Photo of the Week
August 22, 2021

This week we have another great photo that was taken by the PCC photographer.  This photo has a collection of important structures.  I have them numbered and will list what the building was:

1. Tivoli Guest House
2. Ancon Laundry
3. Theater Guild
4. Tivoli Commissary up to the 1955 treaty between Panama and the US.  After the treaty it was turned over to the Panama Railroad as a freight house.  I have also seen this building called the Curundu Commissary back in 1940.
5.  Grounds Maintenance complex.
6.  Motor Transportation Division

"The Remon–Eisenhower Treaty, was a 1955 treaty between the United States and Panama that updated and amended the original Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903 for the Panama Canal and Panama Canal Zone. Other aspects of the treaty covered local trader / worker rights, upgrades and military base usage.

The Treaty addressed the economic issues related to the status of U.S. citizens of the Canal Zone, a source of constant irritation to Panamanians, who considered the zone a colonial enclave. Although it did not alter U.S. sovereignty over the zone, the treaty increased the annual payment to Panama to $1,930,000, granted Panama the right to tax the income of Canal Zone employees who were not U.S. citizens, and modified the zone boundaries. Commissary and post exchange (PX) privileges of U.S. citizens in the zone were limited to those citizens who actually worked for the canal, and Panama gained the right to impose import duties on some goods entering the zone. These provisions increased the share of Zonian business controlled by Panamanian firms. The United States also relinquished its control of sanitation in Panama City and Colón, and its exclusive rights to construct trans-isthmian railroads and highways. Panama granted the United States a fifteen-year lease on 19,000 acres of land outside the zone for military exercises."

Per the Panama Canal Review -  Many Canal offices to be transferred before the end of June.  The moves, which are to start early in January, will result partly from the closing of four large units in Ancon at the end of December.  To be closed are the Ancon Commissary and post office, the Pacific Service Center (former USO), and the Tivoli Commissary.

More employees will have been affected by more changes than ever before, at one time, in the history of the organization.  The most far-reaching of these will be  the withdrawal of general Canal Zone purchase and importation privileges from non-U.S. Government employees residing outside of the Canal Zone.

The Treaty commitment requested by the Republic of Panama restricting purchase and importation will have far-reaching effects both on the Canal organization and its activities.  It will cut deeply into the Canal force with some 900 losing their jobs at the end of this year or soon after.  Seven Commissary and Service Center units will be closed.  Panama Canal Review, December 7, 1956.

Good little history lesson today.


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