This is absolutely a ‘priceless’ photo of a 1953 Gamboa ‘Malta Vigor’ semi-professional baseball team. Each of the uniformed players on this team would become ‘big boy’ role models for Gamboa’s future generation of aspiring baseball players and for others who simply aspired to achieve a greater station in life by applying discipline, fairness and hard work.
From left to right:
We are unable to name the gentleman standing on the left or the first uniformed player to his left. However following this player, we note, standing:
- A youthful Roy Holness, followed by…
- Cecile ‘Colute’ Morgan;
- Sidney Case (not from Gyambo but on the team);
- Dick Weeks;
- Clyde (Blanks) xxxxx(sir name???)
- Talbert Prescott
- Ignacio (Iggy) Pashall;
- Robert Joseph;
- Next standing players…unknown.
Uniformed players kneeling, from left to right:
- Prince (‘Jacko’) Grant;
- British (‘Britt’) Browne;
- Third player unknown;
- Dan Sobers;
- Kneeling beside Dan is Norman (Bumpy) Ashby;
We believe the little boy sitting in front of ‘Britt’ is Errol Butcher.
It is worth noting that ‘Bumpy’ was a highly regarded, loved and respected personality in Gyambo. Admittedly, Gyambo’s culture, like most Afro-Caribbean-Latino cultures had its elements of ‘relative meanest toward less than able athletic competitors’. ‘Bumpy’ transcended such targeting, by means of his character and personal accomplishments. He earned ‘respect’ by demanding it; not by imposing his physical might on those who would tease him (he had a deformity that limited him physically). He earned it by standing his ground and by ‘shining’ the light of his unique talents and abilities while at the same time exposing the weaknesses of others unable to see and recognize his strengths as a human being. ‘Bumpy’ was erudite, always well dressed, well-spoken and blessed with an acumen to grasp and master skill sets as well if not better than most. He may not have been an active player on the ‘semi pro’ baseball team, but he certainly was a ‘Gyambo character’ that helped spark our common humanity.
Note the photo was taken in La Boca, one of the earliest ‘local rate’ Canal Zone towns. In the late 1950’s it would be dismantled and its local rate residents dispersed to living quarters in Pedro Miguel, Paraiso and Gyambo. However, La Boca was one of the first towns built in the Canal Zone to house ‘local rate’ workers. It holds a special place, a cornucopia of memories and stories in the history of local rate towns.