutes.
A partial explanation of the volume of
work lies in the fact that the Board of
Health Laboratory plays a triple-or
quadruple-role, serving as the labora-
tory center for Gorgas and armed forces
hospitals on the Isthmus, the Canal Zone
police and armed forces civil intelligence,
and public health work on the Isthmus.
Its important functions min the field
of public health fulfill one of the pur-
poses for which the Board of Health
Laboratory was established. They include
the recognition by precise laboratory
examinations of the presence, prevalence,
and location of tropical and epidemic
diseases which might threaten the Canal
Colonel Elton is a Diplomate of the
American Board of Preventive Medicine
and Public Health as well as the
American Board of Pathology.
Established in 1904
The laboratory was established in May
1904 by Gen. William C. Gorgas as the
first public health unit in the Canal Zone.
The old French H6pital Central which
became the "Canal Hospital" after United
States occupation, then "Ancon," and
now "Gorgas Hospital," was already in
Public health work now accounts for
about one-third of the procedures at the
Board of Health Laboratory. These
include the regular checks on milk and
dairy products, water supply, examina-
tions of food handlers, etc.
The development of the hospital
laboratory as it is generally known today
probably was not envisioned by the
Laboratory's founder. It was not until
1917 that the American College of Sur-
geons, organized 4 years earlier, drew up a
Minimum Standard for Hospitals which
provided for chemical, bacteriological,
serological, and pathological services
under "competent medical supervision."
The American Society of Clinical
Pathologists (of which Colonel Elton and
Dr. Shrager are members) was not
organized until 1922.
About 50 percent of the work of the
Laboratory is now done for Gorgas
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
'*A~ A|^ K'' .^.l^*
Going On Vacation?
Auto Club Is Ready
(Continued from page 2) major prol
when it was formed 37 years ago.
Canal Zone speed limit was 8 miles
hour. Drivers thought 10 miles in t
and 25 miles on the open road r
suitable and, according to old files,
Automobile Club was organized and
mediately affiliated with the Amer
Automobile Association "to obtain
TWO DOCTORS are shifting jobs this month.
Col. Clifford G. Blitch, left, who has been Superin-
tendent of Gorgas Hospital since June 1949, is leaving
the Canal Zone about April 20 to take over command
BORN in Gorgas Hospital and a former intern
there, Dr. Lawrence M. Drennan, Jr., has returned
to the hospital as Assistant to the Superintendent.
He is well-known on both sides of the Canal Zone;
he interned at Gorgas in 1934 and 1935 and was on
the Eye, Ear Nose, and Throat staff at Colon Hos-
pital for 9 months in 1941.
A turnover of some of the top medical
men in the Canal's Health Bureau began
last month and will continue through
One of the major changes is the transfer
of the U. S. Army hospital at Camp Atterbury, Ind.,
Col. Howard W. Doan, Commander at Atterbury
Hospital, is due here about April 9 to become Super-
intendent of Gorgas Hospital.
three children, two daughters, 7 and 3,
and a son,
Doan's right-hand man, as
Assistant to the Superintendent, will be
Dr. Lawrence M. Drennan, Jr., who was
born in Gorgas (then Ancon) Hospital and
spent his first 6 years here. His father
was chief of the hospital's obstetrical
service until 1918.
For the past 26 months he has been
with the United Fruit Company's Tropi-
cal Division hospitals and left the Super-
intendency of the Medical Department of
Sthe Chiriqui Land Company at Puerto
Armuelles to join the Canal organization.
He succeeds Dr. Arthur Springall who
resigned in March.
Two Newcomers Here
Two newcomers to the Health Bureau
have already arrived on the Isthmus. Col.
Francis W. Council, who succeeds Col.
Norman W. Elton as Chief of the Board
of Health Laboratory, and Col. Henry S.
Murphy, who replaces Col. Francis Reg-
nier as Chief of the Eye, Ear, Nose, and
Throat Service, arrived about mid-March.
Colonel Council's last post was at the
Second Army Area Medical Laboratory
at Fort George G. Meade, Md. Colonel
Murphey came to the Isthmus from Brooke
General Hospital in San Antonio, Tex.
Colonel Elton leaves about mid-April
nr Id noi, ocannmonlT Q+ itho Arnmnr
concession over the customary U. S. 25-
cents a member and applies when a
member is outside the continental United
The local club's affiliations give it hemi-
sphere-wide connection. In addition to
its AAA affiliation the Panama Club is a
member of FIAAC, the comparatively
cooperation in an effort to secure an
amendment to the speed limit on the
Canal Zone." Among those present at
the first meeting was the Club's present
President, Leopoldo Arosemena.
The original membership was about
143; today 1,432 Isthmians, about 92
percent of whom live in the Canal Zone,
belong to the Automobile Club.
The Club's first president was Dr. W. B.
Pierce, Superintendent of Santo Tomas
Hospital. Later presidents included Wilson
H. Kromer, formerly Comptroller for The
Panama Canal; Theodore A. Drake, one-
time Chief Examiner for the Accounting
Department; and W. P. Quinn, who re-
President Since 1929
Mr. Arosemena, who has occupied
many high positions in the Panama
Government service, has managed to find
time to be the Automobile Club's president
since 1929. .
Although the Club was organized in
1916, its constitution and bylaws were not
adopted until 1928. The bylaws set the
Secretary's residence as the Club's office.
Consequently Mr. Barnes' quarters, at
the corner of Bohio Place and Mindi
Street in Ancon, practically bulge at the
joints with Automobile Club files, maps,
correspondence, and material.
Dues are nominal. The initiation fee is
$5; after that membership is $3 a year.
Members' wives and children over 18 can
become associate members for $1.50 a
year. The only salaried employees are
Mr. Barnes and the El Valle caretaker,
who are paid $50 each monthly. For each
member the local club pays two-and-a-
half cents a year to AAA; this is a special
Legion Post No. 6,
Home. 7:30 p. m.
4-Track Foreman No. 2741,
ita Elks Club, 7 p. m.
it No. 3857, Cristobal
Hall. 7:30 p. m
Balboa B & B
Hall, 7:30 p. m.
Pedro Miguel Civic Council, Girl Scout House,
Cristobal-Margarita Civic Council, Marga-
rita Clubhouse, 7:30 p. m.
VFW Post No. 727, Fort Clayton, 7:30 p. m.
VFW Post No. 3822, Curundu Road, 7:30 p. m.
7:30 p. m.
civic Council, Community Center,
ing, 7:30 p. m.
American Legion Post No. 2, Cristoba
Home, 7:30 p. m.
10-Blacksmiths No. 400, with Boilermakers
No. 463 and 471, Margarita K. of C. Hall,
7:30 p. m.
13-Machinists No. 699,
7:30 p. in.
American Legion P
Hall, 7:30 p. m.
at No. 1,
K. of C. Hall.,
ubhouse. 7:30 p. m.
397, Wirz Memorial,
Cristobal, 7:30 p. m.
American Legion Po
, Fort Clayton.,
THIS MONTH'S CALENDAR
Hall, 7:30 p. m.
16-American Legion A
Home. 7:30 p. m.
19-CLU, Balboa Lodge
Temple, 7:30 p. m.
Truckdrivers, Balboa Loc
K. of C. Hall, 7:30 p. m.
Machinists No. 811, Bal
ise, 7:30 p. m.
3, Gatun Legion
8:30 a. m.
7:30 p. m.
tration Building, 2:30 p. m.
American Legion Auxiliary 2, Cristo
Home. 7:30 p. m
27-Machinists No. 6
7:30 p. m.
Hall, 7:30 p. m.
Hall, 7:30 p. m.
VFW No. 100, O!d
7:30 p. m.
7:30 p. m.
Post No. 3822 Home,
Employees who observed important anni-
versaries during the month of March are
From Cristob a
Panama -..---...-------------- April 3
Cristobal ---------------------April 10
Panama ----- ..--------------- April 24
From New York
Ancon ----------------------- .April 7
Panama --------------------- -April 14
Cristobal--------------------- April 21
(Northbound, the ships are in Haiti from
7 a. m. to noon Sunday; southbound, the
Haiti stop is Saturday, from 7 a. m. to
4 p. m.)
with the Canal
Francis W. Feeney, Medical Techni-
cian, Board of Health Laboratory.
William Diez, Lockmaster, Pedro Miguel.
Francis Y. Edwards, Helper, Locks
Henry E. Falk, Pilot, Balboa.
Charles S. Hollander, Administrative
Joseph T. Oliver, Marine
Charles C. Shumate,
William W. Reid, Pilot, Balboa.
Noel E. Gibson,
Warren D. Marq
No. 595. Balboa
Scout Building, Cristobal.
7, Fort Clayton,
those U. S.-rate
who were trans-
Assistant, Atlantic Locks.
I T.1-Kk . IMI E I -1 .
listed alphabetically below.
PROMOTIONS AND TRANSFERS
r TI 1'I
" l [ITITI 1" It| i
1 1 -
April 3, 1953
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
Industrial Bureau Continues Essential Service
(Confined from page 1) be required
by commercial shipping. Although the
amount of such work was at a compara-
tively high level until well after the close
of the first World War the volume has
fluctuated widely since the shops were
During the early 1920's and again
during the world-wide depression of the
1930's the work of the Industrial Bureau
dropped to such a low ebb that extensive
reductions and long furloughs became
necessary. The World War II period was
one of plenty and for several years the
shops were busy on a 24-hour operation
while the large fleet of tankers opei
in the Pacific was based in Balboa.
Drop At War's End
This type of work abruptly ceased at
the close of the war and the force was
drastically reduced and the shops returned
to an 8-hour day operation. Economic
conditions after the close of the war
coupled with a general curtailment of
Canal and other Government activities
in the Canal Zone finally resulted, 3 years
ago, in the closing of the Balboa Shops.
The present force reduction is the first
one of major proportions to be required
since that of 1950 although the work from
outside sources has fluctuated widely.
The recent drop in the work load of the
Industrial Bureau has been brought about
principally by a completion of most of the
work on Army and Navy craft planned
for this fiscal year with no backlog of
Canal or commercial work to take up the
slack for the next few months. The
amount of work required on Canal equip-
ment has gradually been reduced during
recent years by the retirement of much
Dredging Division equipment from ser-
vice and a general reduction of work in
the other Canal units.
Like the closing of the Balboa Shops 3
years ago, the present force reduction is
dictated by hard economic facts and
factors over which the Canal administra-
tion has no control.
Repair Work Varies
It has been demonstrated over the
years that the amount of commercial ship
repair work fluctuates too widely to
permit a high-level force. In addition,
the amount of repair work for U. S. Navy
ships done in the local shops is insufficient,
except in emergency periods, to warrant
n tnawnnt/ wi/wt nltfttn41on na' n\i t 4 m an\ wrfr n
Canal has attempted to induce commer-
cial shipping interests to utilize Industrial
Bureau facilities more extensively. How-
ever, such attempts have been generally
unsuccessful since ship owners, for eco-
nomical reasons, avoid long layover
periods for their ships outside of home
ports except in cases of emergency.
Furthermore, conditions under which the
ship repair facilities here must be operated
preclude work being done at competitive
prices with shipyards in the States.
A similar condition has generally pre-
vailed in Navy repair work, since most of
the Navy ships touching Canal ports are
on scheduled missions and the cost of
sending others here for repairs would be
at a prohibitive figure.
Approximately 35 percent of the total
work load in the Industrial Bureau is
"voyage repair" or unscheduled work, as
compared with only about 5 percent in
Navy shipyards in the States. This
condition prohibits long-range work sched-
ules on major repair or overhaul jobs
which is required for a large force. This
condition, coupled with the high costs of
recruitment and repatriation of skilled
labor, practically bars the employment of
a force sufficient to meet peak work loads
without serious loss during slack business
As a result of all these factors, the
Canal administration has decided to adopt
a policy of keeping with the old adage of
cutting the cloth to fit the pattern rather
than buying a pattern in hopes that the
available cloth will be sufficient.
Force To Be Balanced
The present reduction will leave a bal-
anced force in which all types of work can
be done. However, it will be sufficient
only to meet the work load which can be
reasonably expected with some leeway to
take occasional major ship repair jobs on
which the time factor is not imperative.
The force reduction this month will
affect about 55 U. S.-rate and 75 local-
rate employees. A few of the U. S.-rate
men are being transferred to other Canal
units but the majority have made plans
to return to the States.
The decision to accept a force reduction
rather than the furlough system, exten-
sively used in the past during slack work
periods, was made by the men in the
shops. When notified by the management
that the impending drop in business
n r nrwi, 4i/ r nmi/ r'/l'l nf' nn'1it as, TI-/tii,.Ii as n I 41n
Ex-Employee Adds Her
To Story Of Magic
Amplification of a recent "Panama
Canal Review" article on Haiti was
provided last month by a former Per-
sonnel Bureau employee who added her
personal touch to the reference to
Marine Faustin Wirkus.
The former employee is Mrs. Leonard
Wirkus, of Miami, formerly Miss Rose-
mary Hubbell. Her husband is the
youngest brother of the Marine who
was known as "The White King of La
Gonave," a small island near Port-au-
Prince. Their baby daughter, born
last May, has been named Kathryn
Faustine for her uncle.
Mr. Wirkus was stationed at Albrook
Field from 1939 to 1941, although he did
not meet his wife until 1946 when she
returned to the United States after
2 years as an employee of the Research
and Service unit of the Personnel
Mrs. Wirkus enclosed a short clip-
ping from the Miami Herald, which
summarized her late brother-in-law's
career. As a member of the Marine
Corps, he was stationed on La Gonave
fnr 4 years.
[q IIlll T I
New Margarita Quarters
To Be Assigned April 24
The second group of new masonry
quarters to be completed in Margarita
by contract will be available for occu
pancy about May 1. The houses are
located along the north side of Espave
Avenue and on the short streets run-
ning north from Espave.
Included in the group are nine two-
bedroom apartments, four of which
are in two duplex houses, and six
three-bedroom single houses. Two of
the three-bedroom houses will be avail-
able for assignment to large families
Continuing the policy begun last
September, the apartments will be
assigned as of 4:15 p. m. April 24, prior
to their completion. Notices to that
effect and with full details as to house
and type numbers and descriptions
have been posted on public bulletin
Conferees Discuss Housing, Hospitals
(Continued from page s) Railway Conductors;
Walter Wagner, Henry Chenevert, W. E.
Percy, Carl Maedl, Ralph Curles, and
E. J. Husted, Central Labor Union;
S. J. Garriel, Plumbers; Rufus Lovelady,
AFGE; Henry Simpson, Marine Engin-
eers; and from the Civic Councils,
Sherman Brooks, M. J. Goodin, and
THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW
If clothes make the woman-and only
a man would be so foolhardy as to deny
it-feminine fates in the Canal Zone can
be credited largely to Mrs. Anna M.
Miller, who retires this month after 33
years in the Commissary Division.
For the last 8 years local women,
girls, and babies have been wearing the
hose, dresses, hats, and slips she had a
hand in buying.
As Supply Assistant to the Manager
of the Wholesale Drygoods Section of the
Commissary Division at Mount Hope
Mrs. Miller makes the original recom-
mendations concerning purchases of all
lines of women's, girls', and infants' wear
bought by the Commissary Division.
That means she must follow-or better
still, predict-the fickle ways of Dame
Fashion, a source of alternate delight and
despair to feminine fancies and finances
and people like Mrs. Miller in fashion
merchandizing. To keep up with devel-
opments in the fashion field she follows
about 14 trade journals and a large
assortment of advertising from various
Revolutions Of Style
In the period in which she has served
as fashion "soothsayer" for the Commis-
sary Division, the now dated "new look"
caused a style revolution and consequent
flattening of purses. Hemlines fell and
then they rose and petticoats came back.
New miracle fabrics appeared on the
scene and cinch belts came from Paris.
And who knows what fashion may be
to be merchandised
Miss and Mrs. Canal Zone are Mrs.
Miller's main problems. Babies gener-
ally put up with whatever is put on
them, wearing pink, blue, and white year
in and year out even though fashion
decrees beige for spring. This might help
account for Mrs. Miller's special fondness
for pretty little things for babies and
children although she shares the general
feminine weakness for good looking
clothes of all kinds.
Dame Fashion is only one of the femi-
nine influences in Mrs. Miller's work.
The approximately 12,000 women in the
Canal Zone for whom Commissary
clothes are purchased show by what they
hnv nr drnn't hnv thnir dpfinitp thaaf in
DRESSES for little girls are only a small part of
Mrs. Anna Miller's business. She has been with the
Commissary Division for 33 years.
visits to the retail stores. She also has
25 years of first-hand experience of her
own in the Cristobal Commissary.
South Dakota To Panama
She started to work there as a sales-
lady in February 1920, only about a
year after coming to the Canal Zone from
her home in South Dakota. She had
worked in department stores in her home
town and in Des Moines, before her em-
ployment in the Commissary. She was
head saleslady for 10 of the years at the
Cristobal Commissary and spent another
FIRST SPRING SING
A new musical event is scheduled for
the Canal Zone this month with the pres-
entation on April 12 of the La Boca
Two hundred boys and girls, between
the ages of 12 and 26 and all students or
alumni of La Boca schools, will take part
in the program which will be given at
5 p. m. on the grounds of the La Boca
The Spring Sing has been planned and
jq boina dirpntfpd hv Miks Emnilv Tihxthshr
four as commissary assistant before tak-
ing over her present job.
Mrs. Miller plans to leave in May to
go back to Sioux Falls where she looks
forward to a reunion with two sisters and
their families. She isn't sure that she
will stay there. The winters give. her
pause even though her co-workers have
promised to send her many outdated
clothing trade journals to warm her with
thoughts of the tropics when the South
Dakota winds howl.
Heart Association Founder
Is Visitor To Canal Zone
A former president of the American
Heart Association, the father of the
Panama Line's freight manager in New
York, was a visitor to the Canal Zone
last month. He is Dr. Robert H. Halsey
of New York. His son, Robert Halsey,
Jr., has been with the Panama Line for
several years and was made its freight
manager in January.
Dr. Halsey is a graduate of Columbia
University and of the College of Physi-
cians and Surgeons. During World War
I he served as a colonel in the Army's
Medical Corps. A 'professor of medicine,
he is the author of many articles pertain-
ing to the heart. In addition to being a
founding member and past president of
the American Heart Association he also
was a founding member of the New York
of the numbers are planned for choir
singing, although in one set of numbers
the girls sing alone and another set is
planned for the boys' voices alone.
Miss Butcher has planned the Spring
Sing without orchestral accompaniment.
The only instrumental music will be that
of two pianos. Pianists will be the regular
accompanists for the Glee Clubs: Miss
Mola Alphonse, who usually plays for the
Junior High School; Miss Mabel McFar-
quhar, who accompanied the Senior High
singers; and Miss Wilma Butcher and
Edward Lambert, who accompany the
Junior College and Alumni Glee Clubs.
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