My name is William P. McLaughlin. I was born in Gorgas Hospital, Ancon Canal Zone. I grew up, attended CZ schools and completed a 25 year career in the Canal Zone and Panama. I saw many changes in the 45 years I was there. I retired and left the former Zone in 1996 to start a new life in the United States.
In 1976, I started collecting antique bottles and miscellaneous artifacts from within the Canal Zone. These bottles and artifacts range in age from the early Spanish days, 49er Gold Rush Days, French/American construction of the Panama Canal and the Canal Zone Golden Years.
In 1977 the reality hit that the Canal Zone, as we knew it, was going to become extinct, I started a major campaign to collect anything that pertained to the Canal Zone. I scavenged, bartered, and purchased many great collectibles pertaining to the Canal Zone's Golden years.
I have served on the Executive Board of the Panama Canal Society since 1999 to present and served as President from 2002 - 2004. I am currently the Historian for the organization and Coordinator for the Annual Reunion.
After retirement, I worked in the U.S. at a local college and received a degree in Computer Information Technology while working there. I then went to work for the Citrus County Government as a Computer Graphics Tech. and then a Geographic Information Systems Specialist which I retired from in 2014.
Now enjoying life and always keeping my Zonian heart with my memories of the Canal Zone.
I would eventually like to have all these items in a "real" Canal Zone Museum,
but until that is possible, I will display them here in the Cyber Museum. I hope everyone
will enjoy this web site. It has taken me quite a bit of time to set it up. This site will
continue to grow, so come back and check for additions periodically. I still have quite a
bit of memorabilia to scan, set up and post on this site.