The Panama Canal spillway =

Material Information

The Panama Canal spillway = el Canal de Panamá spillway
Portion of title:
Parallel title:
Canal de Panamá Spillway
Alternate title:
Spillway del Canal de Panamá
Canal Zone
Canal Zone
Panama Canal Company
United States -- Panama Canal Commission
United States
Place of Publication:
Balboa Hights C.Z
Panama Canal
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
Biweekly[Jan. 6, 1984-1999]
Weekly[ FORMER <June 1966>-Dec. 23, 1983]
Physical Description:
37 v. : ill. ; 43 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Periodicals -- Canal Zone ( lcsh )
Periodicals -- Panama Canal (Panama) ( lcsh )
federal government publication ( marcgt )
periodical ( marcgt )
serial ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
Republic of Panama -- Canal Zone -- Balboa -- Balboa Heights
8.95 x -79.566667 ( Place of Publication )


Text in English and Spanish; Spanish text inverted.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Vol. 1, no. 33 (Feb. 1, 1963)-Vol. 37, no. 26 (Dec. 30, 1999).
Issuing Body:
Issued by: Government of the Canal Zone <June 24, 1966-June 13 1969>; by the Panama Canal Company, <Aug. 13, 1976>-Sept. 14, 1979; by the Panama Canal Commission, Sept. 20, 1979-Dec. 1999.
General Note:
"Official Panama Canal publication."
General Note:
Imprint varies: Balboa Hights, <1966-1978>; Miami, Fla., <1979-1982>; Balboa Heights, Pan. <1983>-1999.
General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 5, no. 1 (June 24, 1966); title from caption.
General Note:
Vols. for 1994-1995 distributed to depository libraries in microfiche.
General Note:
Special "80th anniversary supplement" issue published on Aug. 12, 1994.
General Note:
Special ed. for 65th anniversary of the Panama Canal issued at end of Oct. 1979, is also a joint issue with: The News: authorized unofficial publication of the U.S. Armed Forces, Quarry Heights, Panama, and includes the text of the Panama Canal Act.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact Digital Services ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
02582102 ( OCLC )
83642750 ( LCCN )
0364-8044 ( ISSN )

Related Items

Preceded by:
Succeeded by:
Faro (Balboa, Panama)

Full Text

Special issue commemorates

waterway's Diamond Jubilee

The day we were all looking forward
to is finally here. The Panama Canal
celebrates its 75th birthday today. A
number of commemorative events have
been staged through the year, and the
Spillway has been covering ,them. As
mentioned in our last issue, some of the
highlights include the presentation of
medals and certificates to employees
(see photo at right), the unveiling of the
painting commissioned for the 75th
anniversary and the presentation of
plaques to vessels in Canal waters.
This special edition of the Spillway is
also part of the celebration. Our staff
has compiled a wide selection of
historical and human interest items in
observance of the anniversary.

We will continue reporting on
commemorative activities planned
throughout the remainder of the year,
and by the time 1989 comes to an end,
the Canal will be well on its way to
celebrating its 76th birthday.



"Canal operation in action," by Cristina Lee won the color competition in the photo
contest celebrating the Panama Canal's 75th anniversary. On our center page are
other winners selected by judges Ricardo L6pez, an attorney and avid amateur
photographer associated with the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Rommy
Goode, professor of photography at Universidad Santa Maria La Antigua and
Panama Canal College. More than 100 entries were submitted. Cash prizes were
awarded for the first three places and an honorable mention was named in the
color and black-and-white categories. The winners and a selection of other entries
will be displayed tomorrow through Friday in the Administration Building. In
September, Photography Month in Panama, the display moves to the Museum of
Contemporary Art.

Vol. XXVII, No. 17
Tuesday, August 15, 1989

An anniversary message

from the Chairman of the

iPCC Board of Directors

Nineteen hundred and eighty nine
marks the seventy-fifth year of service
to world commerce at the Panama
Canal. On August 15, 1914, this great
engineering marvel opened its doors
to the international shipping commu-
nity. In uniting the two largest
oceans, the Panama Canal had truly
created a path between the seas for

waterborne commerce,
cation and coopera-
tion throughout the

Three quarters of a cen-
tury later, the Canal
continues to serve the
maritime industry as a
vital link in major ship-
ping routes. More than
41/2 billion long tons of
oceangoing cargo have
transited during those
75 years. The Canal
today remains a tribute
to the visionaries who
conceived it and to



the workers representing many nations
who gave of their energies, skills, even
their lives, to make the dream of an
interoceanic passage a reality. The
longevity of this magnificient enter-
prise is due to the brilliance of its orig-
inal design, to the aggressive modern-
ization and maintenance programs
carried out by each successive genera-
tion, and to the skill and dedication of

"I call upon all Canal
employees and users
of the Panama Canal
to join with me in
honoring the past by
building the future."


those who have labored
at the Canal during
its construction and
subsequent operation.

As we recall the achie-
vements of the builders
and operators of the
Canal, I call upon all
Canal employees and
users of the Panama
Canal to join with me in
honoring the past by
building the future in
the celebration of its
75th anniversary.


Photo by Stuart G. R. Warner
Celebrating in style
Gina Tapiero of the Panama Canal Commission Orientation Service is dressed for
the occasion as she celebrates the Panama Canal's 75th anniversary watching
ships move through the waterway.

The Canal through the eyes of children ................... .. .. .. ...

Employees speak out ...................... .. ............. ......

Commission architect known for designs
R.P. issues anniversary stamps
C anal trivia .................................................

The Commission fleet ........................ ................. 5

Steamship agent centennial
Environmental group celebrates birthday
Previous anniversaries at Canal .................................. 6

World War I steals headlines
"Ancon" makes historic transit ................................... 7

Photo contest winners ........................................8

Panama Canal Commission
Administrator D. P. Mc-
Auliffe, right, and Deputy
Administrator Fernando
Manfredo Jr. admire the
medals and certificates that
are being presented to
Commission employees in
', ~ conjunction with the 75th
anniversary celebration.
Photo by Kevin Jenkins

Honoring the past by building the future

_ ~_ ___~~~P_________P__*j~--l~~


/ ji 7! 'i

Honoring the past by building the future

Children pay tribute to Canal

The Spillway asked children of Panama Canal Commission employees to send us
poetry, prose, pictures or any original work that expresses their feelings toward the
Canal on its 75th birthday. Here's some samples of what we received. We're sure
you'll enjoy them as much as we did. Thanks kids!

The mosquitoes were bad.
The men were mad.
The yellow fever passed around.
The men fell to the ground.
They dug, they dug,
But did they ever get mugged?
75 years ago,
It was hard, you know.
75 years was a long time,
But it was worth every dime.
Cheryl A. Stanford
Mother: Barbara Stanford,
Office of Financial Management
Father Ed Stanford,
Construction Division


Happy birthday Panama Canal!

The Panama Canal is a wonderful
and exciting place. It is one of the Seven
Wonders of the World. Happy 75th
birthday to the Panama Canal. The
Panama Canal was opened on Au-
gust 15, 1914. Many people came to
look at the Panama Canal. It was a
dream to those who built it.
At my school, Balboa Elementary
School, there was a science fair. My
project was about the Panama Canal. I
won a certificate and a red ribbon

award. I went to the Panama Canal to
look for rocks. I studied the rocks for
my project.
I feel proud of my dad for working as
a civil engineer in the Panama Canal.
When I grow up I too want to work for
the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal
is very special to my family.

Tatiana Berman
Father: George Berman, Engineering

The Panama Canal is a short cut
through Panama. Without the Canal
you would have to go around South
America and through icebergs and have
much more trouble.
Tom Herring
Father: Timothy Herring,
Pilot Division

I like the Panama Canal because my
dad lets me ride around-on his tugboat.
We go down to the engine if something
is wrong. If a ship breaks down, my dad
comes to pull it.
Galen Herring
Father: Joseph Herring,
Canal Services Division

The Panama Canal Spillway

Tuesday, August 15, 1989


The Panama Canal Spillway

Tuesday, August 15, 1989

Honoring the past by building the future

Canal employees speak out with pride

No anniversary observance would be possible without people to celebrate, and this
special edition of the Spillway wouldn't be complete without the input of Panama
Canal Commission employees. Our roving reporters visited work sites throughout
the Commission, posing some thought-provoking questions to a cross-section of the
labor force. This page shows what some of you had to say about the Canal and its
75th anniversary. (Bilingual readers may want to check the Spanish section, which
has a few responses not reported here.)

Robert McConaughey
Locks Division
My great-grandfather and grand-
father came here in 1906 to help
construct the Canal. My father worked
here, and I feel proud to carry on the
family tradition ofserving this necessary

Geoffrey Weeks
Locks Division
As long as we have maintenance and
well-trained personnel, this place will
not only work for another 75 years, but

Valentine Lynch
Admeasurement Division
I'm going to get together with family'
and friends and barbecue 75 jumbo

Brenda Sobenis
General Services Bureau
I contributed to 25 of those 75 years,
and we should all trust in God and hope
the Canal will still be usefulfor 75 more.

Vivian Diaz
General Services Bureau
I see the future as one that will
continue to manifest itself through the
eyes and hands of dedicated and loyal
workers, and I will continue to dedicate
my efforts towards that future.

Carmela Lowe Gobenm
Office of Area Coordination
We are confronting another historic
milestone, and for me it is an honor to
be associated with aproject that is still in
tiptop .yhape, thanks to the resoluteness
and creative genius ofthe men who built

Joseph Anderson
Locks Division, Atlantic
I appreciate the opportunities that
exist at the Canal. The sky's the limit
depending on the individual. Someone
can aspire for and achieve higher
positions. On my part, I started out as a
helper learner, and now I'm a senior
lockmaster. And I still have further

Roberto Sarmiento
Technical Resources Center
I am saddened that the 75th
anniversary finds us in such a critical
condition, politically and economically,
but I hope that more ships will start
coming through the Canal soon so that
the situation will improve and nobody
will be riffedd."

Veronica Hinds
Logistical Support Division
I plan to attend all the activities, and I
might take the day off and arrange a
sort of tour of Canal areas with my
smart little 18-month-old daughter and
my family andfriends. You know, a sort
of picnic.

John H. Engelke
Dredging Division
I was born .and raised here, my
parents and grandparents have worked
for the Panama Canal, and I'm really
proud to be here and be a part of the
75th anniversary. I also took part in the
recent bowling tournament and had a
great time with all the fellow employees.
It's a real shame that we have to have
our 75th anniversary under these
conditions. The present political situa-
tion sure does put a damper on the
celebrations. So far though,from what I
can see from the other employees
around me, in all the events the
Commission has organized for the 75th
anniversary, the feelings have been
exuberant and the participation has
been great.

Wally Murdoch
Dredging Division
This celebration is relatively exciting.
Not very often do you get to work for an
organization that has as many years of
experience behind it. Now we have
more equipment to do the job. Now we
work with more intelligence as opposed
to more labor, and that's a definite
change from when I first started
working here.

Thelma Quir6s
Locks Division
On this 75th anniversary, Id like to
see more ships passing through.

Milton Richards
Canal Protection Division
I'm very proud to be part of the 75th
anniversary of the Canal because I've
worked for the organization for 26
years, and it has alwaysfunctioned well.
Everything having to do with main-
tenance and operation of the Canal has
been coordinated well and done

Ricardo A. Quintero
Data Processing Systems
The will of a lot of people helped
during the construction of the Panama
Canal during the early years. The will of
its work force keeps it running after 75
years, and Ifeel honored to bepart of it.

Juan Ardinete
Launch and Linehandling
The 75 years of the Canal is
something very important to me and to
my country. I'm very proud to be
working for the Panama Canal Com-
mission. The maneuvers we dofor ships
are very important. I've gained ex-
perience and knowledge from the crews
we communicate with. I've gained
respect for the people I work with.

Cristopher McLean
Human Resources
Development Staff
The yearlong celebration of the
Panama Canal's 75th anniversary is
meaningful because it has brought
about an awareness that the Canal is not
just a pathway for transiting ships. We
have been awakened to the fact that
besides its worldwide commercial and
maritime importance, the Panama
Canal has greatly contributed to the
creation of a new society. It has been a
symbol of freedom and has fostered
democracy, especially in our hemi-
sphere. Therefore, the Canal should not
be conceived onhl as a very cold
structure but as land divided by man on
which a complex structure was built
that has helped to bring together a
dispersed world and a very fragmented
society. I view the Panama Canal as a
great asset for thefuture development of
humanity because the administration of
the waterway has been constantly
concerned about updating its tech-
nological and human resources aspects.

Hernin Tello
Office of Inspector General
The Panama Canal's 75th anniver-
sary means to me three-quarters of a
century of positive leadership.

Priscilla Hemindez
Office of Executive Planning
I wish the Panama Canal on its 75th
birthday, 75 more years of continued
safe, efficient and reliable service to its
customers. "Feliz Cumpleafios."

Dr. Lorna Engleman
Occupational Health Division
It feels great to be a third generation
Canal employee-my dream was al-
ways to work for the Canal.


Joan Ohman
Budget Management Division
The Canal's anniversary proves the
staying power of an incredible en-
gineering feat, and I'm proud to befrom
a family that has been part of it since

Ricardo Barker
Fire Division
Because of the 75th anniversary
celebrations, there has been a wakening
respect for sports activities and therefore
a much greater interest in employees
feeling part of the organization. This
has helped improve morale and con-
tributed to an overall improvement in
how we, as Canal employees, serve the

Pablo Prieto
Administrative Services Division
I am proud to be a member ofsuch a
fine organization upon the celebration
of its 75th anniversary. No other
organization that I'm aware of could
provide the working conditions or have
given me the job satisfaction that has
marked my career with the Panama

Priscilla M. Adonia
Buildings Management
The Canal has been steady going and
never stops. It makes it possible for
people to have good jobs. I'm proud
because my dad helped build it, and I'm
proud to be part of it.

Tony Garcia
Economic Research and Market
Development Division
I am proud to be a member of the
team which is fulfilling the commitment
made more than 75 years ago by the
honorable builders of the Panama


Honoring the past by building th e

The Panama Canal Spillway

Tuesday, August 15, 1989

PCC architect designed Canal seals, 50th anniversary stamps

By Joaquin Horna

If you work for the Panama Canal,
you've probably come across something
designed by Franklin Kwai Ben. The
Panama Canal Commission architect
either designed or had a hand in
designing the Commission seal, award
certificates and Canal Zone postage
When Kwai Ben joined the En-
gineering Division Architectural Branch
in 1951, all the architects were making
designs for the new Canal Zone
government seal. The design had to fit a
description made by President Wood-
row Wilson in 1915. "Do you think you
can do it?" the chief asked Kwai Ben.
"Try me!" he eagerly responded.
Five years later, one of his designs
was selected by acting Governor
Herman W. Schull Jr., as the most
faithful execution of President Wilson's
description. The seal was used until the
Canal Zone was disestablished on
September 30, 1979. And, when the
Panama Canal Commission needed a
new seal, Kwai Ben provided the red,
white and blue design that we all know
He has also painted replicas of the
government seal for distinguished
visitors; provided artwork for award
certificates, service pins and medals,
including the Panama Canal Honorary
Public Service Award medallion; and
designed plaques for many Canal area
monuments, such as those attached to
Theodore Roosevelt's and Ferdinand

De Lesseps' busts in the Administration
Building. Perhaps his most important
contribution was helping to design
more than 15 Canal Zone postage
stamp, including six stamps issued to
commemorate the waterway's 50th
anniversary in 1964.

The first Panamanian appointed to
the Architectural Branch, Kwai Ben
began his professional career in the
early 1930's. Looking for a job during
the Great Depression, he came upon
architect Camilo De Le6n, who showed
him the sketch of a house. "Can you
draw me a plan?" the architect asked.
Without having studied either architec-
ture or art, Kwai Ben examined the
sketch. "Your letters are very ugly," he
suddenly replied, "I can do it better!"

Under his skilled hand, the sketch
turned into a complete architectural
plan, indicating the location and
dimensions of every house component,
as well as the plumbing and electrical
installations. Soon, Kwai Ben was
rendering his services to some of the
best architects in Panama, including
Guillermo De Roux, Ricardo Bermii-
dez, Octavio Mendez Guardia, Howard
R. Sanders, Carlos Fibrega and
Rogelio Diaz. Under them, he took part
in the construction of the Panama
Hilton Hotel, the Social Security
Hospital on the Transisthmian High-
way, faculty buildings at the University
of Panama and a number of costly
family homes and apartments.

But where does his artistic talent
come from? Like many, Kwai Ben was
born with it. His parents noticed his
ability and encouraged him, so he took
up art as a hobby. In a short time, what
had been a pastime became a profes-
sion. To develop his technical skills, he
pursued architectural studies at the
University of Panama.

Whatever he's doing, Kwai Ben
always adds the artist's touch-even
while cooking! He has painted more
than 70 works of art and turned his
home into a showcase. He is known for
voluntarily giving of his talents to the
Canal organization and for giving away
his paintings to various friends who
have admired them.

R.P. to issue 75th anniversary stamps

The Panamanian Postal and Tele-
communication Bureau is planning to
issue a series of airmail stamps to
commemorate the 75th anniversary of
the official opening of the Panama
Canal to world commerce.
The Diamond Jubilee Series features
500,000 35-cent black and white stamps
and 300,000 60-cent color stamps. In
keeping with the anniversary slogan,
"Honoring the past by building the

future," the 35-cent stamp depicts the
SS Ancon of the Panama Steamship
Line, the first commercial vessel to
transit the waterway on August 15,
1914, and the 60-cent stamp pictures a
modern Panamax vessel.
In conjunction with the 75th anni-
versary air mail series, 1,000 envelopes
featuring both the anniversary slogan
and logo will also be issued

Spillway accommodates trivia buffs with juicy historical tidbits

The following tidbits of information
were compiled for trivia buffs and
Panama Canal history fans:

The work force during the last
years of Canal construction numbered
approximately 50,000, nearly equal to
the combined population of Colon and
Panama City.

The greatest tourist attraction
during Canal construction was Culebra
Cut, which took seven years to
complete, from 1907 through 1913.
More tourists were drawn to vantage


Administrator, Panama Canal Commission
Director of Public Affairs

Associate Director

points along the cut than to see the work
at the Gatun spillway dam or at the
The Senate Bill calling for a lock
Canal passed by a narrow margin of 36
to 31 on June 21, 1906. The House
approved it, and President Roosevelt
signed it on June 29, 1906. This is
considered by many the greatest
decision in building the Panama Canal.
At the end of the construction
period, all contract laborers who
desired repatriation were sent home at
the expense of the U.S. government.

Deputy Administrator

Associate Director

The Spillway is an official Panama Canal publication. Articles may be reprinted without further permission by crediting
the Panama Canal Spillway as the source. News items should arrive in the Press Office by noon, Thursday, the week
prior to publication. Only urgent, official material will be accepted after the deadline. Subscriptions for 52 issues are $6 regular mail,
$4 regular mail for students and S19 airmail. Send check or money order payable to the Panama Canal Commission to the Office of
Public Affairs, APO Miami 34011-5000.

Water from the Pacific Ocean
reached Miraflores Locks on August
31, 1913, when the Miraflores Dike was
blown up.
On Sunday, August 16, 1914, the
first commercial vessels to use the
Panama Canal included the Pleiades,
Pennsvlvanian and Arizonian, en route
from San Francisco to New York.
The first vessel of war to move
through the Panama Canal was the
Peruvian torpedo destroyer Teniente
Rodriguez, which made a southbound
transit on Tuesday, August 18.
Dry season in 1914 was the first
one with Gatun and Miraflores lakes at
their full operating levels and, therefore,
exposing their maximum surface to the
influence of evaporation.
In January 1914, steel barge
No. 14 was based in Gatun Lake and
converted to a sightseeing vessel
capable of seating 300 people. The
barge was returned to regular service in
The first towing locomotive of the
original 40 on order was number 641. It
was installed on the west side of the
center wall at Gatun Locks. Numbers
were chosen in the 600 series because of
the general numbering system of

machines, float wells, transformer
rooms and other equipment in use at
that time.
Gatun Lake reached an elevation
of 85 feet above sea level at 9 a.m. on
Tuesday, February 3, 1914. At 9:30
a.m. that same day, seven gates at the
Spillway were opened for a test of the
remote control system, operated from a
switchboard at the south end of the
Gatun Hydroelectric Station.
Prior to 1923, traffic handled at the
Suez Canal was always greater than that
at the Panama Canal. But, in 1923 only
4,621 vessels passed through the Suez
Canal while 5,037 toll-paying vessels
passed through the Panama Canal.
Col. William C. Gorgas, credited
with ridding Panama of malaria and
yellow fever, was characterized in the
early construction days as, a "crank"
who was "wasting money in trying to
drain pools, in cutting grass and weeds
and insisting that every house and
quarters should be screened." During
the construction of the locks, a struggle
developed between contractors and
Gorgas' sanitation workers. In an effort
to cover all pools of water with oil, the
workers had sprayed over freshly
poured locks cement.

Proud grandfather
Franklin Kwai Ben tells his 9-
year-old grandson, Rodolfo
Wong, about the design of the
Panama Canal Commission seal.
Photo by Armando De Gracia




The Panama Canal Spillway 1914-1989

Tuesday, August 15, 1989 1914-1989
Honoring the past by building the future

Big, small-we need them all!

Those of us who live and work near the Panama Canal see an interesting variety
of ships from all over the world. As we admire these transiting vessels, some of us
overlook the fact that the Panama Canal Commission maintains an impressive fleet
of its own. Rowboats, launches, barges, tugs, floating cranes, dredges, oil skimmers,
canoes, aluminum-bodied motor boats, survey boats, airboats and a drill boat all
contribute in their individual ways to keeping the Canal operating efficiently. The
photos on this page represent the many different types of vessels in the Canal fleet.

Tugging along
Above, the "M. L. Walker," one of the Commission's many tugboats, helps guide a
ship into Miraflores Locks.

Waging the war on weeds
The airboatpictured above sprays herbicides to combat the weeds that proliferate
in Canal waters.

Having a blast!
The "Thor" is used by the
Dredging Division to drill holes
into rock at the bottom of the
Canal. Once the holes are
drilled, explosives are inserted,
and the rock is blasted to pieces.

Giant of the fleet
As its name suggests, the floating
crane "Hercules" is the mightiest
member of the fleet. With a lifting
capacity of 250 tons, it is used to lift
vessels out of the water for main-
tenance, remove locks miter gates for
overhaul and other heavy-duty tasks.

Photos by
Bobby Fishbough,
Kevin Jenkins
and Arthur Pollack

The big dipper
The "Rialto M. Christensen," above, is the larger of the
Dredging Division's two dipper dredges. The Dredging
Division also has a suction dredge, the "Mindi."

Still the best way to go
Small vessels such as piraguas, rowboats and aluminum-
bodied motor boats are useful to the Commission
because their maneuverability allows them to transport
personnel and equipment to regions inaccessible to
larger craft and to work in areas where there is not much
room. The piraguas at right are used by the Meteoro-
logical and Hydrographic Branch.


-- v 1914-1989
H-o ,norinm the ast b hbuildinf theo f e~t(

The Panama Canal Spillway

Tuesday, August 15, 1989

Local agent also reaches major milestone

By Susan K. Stabler

The official letterhead of Associated
Steamship Agents S.A. of Colon
reveals much of the shipping agency's
history. In bold letters across the top of
the page, the letterhead reads, "ASSO-
S.A." Beneath that, in smaller type and
William Andrews set off by parentheses, is "Payne &

Today marks ANCON's fourth birthday

Today is the anniversary not only of
the Panama Canal and Panama City
but also of the National Association for
the Conservation of Nature (ANCON).
The organization was founded August
15, 1985, by community and private
sector leaders who joined forces to
protect Panama's valuable natural
resources and biological diversity.
From the beginning, ANCON con-
centrated its efforts and resources in the
field, working for the protection of
natural areas such as the Soberania and
Chagres national parks, both important
components of the Panama Canal
watershed and important suppliers of
drinking water. Through the support of
the community and international
sponsors, ANCON has become an

efficient institution that permanently
supports the efforts of other local public
and private conservation groups. Its
recent aggressive "Amigos de ANCON"
media membership campaign paid off.
The group now has the support of over
1,200 "Amigos," making it the largest
conservation group in Panama.
With a staff of 20, ANCON's work
includes setting park boundaries, train-
ing and equipping park rangers and
educating park communities to involve
them in conservation efforts. The
association has also created a com-
puterized data bank that stores the
characteristics, number, protection
status, location and distribution of the
different species of flora and fauna
found in Panama.

Wardlaw and W. Andrews & Co.,"and
beneath it says, "At the Panama Canal."
One thing the letterhead doesn't say,
however, is that the steamship agency is
currently celebrating its 100th year of
operation on the Isthmus. "We con-
sidered adding that information to our
letterhead this year," explains the
agency's senior partner, Ned Blenner-
hassett. "But with the Panama Canal
Commission using a special letterhead
in connection with its own year-long
75th anniversary celebration, we felt
introducing ours at the same time might
be overdoing it. We'll probably do it
next year."
William Andrews, a British subject,
founded the firm of W. Andrews &
Company in Colon, which was then
part of Colombia, in 1898, the same
year the French effort to build the
Panama Canal failed. During the lean
years between the French and U.S.
construction eras, he probably brought
together the remnants of the British
shipping activity based in Liverpool,
England, that had supported the French
Business really picked up when the

Canal opened in 1914, but Andrews
never opened an office at the Pacific
entrance to the waterway. Instead,
another company, Payne & Wardlaw,
headed by Andrews' business associate,
Clifford Payne, handled W. Andrews &
Co. vessels on the Pacific side. Andrews,
in turn, handled Payne & Wardlaw
vessels on Panama's Atlantic coast. The
arrangement between the two compa-
nies seems to have worked well. When
asked about the shared duties of the two
agencies, representatives of each would
reply, "Yes, that's our associate com-
So good was the liaison that when
Andrews died, he left W. Andrews &
Co. to Payne, who continued to operate
the two agencies separately, but as
associates, in the same manner as
before. When Payne died, he left the
two agencies to his successors, who in
1975 formally combined their two
companies under one name.
Blennerhassett, who began working
for Andrews & Co. 30 years ago as a
bunkerman operating a blending ma-
chine on Dock 16, says, "The secret of
success in this company is stamina."

Difficult times overshadowed Canal's 25th, 50th anniversaries

It seems that trouble of one kind or
another has overshadowed many of the
major milestones in the history of the
Panama Canal. In August 1914, World
War I broke out in Europe just before
the Canal opened. In 1939, when the
Canal celebrated its 25th anniversary,
another world war was beginning. In
1964, the 50th anniversary of the Canal,
riots along the Canal Zone border cast a
pall over the celebrations. And this year,
as the waterway celebrates its Diamond
Jubilee, political and economic turmoil
in the Republic of Panama and
financial difficulties in the Panama
Canal Commission have made it
necessary to scale down the observance
In spite of the problems, however, the
Panama Canal has continued to
operate, and celebrations were staged at
each of these major landmarks in the
history of the waterway. For example,
during the 1939 commemoration of the
Silver Anniversary of the Panama
Canal, the SS Ancon of the Panama
Line reenacted its historical voyage of
25 years earlier. Special ceremonies
were held in all Canal communities,
attracting thousands of residents from
the Canal Zone and the Republic of

Silver Anniversary memorabilia in-
cluded a commemorative album fea-
turing photographs of the Canal and
information on its planning, construc-

tion and operation. Not one, but two
sets of stamps were issued. One series of
16 stamps depicting before and after
scenes of the Canal was issued in
observance of the 25th anniversary, and
another set of six commemorated the
10th anniversary of airmail service in
the Canal Zone.
The problems in 1964 did not
eliminate enthusiasm for the Golden
Anniversary celebration either. Both
the United States and the Republic of
Panama had reason to be proud of the
engineering marvel, the product of the
heroic efforts and perseverance of
thousands of men and women who
worked jointly in the great enterprise.
The celebration included a reception
by Gov. Robert Fleming for Panama-
nian officials and visiting dignitaries; a
luncheon aboard the SS Cristobal for
shippers; and other special luncheons

for construction-day workers, former
Canal officials, Panamanian govern-
ment officials and shipping agency
executives. Among those who came to
the Isthmus for the occasion was
Maurice H. Thatcher, the only sur-
viving member of the 1903 Isthmian
Canal Commission.
For its part, the government of
Panama ordered that a medal be made
honoring the feat made possible by the
combined contributions of the Republic
of Panama and the United States. The
medal contained the likenesses of
presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Beli-
sario Porras, Lyndon B. Johnson and
Roberto Chiari and the motto of
Panama, "Pro Mundi Beneficio." The
Panama Canal agency also had medals
made for the occasion. The Medallic
Art Company of New York struck two
official medallions, both incorporating

the four points of the compass and a
shield that shows a ship sailing through
Gaillard Cut.
A set of six airmail stamps was also
issued, featuring aerial views of Panama
Canal scenes and the cities of Balboa
and Cristobal. In addition, a com-
memorative album was published in
English and Spanish, and a memora-
bilia display of historical photographs,
maps, illustrations, books and stamps
was exhibited at the Canal Zone
Library-Museum. A documentary film
of the activities and ceremonies in the
Canal Zone'was released soon after the
The 50th anniversary celebration
spread far and wide. Henry J. Grieser, a
retired Panama Canal employee, cele-
brated the Canal's Golden Anniversary
with a party at his home in County
Cork, Ireland. And the mayor of New
York City signed a proclamation
designating August 16, 1964, as Pan-
ama Canal Anniversary Day at the New
York World's Fair. In fact, that week
the fair featured Lucho Azcarraga and
his band.
Like this year's anniversary ob-
servance, these milestones in Canal
history stand not only as a tribute to the
Panama Canal as an engineering
wonder but also as a demonstration of
the waterway's continuing ability to
fulfill its mission of serving world
commerce, even in the midst of

50th anniversary
As with this year's an-
niversary celebration, all
kinds of souvenirs were
sold during the Panama
Canal's Golden Jubilee.
This photo shows what
one private collector has
Photo by Armando De Gracia

rionoring ine past V)' pir y I g U1 U



The Panama Canal Spillway

Tuesday, August 15, 1989

u 14-1 89
Honoring the past by building thefuture

World War I dampens Canal's opening festivities

By Suzanne Dempsey

It's hard to believe, but the opening of
the Panama Canal did not elicit a blaze
of publicity. It didn't even make the
front pages of international news-
papers. On August 15, 1914, New York
Times readers had to work their way to
page 5 to learn of the historic event that
was to take place. Even in Panama
itself, the front pages of the local
newspapers were entirely devoted to
another event-the beginning of World
War I.

At the moment that a new link
between two oceans was intended to
unite the world, a .political struggle in
Europe was dividing it. For those too

young to remember, here's an attempt
to unravel how it all started.
On June 28 1914, the heir to the
Austro-Hungarian Empire was assassi-
nated. Emperor Franz Josef blamed a
neighboring country, Serbia (now
Yugoslavia), for supplying the arms for
the murder. Franz Josef issued a stiff 10-
point ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia
agreed to all but one point, but on July
28 that one point was enough to give it
the unenviable distinction of becoming
the first country to have war declared on
it during World War I.
The madness escalated from there.
By the time the Panama Canal opened,
Germany, Russia, France, Belgium and
Great Britain were also involved in the

hostilities. And so, on August 15, 1914,
the world was wondering at the spread
of conflict and bloodshed, rather than
marveling at the triumph of peacetime
engineering that had been undertaken
for the benefit of humanity.
The war also cast its shadow over the
Canal's opening ceremonies. Back in
May, the planning committee had
arranged a magnificent display of
warships from all over the world. In its
enthusiasm, the United States even
invited the Swiss navy to participate.
The Swiss were amused, but had to
decline the offer, Switzerland being a
landlocked country not in possession of
a navy!
The fleet was to sail from the East

Coast, transit the Panama Canal and
arrive at San Francisco where the
Panama-Pacific Exposition-a world's
fair in honor of the Canal-was to be
held. The exposition took place, but not
until February of the following year.
The international armada was canceled.
By that time any countries owning
warships wanted to keep them close at
Sadly then, the culmination of years
of planning, dreaming, digging,
dredging and blasting and the incredible
sacrifice of life and limb went almost
unheeded. It was only after the passage
of time had dulled the painful memories
of war that the Panama Canal and the
people who built it received the
attention and glory they deserved.


4 r agL

"Ancon" transit brings year of efforts to fruition

By Ana Elena Vald6s
After years of heroic efforts and the
perseverance of thousands of people, a
centuries-old dream became a reality 75
years ago today, when the SS Ancon
made the first official transit of the
Panama Canal.
Important as the event was to world
trade, it lacked the splendor it deserved.
The European war made international
participation impossible, and an elabo-
rate maritime pageant had to be
Nevertheless, great excitement pre-
vailed on the Isthmus itself. The first
official transit of an oceangoing vessel

from deep water in the Atlantic to deep
water in the Pacific was about to be
made. The 9,600-ton steamer Ancon, of
the Panama Railroad Company, had
been selected to make the inaugural trip.

The honor bestowed upon the Ancon
was well-deserved and appropriate.
Originally named Shawmut, the Ancon
had been bought from the Boston
Steamship Company to carry thou-
sands of Canal workers between the
United States and the Canal Zone. It
had also transported shiploads of
cement from New York to Cristobal for
the construction of the three sets of

locks through which it was to pass that
On the morning of Saturday,
August 15, 1914, the Ancon carried as
guests of the U.S. Secretary of War,
about 200 people, including President
Belisario Porras, his cabinet and other
Panamanian government officials;
members of the diplomatic corps and
resident consuls-general; and Panama
Canal officials.
Just after 7 a.m., the whistle of the
Ancon announced the beginning of the
50-mile voyage. The vessel backed away
from the dock at Cristobal, heading for
the Atlantic entrance of the Canal.

Ships in the harbor blasted their
whistles as the Ancon swung into the
channel. Col. George W. Goethals was
at the Gatun Locks watching every
movement of the ship.
Under the guidance of Panama
Canal pilots captains Ralph Osbom
and John Constantine, the ship pro-
ceeded through the Canal, taking little
more than an hour to lock from
Atlantic sea level through the three
Gatun lock chambers up 85 feet to the
level of Gatun Lake.
The vessel moved through the lake
and reached the entrance of Culebra
(now Gaillard) Cut about two hours
later. Every dredge, tug and piece of
auxiliary equipment along the banks of
the Canal blew its whistle to welcome
the Ancon as it approached. The
passage through the cut was made
without incident and the Ancon reached
Pedro Miguel Locks shortly before 1
p.m. It then proceeded across Mira-
flores Lake to Miraflores Locks.
It was at Miraflores Locks that the
first and only real delay in the transit
came. The opening of the lower gates
created eddies, and the Ancon was held
in the lower chamber until the water
calmed. About half an hour later, the
trip continued without further incident
from Miraflores Locks to Balboa. After
reaching deep water in the Pacific, the
Ancon turned and went back to the
Balboa harbor.
More than 2000 spectators lined the
piers to cheer as it approached. The
historic voyage had been completed.
The Panama Canal was a reality!
This ends our series of historical
articles chronicling the events leading
up to the opening of the Panama Canal,
75 years ago. We hope you have
enjoyed reading it as much as we have
producing it.

First place, black and white Maria L. Carvajal Primer lugar en blanco y negro Third place, color


., ;->^ *3T -Xf.--.i |,

Photo contest winners named
The photos on this page, and the first-place color entry featured on page one of this
special issue of the Spillway, represent the winners in the Panama Canal Commission
75th anniversary photo contest. Subject matter included the Panama Canal, its
operation, people and mission, with emphasis on 75 years of service to world
commerce. According to contest rules, all entries had to be taken or created between
August 1, 1988, and July 31, 1989.

Eligen ganadores de concurso
Las fotos en esta pigina y la ganadora del primer lugar en la categoria de color que
aparece en la primera plana de esta edici6n, representan los ganadores del concurso
de fotografia del 750 aniversario auspiciado por la Comisi6n del Canal de Panama.
Los temas incluyeron el Canal de Panami, su operaci6n, su gente y su misi6n,
haciendo 6nfasis en los 75 afios de servicio al comercio mundial. Segfin las reglas del
concurso, todas las fotografias debian haber sido tomadas entre el 1 de agosto de
1988 y el 31 de julio de 1989.


Segundo lugar a color Second place, black and white


,' I ,,!, '

~P~ II I r--~r~gss~

Second place, color Minerva Del C. Mapp

Carlos Aragundi

igo Javier Chan Gamboa Tercer lugar a color

mention, color

John Husum

Menci6n honorifica a color Third place, black and white Roberto Romero Torres

Honorable mention, black and white Marco Antonio Patterson

Tercer lugar en blanco y negro

n blanco y negro

Segundo lugar en blanco y negro

Menci6n honorifica e

", a ~
,~ ", ~ 5 tl8f ' "

El Spillway celebra con

edicion especial Bodas

de Diamante del Canal

Finalmente estA aqui el dia que tanto
esperabamos. El Canal de Panama
celebra sus Bodas de Diamante hoy.
Una serie de eventos conmemorativos
han sido programados durante todo el
afio, y el Spillway los ha estado
cubriendo. Como informamos anterior-
mente, algunas de las actividades mis
importantes incluyen la presentaci6n de
medallas y certificados a los empleados
(vea foto a la derecha), una ceremonia
para develar una pintura 750
aniversario y la presentaci6n de placas a
las naves en aguas del Canal.
Esta edici6n del Spillway tambi6n es
parte de la celebraci6n. Nuestros
reporteros han recopilado una extensa
variedad de articulos de interns hist6rico
y humano para observar el aniversario.

Continuareinos cubriendo las acti-
vidades conmemorativas programadas
hasta fin de afio, y cuando 1989 llegue a
su fin, el Canal de Panama estara bien
encaminado hacia su 760 aniversario.


del aniversario
El Administrador ae la Co-
misi6n del Canal de Panamd
D. P. McAuliffe, a la derecha,
y el Subadministrador Fer-
nando Manfredo, Jr., admi-
ran las medallas y certifica-
dos que estdn siendo pre-
sentados a los empleados de
la Comisi6n como parte de
la celebraci6n del 750 ani-
Foto por Kevin Jenkins

Construyendo el futuro honramos el pasado

Ganadora de concurso
"Operaci6n del Canal en accidn", por Cristina Lee, gan6 en la categoria de color
del concurso de fotografia conmemorativo del 75 aniversario. En la pdgina del
centro aparecen otros ganadores seleccionados por los jueces Ricardo L6pez,
abogado y dvido fot6grafo aficionado, vinculado al Museo de Arte Contempo-
rdneo, y Rommy Goode, profesora de fotografia de la Universidad Santa MariaLa
Antigua y el Panama Canal College. Mds de 100 trabajos fueron presentados. Se
otorgaron premios en efectivo a los primeros tres lugares y una menci6n
honorifica fue designada en las categorias de color y blanco y negro. Las
fotografias premiadas, al igual que una selecci6n de otros trabajos, estardn en
exhibici6n desde mahiana hasta el viernes en el Edificio de Administraci6n. En
septiembre, Mes de la Fotografia en Panamd, la exposici6n serd trasladada al
Museo de Arte Contempordneo.

Mensaje de aniversario

del Presidente de la Junta

Directiva de la Comisi6n

Mil novecientos ochenta y nueve
marca el 750 aniversario del servicio
al comercio mundial en el Canal de
Panama. El 15 de agosto de 1914, esta
gran maravilla de ingenieria abri6 sus
puertas a la comunidad naviera
interacional. Al unir los dos oc6anos
mis grandes, el Canal de Panama
verdaderamente ha creado una senda
entre dos mares para el comercio
maritimo, comunicaci6n y coopera-
ci6n por todo el mundo. F,-

Tres cuartos de siglo
despu6s, el Canal conti-
nila sirviendo a la indus-
tria maritima como un
enlace vital para impor-
tantes rutas navieras.
Mis de 4.5 mil millones
de toneladas largas de
carga han transitado
durante estos 75 afios.
Hoy dia, el Canal sigue
siendo un tributo a los
visionarios que lo con-
cibieron y a la fuerza


laboral que representa muchas nacio-
nes que brindaron su energia, habili-
dades y hasta sus vidas para convertir
el suefio de un paso interoceanico en
una realidad. La duraci6n de esta
magnifica empresa es producto de su
brillante disefio original, su agresiva
modernizaci6n, los programas de
mantenimiento levados a cabo por
sucesivas generaciones, y la capacidad
y consagraci6n de aquellos que labo-
raron en el Canal duran-
S te su construcci6ny pos-
terior funcionamiento.

"Exhorto a los emplea-
dos y usuarios del
Canal a que nos una-
mos para construir el
futuro honrando el


Al tiempo que recorda-
mos los logros de los
constructores y operado-
res del Canal, exhorto a
los empleados y usua-
rios del Canal a que nos
unamos para construir
el futuro honrando el
pasado en esta cele-
braci6n del 750 aniver-


Foto por Stuart G. R. Warner
Celebrando con estilo
Gina Tapiero, del Servicio de Orientaci6n de la Comisi6n del Canal de Panama,
viste para la ocasi6n mientras celebra el 750 aniversario de la via acudtica mirando
los barcos pasar por el Canal.

C6mo los nifios ven el Canal ....................................

Empleados opinan .............................................. 3

Arquitecto de la Comisi6n conocido por disefios
Panama emite estampillas de aniversario
Trivia del Canal ............................................... 4

Flota de la Comisi6n ........................................... 5

Centenario de agente de vapores
Grupo conservacionista celebra aniversario
Previos aniversarios en el Canal .................................. 6

Primera Guerra Mundial acapara titulares
"Anc6n" realiza hist6rico transito ................................. 7

Ganadores del concurso de fotografia.............................. 8


E^ZSKSZEESS;?^ a 1^^ g--.-.r-m-i-!

/ ) '

Construyendo elfuturo honramos el pasado

Ninios rinden tributo al Canal

El Spillway pidi6 a los hijos de los empleados de la Comisi6n del Canal de
Panama que enviaran sus poesias, prosas, fotos o cualquier obra original que
expresara sus sentimientos hacia el Canal en su 750 aniversario. A continuaci6n
aparecen algunas de las obras que recibimos. Estamos seguros que las disfrutarin
tanto como nosotros lo hicimos. iGracias nifios!

Los mosquitos eran malos
Los hombres estaban bravos
Fiebre amarilla habia
Los hombres con ella caian
Excavaron y excavaron,
Pero acaso los asaltaron?
Hace 75 aios,
Era dificil, tz sabes.
75 afiosfue mucho tiempo
Pero valid cada centavo
Cheryl A. Stanford
Madre: Barbara Stanford,
Oficina de Administraci6n de Finanzas
Padre: Ed Stanford,
Divisi6n de Construcci6n

iFeliz cumpleahios Canal de Panama!

El Canal de Panama es un maravillo-
so y emocionante lugar. Es una de las
Siete Maravillas del Mundo. Feliz
cumpleafios al Canal de Panama. El
Canal de Panama abri6 el 15 de agosto
de 1914. Mucha gente vino a ver el
Canal de Panama. Fue un suefio para
los que lo construyeron.
En mi escuela, la Escuela Primaria de
Balboa, hubo una feria de ciencias. Mi
proyecto fue sobre el Canal de Panamra.
Gan& un certificado y un premio con

una cinta roja. Fui al Canal de Panama
a buscar rocas. Estudi6 las rocas para mi
Me siento orgullosa de mi papa por
trabajar como ingeniero civil en el
Canal de Panama. Cuando sea grande
tambi6n quiero trabajar en el Canal de
Panama. El Canal de Panama es muy
especial para mi familia.

Me gusta el Canal de Panama porque
mi papa me deja montarme en su
remolcador. Bajamos al cuarto de
motores cuando algo anda mal. Si un
barco se dafia, mi papa viene a

Tatiana Berman Galen Herring
Padre: George Berman, Padre: Joseph Herring,
Divisi6n de Ingenieria Divisi6n de Servicios del Canal

El Canal de Panama es un atajo a
trav6s de Panama. Sin el Canal, uno
tendria que ir alrededor de Sudam6rica
y pasar por los icebergs y tener muchos
otros problemas.
Tom Herring
Padre: Timothy Herring,
Divisi6n de Practicos

Spillway del Canal de Panamd

Martes 15 de agosto de 1989

"'~: ":~Si?





Spillway del Canal de PanamB

Martes 15 de agosto de 1989

Construyendo elfuturo honramos elpasado

Orgullo por el Canal reflejan empleados

Ninguna celebraci6n del aniversario seria posible sin gente con quien celebrar, y
esta edici6n especial del Spillway no estaria completa sin comentarios de los
empleados de la Comisi6n del Canal de Panama. Nuestros reporteros visitaron
diferentes areas de trabajo de la Comisi6n haciendo una serie de preguntas a
diferentes miembros de la fuerza laboral. Esta pagina muestra algunos de los
comentarios que hicieron acerca del Canal y su aniversario. (Los lectores bilingiies
pueden revisar la secci6n en ingl6s, en la cual aparecen algunos comentarios no
publicados aqui.)

Robert McConaughey
Divisi6n de Esclusas
Mi bisabuelo v mi abuelo vinieron en
1906 para ayudar a construir el Canal.
Mi padre trabald aqui, y me siento
orgulloso de continuar la tradicidn
familiar de servir en esta necesaria

Geoffrey Weeks
Divisi6n de Esclusas
Mientras tengamos mantenimiento y
personal bien adiestrado, este lugar no
sdlo trabajard por 75 afios mds, sino
para siempre.

Valentine Lynch
Divisi6n de Arqueo
Voy a reunirme con mi familia y
amistades para hacer una barbacoa con
75 langostinos.

Brenda Sobenis
Direcci6n de Servicios
He contribuido con 25 de esos 75
aios, y todos deberiamos tener fe en
Dios y esperar que el Canalva a ser dtil
por 75 afios mds.

Jose del C. Saavedra
Divisi6n de Dragado
Me siento bastante optimista para
este aniversario porque nosostros esta-
mos tratando de hacer la mejor labor
posible para que el Canal siga
funcionando como hasta ahora lo ha
hecho, y creo que de aquialafio 2000 va
a seguir'haciindolo bien. En el Canal
siempre hemos tenido igualdad de
oportunidades. Aqui nos han valorado
nuestro trabajo y nos han remunerado
bien. Pienso que las actuales dificulta-
des se van a componer y se seguird
trabajando como antes.

Joseph Anderson
Division de Esclusas,
Aprecio las oportunidades que exis-
ten en el Canal. El cielo es el limite
dependiendo de cada individuo. Algu-
nos pueden aspirar a aklanzar posicio-
nes mds altas. Por mi parte, yo empecd
como ayudante principiante, y ahora
soy maestre de esclusas. Y todavia tengo
otras metas.

Roberto Sarmiento
Centro de Recursos
Siento tristeza porque el 750 aniver-
sario nos encuentra en esta condicidn
tan critica, politica y econnmicamente,
pero espero que mds barcos empiecen a
pasar por el Canal pronto para que la
situacidn mejore y no despidan a nadie.

Ver6nica Hinds
Divisi6n de Apoyo
Tengo planeado asistir a todas las
actividades, y a lo mejor tome el dia
libre y arregle una especie de excursion a
las diferentes dreas del Canal con mihija
de 18 meses y mifamilia y amistades.
Sabes, como una especie de picnic.

John H. Engelke
Division de Dragado
Naci creci aqui, mis padres ?
abuelos han trabajado para el Canal de
Panamd, r estoy realmente orgulloso de
estar aqui y serparte del 750 aniversario.
Tambidn participd en el reciente torneo
de boliche v me diverti muchisimo con
los otros empleados. Es una Idstima que
cumplamos nuestro 750 aniversario
bajo estas condiciones. La situacidn
politica actual si opaca en algo la
celebracidn. Pero hasta ahora, por lo
que puedo ver en los otros empleados a
mi alrededor, en todos los eventos que
ha organizado la Comsisidn para el 750
aniversario, ha habido ungran entusias-
mo y participacidn.

Wally Murdoch
Divisi6n de Dragado
Esta celebracidn es relativamente
emocionante. No mu.' a menudo se
llega a trabajar para una organizacidn
que cuenta con tantos afios de
experiencia. Ahora tenemos mds equi-
po para hacer el trabajo. Ahora
trabajamos con mds inteligencia y.
menos mano de obra, y eso definitiva-
mente es un'cambio desde que empecd a
trabajar aqui


Thelma Quir6s
Division de Esclusas
En este 750 aniversario me gustaria
ver mds barcos pasar.

Milton Richards
Divisi6n de Protecci6n
del Canal
Estoy muy orgulloso de ser parte del
759 aniversario del Canal porque he
trabajado para la organizacidn por 26
ainos .y siempre ha funcionado bien.
Todo lo que estd relacionado con el
mantenimiento y operacidn del Canal
ha sido bien coordinado Y Ilevado a
cabo eficientemente.

Ricardo A. Quintero
Division de Sistemas de
Procesamiento de Datos
La voluntad de mucha gene ayudd
durante la construccidn del Canal de
Panamd los primeros anios. La voluntad
de su fuerza laboral lo mantiene
funcionando 75 ailos despuds, y me
siento honrado de ser part de ello.

Juan Ardinete
Lanchas y Pasacables,
Los 75 afios del Canal son muy
importantes para mi para mi pars.
Estoy muy orgulloso de estar trabajan-
do para la Comisidn del Canal de
Panamd. Las maniobras que hacemos
con los barcos son mur importantes. He
ganado experiencia y conocimientos de
la tripulacidn con que nos comunica-
mos y he ganado respeto por las
personas con las que trabajo.

Armando Tesis
Divisi6n de Electricidad
Me siento bastante conforme y
satisfecho con este aniversario, por la
sencilla razdn de que pertenezco a la
organizacidn del Canal, y es un orgullo
para un panameno pertenecer a esta
importance organizacidn.


Di6genes Avils
Divisi6n de Dragado
Las actividades para la celebracidn
del aniversario me parecen magnificas
porque ellas contribuyen a unir a los
empleados, a la vez que conmemoran la
construccidn del Canal. Me gustd
mucho elfolleto que nos dieron y toda
la divulgacidn que se le estd dando al
evento. Pienso que estas actividades no
sdlo deberian hacerse durante este aio,
sino todos los aios.

Hermin Tello
Oficina del Inspector
Para mi el 750 aniversario del Canal
de Panamd significa tres cuarios de siglo
de liderazgo positivo.

Priscilla Hernmndez
Oficina de Planificaci6n
En su 75 aniversario, deseo al Canal
de Panamd 75 aifos mds de servicio
seguro, eficiente y responsable para sus

Dra. Loma Engleman
Divisi6n de Salud
Se siente muY bien ser la tercera
generacidn trabajando en el Canal-mi
suefio siempre fue trabajar para el

Joan Ohman
Division de Administraci6n
de Presupuesto
El aniversario del Canal de Panamd
prueba la resistencia de una increible
obra de ingenieria, y estoy orgullosa de
pertenecer a una familiar que ha sido
parte de ella desde 1909.

Oscar Escobar
Ramo de Arquitectura
Para esta fecha me siento orgulloso
de formar parte de una organizacidn
eficiente que sirve a toda lahumanidad,
y que respeta y reconoce los mdritos de
sus empleados.

Pablo Prieto
Divisi6n de Servicios
Estoy orgulloso de ser miembro de
tan magnifica organizacidn en la
celebracidn de su 759 aniversario.
Ninguna otra organizacidn que yo
conozco podria proporcionar las condi-
ciones de trabajo o me habria dado la
satisfaccidn en el trabajo que ha
marcado mi carrera con el Canal de

Priscilla M. Adonia
Administraci6n de
El Canal ha estado funcionando
siempre y nunca se detiene. Hace
posible que la gente tenga buenos
trabajos. Estor orgullosa porque mi
padre ayudd a construirlo, y me siento
orgullosa de ser parte de dl.

Tony Garcia
Divisi6n de Investigaci6n
Econ6mica y Mercadeo
Estoy orgulloso de ser miembro del
equipo que estd cumpliendo con la
promesa hecha hace mds de 75 aiospor
los honorables constructores del Canal
de Panamd.


Spillway del Canal de Panama

Martes 15 de agosto de 1989

Construyendo elfuturo honramos el pasado

Arquitecto disefi6 sellos y estampillas de aniversarios

Por Joaquin Homa
Si trabaja para el Canal de Panama,
probablemente habri visto algtin dise-
ilo de Franklin Kwai Ben. El arquitecto
de la Comisi6n del Canal de Panama
disefi6, o contribuy6 a disefiar, el sello
de la Comisi6n, certificados de premia-
ci6n y estampillas postales de la Zona
del Canal.
Cuando Kwai Ben ingres6 al Ramo
de Arquitectura de la Divisi6n de
Ingenieria en 1951, todos los arquitectos
estaban diseilando el nuevo sello del
gobiero de la Zona del Canal. El
disefio tenia que ajustarse a la descrip-
ci6n hecha por el Presidente Woodrow
Wilson en 1915. ",Crees que puedes
hacerlo?" pregunt6 el jefe a Kwai Ben.
"iPrubbeme!", respondi6 entusiasma-
Cinco afios mis tarde, uno de sus
disefios fue seleccionado por el gober-
nador interino Herman W. Schull, Jr.,
como la mas fiel ejecuci6n de la
descripci6n del Presidente Wilson. El
sello se us6 hasta que la Zona del Canal
dej6 de existir el 30 de septiembre de
1979. Cuando la Comisi6n del Canal de
Panama necesit6 un nuevo sello, Kwai
Ben proporcion6 el muy conocido
disefio rojo, blanco y azul.
Tambi6n pint6 replicas del sello
obsequiadas a importantes visitantes;
hizo el arte para certificados de
premiaci6n, botones por antigiiedad de
servicio y medallas, incluyendo la
medalla por Servicio Pfblico Honora-
rio del Canal de Panama, y disefi6 las
placas de muchos monumentos del area
canalera, como las de los bustos de
Theodore Roosevelt y Ferdinand de

Lesseps en el Edificio de Administra-
ci6n. Quizas su mis valiosa contri-
buci6n fue ayudar a diseiiar mis de
quince estampillas postales de la Zona
del Canal, incluyendo seis emitidas para
conmemorar el 50 aniversario de la via
acuAtica en 1964.
Kwai Ben fue el primer panameiio
nombrado en el Ramo de Arquitectura
y comenz6 su carrera profesional al
inicio de la d6cada del 30. Buscando
trabajo durante la Gran Depresi6n,
tropez6 con el arquitecto Camilo De
Le6n, quien le mostr6 el boceto de una
casa. "iPuedes dibujar los pianos?"
pregunt6 el arquitecto. Sin haber
estudiado ni arquitectura ni arte, Kwai
Ben examin6 el boceto. "Las letras estin
muy feas", exclam6 de repente, "'yo lo
puedo hacer mejor!"
Su diestra mano convirti6 el boceto
en un piano arquitect6nico completo,
mostrando la ubicaci6n y dimensi6n de
cada componente de la casa, lo mismo
que las instalaciones de plomeria y
electricidad. En breve, Kwai Ben
prestaba sus servicios a algunos de los
mejores arquitectos de Panama, inclu-
yendo a Guillermo De Roux, Ricardo
Berm6dez, Octavio MWridez Guardia,
Howard R. Sanders, Carlos Fabrega y
Rogelio Diaz. Con ellos, particip6 en la
construcci6n del Hotel Panama Hilton,
el Hospital General del Seguro Social,
algunas facultades de la Universidad de
Panama, y residencias y edificios de
apartamentos de lujo.
Pero, ide d6nde proviene su talento
artistico? Como muchos, Kwai Ben
naci6 con l6. Sus padres advirtieron esta
habilidad y lo motivaron, dedicandose

al arte como pasatiempo. Poco despubs,
lo convirti6 en profesi6n. Para desarro-
liar a6n mis su destreza, hizo estudios
de arquitectura en la Universidad de
Haga lo que haga, Kwai Ben siempre
le agrega el toque artistico-hasta

cuando cocina! Ha pintado mis de 70
cuadros, convirtiendo su hogar en una
galeria privada. Es conocido por ofrecer
voluntariamente su talento a la organi-
zaci6n canalera y por obsequiar sus
cuadros a amistades que los han

R.P. emitira estampillas de aniversario

La Direcci6n de Correos y Teleco-
municaciones de Panama esta planean-
do emitir una serie de sellos postales
aereos para conmemorar el 750 aniver-
sario de la apertura oficial del Canal de
Panama al comercio mundial.
La Serie de las Bodas de Diamante
incluye 500,000 estampillas de 35
centavos en blanco y negro, y 300,000
estampillas de 60 centavos a colores. De
conformidad con el lema del aniversario
"Construyendo el Futuro Honramos el

Pasado", las estampillas de 35 centavos
muestran al vapor Ancdn, del Ferro-
carril de Panama, el primer barco
comercial en transitar la via acuitica el
15 de agosto de 1914; y la estampilla de
60 centavos muestra un moderno barco
Junto con la serie de correo aereo del
75Q aniversario, se emitiran 1,000 sobres
con el lema y el logotipo del aniversario

Spillway ofrece datos hist6ricos del Canal para fanaticos de trivia

Los siguientes datos fueron recopi-
lados para los faniticos de trivia y de la
historia del Canal de Panama:

La fuerza laboral durante los
61timos afios de la construcci6n del
Canal alcanz6 los 50,000 trabajadores
aproximadamente, casi igual al n6mero
de habitantes de las ciudades de
Panama y Col6n.

La mayor atracci6n turistica du-
rante la 6poca de la construcci6n del
Canal era el Corte Culebra, que tom6
siete afios en ser terminado, de 1907 a
1913. Mas turistas eran atraidos a

ciertos puntos del corte que a ver los
trabajos en el vertedero de la represa de
Gat6n o en las esclusas.
El proyecto de ley del Senado de
los E.U. para la construcci6n de un
canal de esclusas fue aprobado por un
margen de 36 a 31 el 21 dejunio de 1906.
La Cimara lo aprob6, y el Presidente
Roosevelt lo firm6 el 29 de junio de
1906. Muchos consideran 6sta la mayor
decisi6n tomada para la construcci6n
del Canal de Panama.
Al final del periodo de la construc-
ci6n, todos los trabajadores bajo
contrato que deseaban volver a su
patria regresaron a expensas del

u Spillway
Administrador de la Comisi6n del Canal S
Directora de Relaciones Ptblicas

Director Asociado



)irector Asociado

El Spillway es una publicaci6n oficial del Canal de PanamA. Los articulos que en ella aparecen pueden ser reproducidos sin
pcdir autorizaci6n, 6nicamente acreditando al Spillway del Canal de Panama como la fuente. Toda colaboraci6n
debe estar en la Oficina de Prensa antes del mediodia del jueves anterior a su publicaci6n. Desputs de esa fecha s61o se aceptartn
noticias oficiales de urgencia. Las subscripcioncs de 52 ejemplares cuestan $6 por correo ordinario, $4 por correo ordinario para
estudiantes y $19 por correo aereo. Envie cheque o giro postal a favor de la Comisi6n del Canal de Panama, dirigido a la Oficina de
Informaci6n y Relaciones Publicas, APO Miami 34011-5000.

gobierno de los Estados Unidos.
El agua del Oc6ano Pacifico
alcanz6 las Esclusas de Miraflores el
31 de agosto de 1913, cuando fue
volado el Dique de Miraflores.
El domingo 16 de agosto de 1914,
las primeras naves comerciales en usar
el Canal de Panama incluyeron la
Pleiades, la Pennsylvanian y la Arizo-
nian, provenientes de San Francisco
con destino a Nueva York.
El primer barco de guerra en pasar
por el Canal fue el cazatorpedero
peruano Teniente Rodriguez, que
realiz6 un transito rumbo al sur el
martes 18 de agosto.
La estaci6n seca de 1914 fue la
primera con los lagos Gatin y
Miraflores en sus maximos niveles
operacionales y, por lo tanto, exponien-
do su maxima superficie a la influencia
de la evaporaci6n.
En enero de 1914, la barcaza
No. 14 fue colocada en el Lago Gat6n y
convertida en un barco para visitar
lugares de interns con una capacidad
para 300 pasajeros. La barcaza reinici6
sus labores regulares en mayo.
La primera locomotora de las 40
originales fue la No. 641. Fue instalada
en el lado oeste del muro central de las
Esclusas de Gatin. Los nimeros fueron
escogidos en la serie 600 debido al
sistema general de enumeraci6n de

maquinas, pozos flotantes, cuartos de
transformadores y otro tipo de equipo
que se usaba en aquel entonces.
El Lago Gatin alcanz6 una
elevaci6n de 85 pies por encima del nivel
del mar a las 9 a.m. del martes 3 de
febrero de 1914. A las 9:30 a.m. ese
mismo dia, se abrieron siete compuertas
del vertedero para probar un sistema de
control remoto, operado desde un
tablero ubicado al extreme sur de la
Estaci6n Hidroelectrica de Gatfn.
Antes de 1923, el trafico a trav6s
del Canal de Suez era siempre mayor al
del Canal de Panama. Pero, en 1923
s6lo 4,621 naves pasaron por el Canal
de Suez mientras que 5,037 naves-
pagando peajes-pasaron por el Canal
de Panama.
El Corl. William C. Gorgas, a
quien se le atribuye la curaci6n de la
malaria y la fiebre amarilla en Panama,
fue catalogado como un "chiflado" que
estaba "desperdiciando dinero tratando
de drenar piscinas, cortando hierba y
maleza, e insistiendo en que todas las
casas y viviendas debian tener mallas".
Durante la construcci6n de las esclusas,
se desarroll6 una batalla entre los
contratistas y los trabajadores de
sanidad del Corl. Gorgas. En un
esfuerzo por cubrir todas las piscinas de
agua con aceite, los trabajadores lo
rociaron sobre el cemento fresco de las


Abuelo orgulloso
Franklin Kwai Ben explica a su
nieto de nueve alios, Rodolfo
Wong, el disefio del sello de la
Comisi6n del Canal de
Foto por Armando De Gracia

Spillway del Canal de Panama
Martes 15 de agosto de 1989

Grandes, chicos: todos importan
Nosotros los que vivimos y trabajamos cerca del Canal de Panama podemos
apreciar una interesante variedad de barcos procedentes de todas partes del mundo.
Pero, mientras admiramos estas naves en transito, algunos de nosotros pasamos por
alto el hecho de que la Comisi6n del Canal de Panama cuenta con una impresionante
flota. Botes de remos, lanchas, barcazas, remolcadores, grtias flotantes, dragas,
embarcaciones para recuperar aceite, canoas, embarcaciones de aluminio
motorizadas, embarcaciones de reconocimiento, aerobotes y una barcaza
perforadora, .contribuyen de manera singular a mantener el Canal operando
eficientemente. Las fotos de esta pigina muestran las numerosas y diversas clases de /
naves que componen la flota del Canal., jI


Remolcando felizmente
Arriba, el "M. L. Walker", uno de los numerosos remolcadores de la Comisi6n,
ayuda a guiar un barco hasta las Esclusas de Miraflores.

Combatiendo la maleza
El aerobote que aparece arriba rocia herbicida para combatir las malezas que se
proliferan en las aguas del Canal.

Draga de cuchar6n
La "Rialto M. Christensen", arriba, es la m6s grande de
las dos dragas de cuchar6n de la Divisi6n de Dragado. La
Divisi6n de Dragado tambidn tiene un draga de succi6n,
la "Mindi".

Preparan explosivos
La "Thor" es utilizada por la
Divisi6n de Dragado para perfo-
rar hoyos en las rocas delfondo
del Canal. Una vez los hoyos son
perforados, se insertan los ex-
plosivos, y la roca es volada en

Gigante de la flota
Tal coma lo sugiere su nombre, la grua
flotante "Hercules" es el miembro mds
poderoso de la flota. Con una capaci-
dad de levantamiento de 250 tonela-
das, es utilizada para levantar y sacar
naves del agua para darles manteni-
miento, para remover las compuertas
de las esclusas para su reacondicio-
namiento y para otras tareas pesadas.

Fotos por
Bobby Fishbough,
Kevin Jenkins
y Arthur Pollack

Hasta la popular piragua
Embarcaciones pequefias como piraguas, bates de
remos y embaracaciones de aluminio motorizadas son
titiles a la Comisi6n debido a que su maniobrabilidad
permite transportar personal y equipo a dreas inaccesi-
bles a las embarcaciones mds grandes y trabajar en
dreas donde no hay mucho espacio. Las piraguas a la
derecha son usadas por el Ramo de Meteorologia e

Construyendo elfuturo honramos elpasado


Construvendo el futuro honramos el pasado

Spillway del Canal de Panamd

Martes 15 de agosto de 1989

Agente de vapores celebra centenario

Por Susan K. Stabler

El membrete oficial de la agencia
naviera Associated Steamship Agents,
S.A., de Col6n, revela mucho sobre la
historia de esta agencia naviera. En
letras negritas en la parte superior de la
pagina, el membrete reza, "ASSO-
S.A." Debajo, en letras mis pequefias y
separadas por parentesis, aparece
William Andrews

ANCON celebra hoy cuarto aniversario

Hoy no s6lo celebran su aniversario
el Canal de Panama y la ciudad de
Panama, sino tambi6n la Asociaci6n
Nacional para la Conservaci6n de la
Naturaleza (ANCON). La organizaci6n
fue fundada el 15 de agosto de 1985 por
un grupo de lideres de la comunidad y la
empresa privada, quienes unieron sus
fuerzas para proteger, organizada y
efectivamente, los valiosos recursos
naturales y la diversidad biol6gica de
Desde el comienzo, ANCON con-
centr6 sus esfuerzos y recursos en el
campo, trabajando para proteger areas
naturales como los parques nacionales
Soberania y Chagres, importantes
componentes de la cuenca del Canal de
Panama y vitales suplidores de agua
potable. Con ayuda de la comunidad y
de patrocinadores internacionales,
ANCON se ha convertido en una

eficiente instituci6n que apoya perma-
nentemente los esfuerzos de otros
grupos conservacionistas locales tanto
ptlblicos como privados. Su agresiva
campafia de membresia, los"Amigos de
ANCON", ha dado buenos resultados.
La asociaci6n cuenta ahora con mas de
1,200 "Amigos", convirti6ndose en el
mayor grupo conservacionista en Pana-
Con un equipo de 20 funcionarios, el
trabajo de ANCON incluye delimitar
los parques, adiestrar y equipar a los
guardabosques, y educar a las comuni-
dades de los parques para incorporarlas
en los esfuerzos conservacionistas. La
asociaci6n tambi6n ha creado un banco
de datos computarizado que almacena
las caracteristicas, el nfimero, estado de
protecci6n, y localizaci6n y distribuci6n
de las distintas especies de flora y fauna
en Panama.

"Payne & Wardlaw and W. Andrews &
Co.", y debajo de esto dice, "En el Canal
de Panama".

Sin embargo, algo que el membrete
no dice es que, actualmente, la agencia
naviera esta celebrando sus 100 afios de
operaci6n en el Istmo. "Pensabamos
agregar esta informaci6n a nuestro
membrete este afio", explica el socio
principal de la agencia, Ned Blenner-
hassett. "Pero, con la Comisi6n del
Canal de Panama usando un membrete
especial alusivo a su propia celebraci6n
del 75Q aniversario del Canal durante
un afio, opinamos que el introducir el
nuestro al mismo tiempo seria un poco
exagerado. Posiblemente lo hagamos el
pr6ximo afio".
William Andrews, stfbdito britanico,
fund6 la firma W. Andrews &
Company en Col6n, que entonces
pertenecia a Colombia, en 1889, el
mismo afio que fracas6 el intento
frances de construir el Canal de
Panama. Durante los afios improduc-
tivos entre las 6pocas de la construcci6n
de los franceses y los estadounidenses,
probablemente reuni6 lo que quedaba
de la actividad naviera britanica con
sede en Liverpool, Inglaterra, que habia
apoyado el esfuerzo frances.
El negocio realmente progres6 cuan-

do el Canal fue inaugurado en 1914,
pero Andrews nunca abri6 una oficina
en la entrada de la via acuatica en el
Pacifico. En su lugar, otra compafiia,
Payne & Wardlaw, encabezada por el
socio de Andrews, Clifford Payne, se
encarg6 de las naves de W. Andrews &
Co. en el sector Pacifico. Al mismo
tiempo, Andrews se encarg6 de las
naves de Payne & Wardlaw en la costa
Atlantica. El acuerdo entre ambas
compafiias parece haber tenido buen
resultado. Cuando se les preguntaba
sobre las funciones compartidas de
ambas agencias, los
cada una respondian, "Si, esa es nuestra
compaiia asociada".

El enlace era tan bueno que al morir
Andrews, dej6 la firma W. Andrews &
Co. a Payne, quien continu6 adminis-
trando las dos agencias separadamente,
pero como asociadas, igual que antes.
Cuando Payne muri6, dej6 ambas
agencias a sus sucesores, quienes en
1975 formalmente combinaron sus dos
compafiias bajo un s6lo nombre.

Blennerhassett, quien empez6 a
trabajar para Andrews & Co. hace 30
afios como distribuidor de combustible
en el muelle 16, dice, "El secreto del
6xito en esta compafiia es tener fibra".

Epocas dificiles opacaron 25 y 50 aniversarios

Parece que problemas de una u otra
indole han opacado muchos de los
acontecimientos mis importantes en la
historia del Canal de Panama. En
agosto de 1914, la Primera Guerra
Mundial estall6 en Europa justo antes
de la inauguraci6n del Canal. En 1939,
cuando el Canal celebraba su 250
aniversario, otra guerra empezaba. En
1964, el 500 aniversario del Canal,
disturbios alrededor de la Zona del
Canal empafiaron las celebraciones. Y
este afio, mientras la via acuatica
celebra sus Bodas de Diamante, la
situaci6n politica y econ6mica en
PanamA, sumada a las dificultades
financieras por las cuales atraviesa la
Comisi6n del Canal, han obligado a
reducir la celebraci6n hasta cierto
Sin embargo, a pesar de los
problemas, el Canal de Panama ha
seguido operando y tambi6n ha seguido
realizando celebraciones durante estas
importantes ocasiones. Por ejemplo,
durante la conmemoraci6n de las Bodas
de Plata del Canal de Panama en 1939,
el vapor Ancdn, del Ferrocarril de
Panama, revivi6 el hist6rico viaje que
habia realizado 25 afios atras. Se
realizaron ceremonias especiales en
todas las comunidades canaleras, atra-
yendo a miles de residentes de la Zona
del Canal y de la Reptiblica de Panama.
Los recordatorios de las Bodas de
Plata incluyeron un album conme-
morativo con fotografias del Canal e
informaci6n sobre sus planes, construc-

ci6n y operaci6n. Ademas, se emitieron
no una, sino dos colecciones de
estampillas-una serie de 16 estampillas
con escenas del Canal antes y despu6s
para conmemorar el 250 aniversario del
Canal y otra serie de 6 estampillas para
conmemorar el 100 aniversario del
servicio de correo a6reo en la Zona del
Los problemas en 1964 tampoco
eliminaron el entusiasmo de la celebra-
ci6n del 50- aniversario. Los Estados
Unidos y Panama tenian motivos para
estar orgullosos de la maravilla de
ingenieria, producto de her6icos esfuer-
zos y perseverancia de miles de hombres
y mujeres que trabajaron juntos en este
gran proyecto.
La celebraci6n incluy6 una recepci6n
del Gobernador Robert Fleming para
funcionarios panamefios y dignatarios
visitantes; un almuerzo a bordo del
vapor Cristdbal para navieros; otros

almuerzos especiales para trabajadores
de la 6poca de la construcci6n, ex
funcionarios del Canal, funcionarios del
gobierno de Panama y ejecutivos de
agencias navieras. Entre los que
vinieron a Panama especialmente para
la ocasi6n estuvo Maurice H. Thatcher,
lnico miembro sobreviviente de la
Comisi6n del Canal Istmico de 1903.
Por su parte, el gobiemo de Panama
orden6 la confecci6n de una medalla
para honrar la obra llevada a cabo
gracias al esfuerzo comuin de Panama y
los Estados Unidos. La medalla tenia
las efigies de los presidentes Theodore
Roosevelt, Belisario Porras, Lyndon B.
Johnson y Roberto Chiari, y el lema de
la Repuiblica de Panama "Pro Mundi
Beneficio". La agencia del Canal de
Panama tambi6n confeccion6 medallas
para la ocasi6n. La compafiia Medallic
Art de Nueva York acufi6 dos medallas
oficiales, ambas incorporando los
cuatro puntos cardinales y el escudo que

muestra un barco navegando a trav6s
del Corte Gaillard.
Tambi6n se emiti6 una serie de seis
estampillas de correo a6reo, mostrando
vistas areas del Canal de Panama y de
las ciudades de Balboa y Crist6bal.
Ademas, un album conmemorativo fue
publicado en ingl6s y espafiol, y la
Biblioteca-Museo de la Zona del Canal
tuvo en exhibici6n una colecci6n de
fotografias hist6ricas, mapas, ilustra-
ciones, libros y estampillas. Poco
despu6s de la celebraci6n, sali6 a la luz
p6blica un documental de las activida-
des en la Zona del Canal.
La celebraci6n del 500 aniversario de
la via acuatica traspas6 fronteras.
Henry J. Grieser, empleadojubilado del
Canal de Panama, celebr6 el aniversa-
rio con una fiesta en su residencia en
County Cork, Irlanda. Y el alcalde de la
ciudad de Nueva York firm6 un decreto
designando el 16 de agosto de 1964
como el Dia del Aniversario del Canal
de Panama en la Feria Mundial de
Nueva York. La feria cont6 con la
participaci6n de Lucho Azcarraga y su
conjunto esa semana.

Al igual que la observaci6n del
aniversario este afio, estos importantes
acontecimientos representan no s6lo un
tributo al Canal de Panama como una
maravilla de ingenieria, sino como una
demostraci6n de la constante capacidad
de la via acuatica para cumplir su
misi6n de servir al comercio mundial,
afin en tiempos dificiles.

Recordatorios del
50 aniversario
Igual que con la celebra-
ci6n del aniversario este
afio, toda clase de recor-
datorios estuvieron en
venta durante la cele-
braci6n de las Bodas de
Oro del Canal de Pa-
nam6. Esta foto muestra
lo que ha conservado un
Foto por Armando De Gracia

_I _


Spillway del Canal de Panama

Martes 15 de agosto de 1989


Construyendo elfuturo honramos elpasado

Primera Guerra Mundial opaca apertura del Canal

Por Suzanne Dempsey

Es dificil creerlo, pero la apertura del
Canal de Panama recibi6 muy poca
publicidad. Ni siquiera ocup6 la
primera plana de los peri6dicos interna-
cionales. El 15 de agosto de 1914, los
lectores del New York Times tuvieron
que legar hasta la pagina 5 para
enterarse del evento hist6rico que iba a
ocurrir. Aun en Panama, las primeras
planas de La Estrella de Panama y del
Star & Herald fueron dedicadas
totalmente a otro evento-el estallido
de la Primera Guerra Mundial.
En el momento en que un nuevo
eslab6n entre dos oc6anos intentaba
unir el mundo, una pugna politica en
Europa lo dividia. Para los que estan

muy j6venes para recordar o no muy
empapados en historia, a continuaci6n
ofrecemos un intento de aclarar c6mo
El 28 de junio de 1914, el heredero del
Imperio Austro-H(ngaro fue asesina-
do. El Emperador Franz Josef culp6 al
pais vecino, Serbia (ahora Yugoslavia)
de proporcionar las armas para perpe-
trar el asesinato. Franz Josef dio a
Serbia un fuerte ultimatum de 10
puntos. Serbia acord6 en todos menos
un punto, pero el 28 de julio, ese punto
fue suficiente para darle la poco
envidiable distinci6n de convertirse en
la primera naci6n a la cual se le declar6
la guerra durante el primer conflicto
Alli empez6 el caos. Para la
inauguraci6n del Canal de Panama,

Alemania, Rusia, Francia, B61gica y
Gran Bretafia estaban involucradas en
el conflicto. Por lo tanto, el 15 de
agosto de 1914, el mundo vivia en
incertidumbre por la inminente expan-
si6n de un conflicto sangriento, e ignor6
el triunfo de ingenieria de tiempos de
paz que habia sido logrado para el
beneficio de toda la humanidad.
La guerra tambi6n opac6 las cere-
monias. En mayo, el comit6 organiza-
dor habia programado un desfile de
barcos de guerra de todas partes del
mundo. En medio de su entusiasmo, los
Estados Unidos invitaron hasta a la
marina suiza para que participara. JEsto
agrad6 mucho a los suizos, pero se
vieron obligados a rechazar la invita-
ci6n en vista de que Suiza es un pais sin
salida al mar y no cuenta con una

La flota navegaria desde la Costa
Este, transitaria el Canal de Panama y
Ilegaria a San Francisco, donde se
realizaria la Exposici6n Panami-Paci-
fico, una enorme feria mundial en
honor al Canal. La exposici6n se
realiz6, pero en febrero del aiio
siguiente. Por supuesto, el desfile de la
armada internacional tuvo que ser
cancelado. iEn ese momento, todas las
naciones que tenian barcos de guerra
querian tenerlos bien cerca!
Tristemente, la culminaci6n de afios
de planes, suefios, excavaciones, draga-
dos e increible sacrificio pas6 casi
desapercibida. Fue s6lo cuando el
tiempo logr6 aliviar el dolor de los
recuerdos de la guerra que el Canal de
Panama y la gente que lo construy6
recibieron la atenci6n y gloria que tanto

Hace 75 anos

Transito del "Ancon" convierte un suefio en realidad

Por Ana Elena Vald6s
Gracias a her6icos esfuerzos y gran
perseverencia de miles de personas, un
suefio de muchos siglos se hizo realidad
hace 75 afios hoy, cuando el vapor
Ancdn realiz6 el primer trinsito oficial
del Canal de Panama.
A pesar de lo importante del evento
para el comercio mundial, no pudo
contar con el esplendor que merecia. La
guerra en Europa hizo imposible la
participaci6n internacional, y el formi-
dable especticulo maritimo que habia
sido planeado tuvo que ser cancelado.
Sin embargo, la emoci6n prevaleci6
en el Istmo. El primer trAnsito oficial de
una nave de alto calado desde aguas
profundas en el AtlAntico hasta aguas

profundas en el Pacifico estaba por
realizarse. El vapor Ancdn, de 9,600
toneladas, habia sido seleccionado para
efectuar el viaje inaugural.
El honor que se le otorg6 al Ancdn,
de la Compafiia del Ferrocarril de
Panama, fue bien merecido y apropia-
do. Conocido originalmente como el
Shawmut, el Ancdn habia sido adqui-
rido de la Boston Steamship Company
para transportar a millares de trabaja-
dores del Canal entre los Estados
Unidos y la Zona del Canal. Tambi6n
habia transportado grandes cargamen-
tos de cemento desde Nueva York hasta
Crist6bal para la construcci6n de los
tres juegos de esclusas a trav6s de los
cuales pasaria ese dia.

En la mafiana del sabado 15 de
agosto de 1914, el Ancdn llev6 como
invitados del Secretario de Guerra de
los EE.UU. a unas 200 personas,
incluyendo al Presidente Belisario
Porras, su gabinete y otros funcionarios
del gobierno de Panama; miembros del
cuerpo diplomatico y c6nsules generales
residentes, y funcionarios del Canal de
Poco despu6s de las 7 a.m., el silbato
del Ancdn anunci6 el inicio del viaje de
50 millas. La nave se alej6 del muelle en
Crist6bal, y se dirigi6 a la entrada
Atlantica del Canal. Los barcos en el
puerto sonaron sus silbatos al entrar el
Ancdn en el cauce. El Coronel George
W. Goethals estaba en las Esclusas de

Trnsito inaugural
Svapor "Anc6n" navega a travus del Corte Culebra durante su hist6rico trdnsito para abrir el Canal de Panamd el
15 de agosto de 1914.

Gatin observando cada movimiento
del barco.
Bajo la direcci6n de los prActicos del
Canal de Panama, capitanes Ralph
Osborn y John Constantine, el barco
procedi6 a travs del Canal, tomando
poco mas de una hora para hacer el
esclusaje desde el Atlantico, atravezan-
do las tres camaras de las Esclusas de
Gatuin y alcanzar los 85 pies. sobre el
nivel del mar en el Lago Gatfn.
La nave se desliz6 a trav6s del lago y
lleg6 a la entrada del Corte Culebra
(ahora Corte Gaillard) aproximada-
mente dos horas mas tarde. Toda draga,
remolcador o pieza de equipo auxiliar a
lo largo de las orillas del Canal son6 su
silbato para dar la bienvenida al Ancdn
que se acercaba. El paso por el Corte fue
realizado sin incidente alguno, y el
Ancdn leg6 a las Esclusas de Pedro
Miguel poco antes de la 1 p.m. Luego,
sigui6 a trav6s del Lago de Miraflores
hasta las Esclusas de Miraflores.
Fue en las Esclusas de Miraflores
donde ocuri6 el primer y (nico atraso
del trinsito. Al abrir las compuertas
inferiores se formaron remolinos, y el
Ancdn tuvo que permanecer en la
camera inferior hasta que el agua se
calmara. Aproximadamente media
hora mas tarde, el viaje continu6 sin
mayor incidente desde las Esclusas de
Miraflores hasta Balboa. Despues de
Ilegar a aguas profundas en el Pacifico,
el Ancdn dio la vuelta y regres6 al
puerto de Balboa.
MAs de 2,000 espectadores se agrupa-
ron en los muelles para vitorear el barco
al Ilegar. La hist6rica travesia habia
terminado. El Canal de PanamA era
una realidad.

De esta manera concluve nuestra
serie de articulos histdricos que relatan
los eventos que condujeron a la
apertura del Canal de Panamd hace 75
afios. Esperamos que hayan disfrutado
su lectura tanto como nosotros su