INDIAN COMMEMORATIVE STAMP
The Panama Canal Review -
August 3, 1951
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Tribute to the part taken by
West Indians in the construction of the Panama Canal will be officially paid August 15
(1951), anniversary of the opening of the waterway, by the issue of a special
The new ten-cent stamp shows
a group of laborers at work in Culebra (Gaillard) Cut. It was designed by Meade Bolton,
former Panama Canal Architect.
The idea for the
commemorative stamp was conceived by George W. Westerman, of Panama City, well known
writer and civic leader among West Indian groups on the Isthmus and their Panamanian
A public testimonial
ceremony honoring Governor Newcomer and paying tribute to Mr. Westerman has been planned
by the West Indian Stamp Appreciation Committee. It will be held August 15 in Mount Hope
Stadium. Invited to participate are representatives of the Armed forces, Panama
Government, churches, schools, patriotic and civic groups, labor representatives, and
Governments of the West Indies.
Other plans include a
"West Indian Week" observance in the Canal Zone public schools; an essay contest
among students from the fifth grades to the high school level; a special supplement of The
Panama Tribune, and an exhibit by the Panama Canal Library.
Upwards of 50,000 West
Indians took part in digging the Canal. Over 30,000 contract laborers were brought to the
Isthmus by the Isthmian Canal Commission, of whom approximately two-thirds were recruited
in Barbados. Several thousands emigrated to the Canal Zone from Jamaica, although only 37
were recruited there under contract. Other West Indian Islands represented among the
contract workers were Fortune Island, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Trinidad, Curacao, St.
Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada; and British Guiana.
December 21, 1998