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As in most “Silver rate” towns, the “clubhouse” was the community center. This building was a real multipurpose structure. It housed a small diner with bakery/ ice cream parlor/ soda fountain. This was a popular “hangout” for adults and youth; each in their own space. Believe it or not, Gyambo’s barber shop, library, credit union, typing class, pool hall, beauty salon, dance hall and movie theater were all part of this establishment. The movie theater also doubled as the venue for talent shows as well as variety shows. Although “Gyambo” was the most isolated canal zone town, visitors would flock there on special holidays like February 22nd (Washington’s Birthday) and for athletic competition, and social events like dances. On such occasions the clubhouse would be overrun with visitors from the farthest towns including Panama City on the Pacific side and the Atlantic side city of Colon. Memories of the clubhouse include the smell and taste of fresh baked two-for-nickel cookies, three-cents cupcakes, twenty-nine cents pound cakes, fifteen-cents breads, dime pies, Mary Jane French Cookies and sticky buns. The soft drink of choice was called a “Ricky”. At the clubhouse theater, early “Gyambo People” would host events paying tribute to retiring “white US citizen policemen and Panama Canal Zone governors who were deemed to have been fair in dealing with the Local rate community. “Gyambo” students who returned home on vacation, were also honored with special tributes before returning to the United States to continue their studies. Fellow residents would render poetry (recitations), vocal and instrumental solos, speeches as well as anthem renditions by Gamboa’s own “Centro -Isthmian Band” under the directorship of Mr. George H. Joseph.

We know there are many Clubhouse memories, theater stories and recollections of culinary delights. Please share them !
We invite your Open Space comments, your short stories, your participation in the Residential Profile and your pictures with commentary in the Photo Gallery.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. yolanda holness clark

    This is actually a side view of Our Lady of Good Council Catholic Church –taken in 1980—- was submitted by Yolanda Holness Clark

  2. Lucía E. Scott

    Ice cream when baseball games against other zone towns kept us cool. We always won…..lol, we had the best guys up for the challenge

    1. Ricardo Millett

      Thanks much for the feedback. Several folks have called to suggest this ‘correction’, including Jose French. We welcome and very much appreciate all feedback. Thanks also to you Yolanda and your family for graciously sharing this and many other photos in this gallery with us. I hope that all our ‘Gyambo’ family will take the initiative, as you did, to share your photos and memories with us. We will make the correction in the caption that describes this building in the near future.

    2. Ricardo Millett

      Yes Lucia,
      It was five cents for a single scoop and a dime for a double scoop of ice cream; If you had it. If you didn’t you might have a group of your friends all begging to take a ‘lick’ (smile) of your cone. If you really, really had it you would take in the movies in the evening and not only buy your ticket (ten cents for children/young adults and fifteen cents for adults) but also a pint of ice cream for 25 cents…sit by yourself and be the envy of everyone who could see you. Indeed you became the ‘star in house’ (smile).


    This building is not the clubhouse. This is a side view of the catholic church building (right side).

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