Mr. French shaped character and influenced lives of ‘Gyambo’ young women and men alike by making the ‘sports’ the on- going center of community life. This photo is of the ‘Gyambo girls’ basketball team, ‘Malta Vigor’ (1957). He went beyond the ‘authority’ of the Canal Zone ‘Silver/Local Rate’ governance to secure physical training equipment (usually ‘hand me downs’ from ‘Gold/U.S. rated’ schools) for Gyambo kids. And he was more often than not successful in negotiating with Panamanian private enterprises to sponsor local teams that competed in sports events throughout the Republic’s terminal cities and surrounding towns. It was a badge of honor to qualify to make his teams. Making meant that you met his criteria for personal character, discipline and sportsperson skills. Many of us will remember that be bought an old truck, remolded it with back seat benches to carry local teams wherever he could ‘negotiate’ a friendly competition with locals and bring us safely back home. He widened our horizons beyond the limited plane of ‘Gyambo’s isolation.
I know you agree with the ‘fact’ that ‘Malta Vigor’ never had more beautiful models advertising their name brand:
- Holding the basketball balls at the center of the photo is: Janet McFarlane (right), followed by person ‘unknown’, followed by Chubby Malcom, ‘Nettie’ Peterkin, Joan Myers;
Agnes Blades holding basketball (on right), followed by person ‘unknown’, followed by Joyce Holness, Sara Ramsey, and person ‘unknown’.
Please share memories sparked by this and other photo images of ‘Gyamboa team sports’.