The Y.M.C.A. played an important role in modeling the young generation of enlisted soldiers who trained and served in the Panama Canal Zone. It was also the scheme of the Canal Zone authorities to educate the foreigners working in the zone in high moral values and good citizenship.
On Friday, November 9, 1906, The New York Times published an article regarding the role of the Y.M.C.A. in making the Canal Zone a model U.S. territory.
Below is an excerpt of this illustrative article:
“The recently expressed intention of the officials of the Canal Zone to show President Roosevelt upon his arrival in Panama what is to be a model colony, both morally and materially, seems to more than mere talk, according to an announcement made last night by Col. John J. McCook of the Young Men’s Christian Association at the fortieth anniversary dinner of the International Committee, held in the Waldorf Astoria.
Within three months, said Col. MacCook in this speech, the Y.M.C.A. has contracted with the Canal Commission for the erection in the zone by the Government of seven buildings in which, when completed, the 5,000 or more young Americans in Panama may receive instruction, entertainment, and advantageous intercourse.
Col. McCook also spoke on the association’s work among railway men and among the soldiers and sailors of the army and navy. Speaking of the country’s defenders, he made a special plea for the furtherance of this work, as there could be no doubt that the environment of the Young Men’s Christian Association resulted in the clean, well-living, fine-blooded men that were necessary to take the field or man our ships.
The United States Treasurer told how impressed he was with the various reports made by the secretaries of the association’s work at home and abroad.
He urged that the work of political education of young men be taken up, pointing out that better leaders would not be obtained until the people who were to be led understood their minds better.
It is not improbable that a work of this kind, coupled with education in good citizenship among the foreign classes, may be started by the association.”
Below are several pictures I shot of the regal Y.M.C.A. building located at the town of Balboa on the Pacific Side of the Panama Isthmus. Here we go.
I feel so proud of the cultural heritage embedded in these architectonic jewels that should be with us forever. They don’t build structures with this style and class any more. I wish they did. Good Day.