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Panama „Kiss of two oceans“





Panama, Colon Hospital


Postkarte: „Ward in Colon I. C. C. Hospital, Colon R.P.“ („Hospitals consist of departments, traditionally called wards“ ([1])

Panama Kanal, Treidelloks

Postkarte: „Electric Mule towing Ocean liner through Gatun locks, Panama Canal“ (dies sind Treidelloks, Zahnradbahnen, die die Schiffe durch die Schleuse ziehen. Als Konstrukteur wird Edward Schildhauer genannt ([1], [2])).

Treidellok, Pedro Miguel Locks (Links ist das Schiff das durch die Schleuse gezogen wird)

Gatun Locks

Treidellock (Electric Mule)

Gatun Locks im Bau.

Caroline und C. C. J. Wirz

C. C. J. Wirz 1897 und 1914.

Caroline und C. C. J. Wirz 1897.

Caroline Wirz („Mrs. Chas. C. J. Wirz“).

Im Frühjahr 1899 erschienen in der Zeitung „The Singapore Free Press
and Mercantile Advertiser“ mehrmals Anzeigen von C. C. J. Wirz, in denen
er die Vermittlung von sogenannten Coolies (Kuli, Tagelöhner, vgl. [1])
anbot. Als Kontaktadresse wurde Queen Road Central in Hongkong
angegeben. In keinem weiteren Dokument wird diese Tätigkeit später
allerdings erwähnt, aber die klare namentliche Nennung als „C. C. J.
Wirz“ sollte als Zuordnung zunächst reichen, zumal seine Frau für 1901
und 1903 Aufenthalte auf den „Philippines“ angibt, so dass ein
Aufenthalt in Hongkong glaubhaft erscheint. „My wife and I arrived on
the Isthmus on October 10, 1903, by the way of Europe from the far East.
[…] Soon after our Arrival in Panama [1903] I started a second Hand
furniture store, house, room renting and employment agency, and did well
for a time.“ (C.C.J. Wirz, 1914) „On October 10, 1903, my husband and I
landed at Colon from the Philippines, by the way of Europe.“ (Caroline
Wirz) „In May, 1904, General Davis, first Governor of the Zone, and
other officials, as well as a number of employees, arrived on the
Isthmus. Many of These latter found their way to my Establishment in
search of board and lodging, and General Information. When possible I
found a place for them, and was useful to them otherwise, for which
Services I received very Little cash. As Business conditions were very
unfavorable, I entered the Service of the Commission in November, 1904.“
(C.C.J. Wirz, 1914) „We had read in the far off Philippines that the
American Government was going to build the Panama Canal, and my husband
intended to be one of the canal diggers, and with this object in view,
we undertook the Long journey, howewer, as we were ahead of time we
started a second-Hand furniture shop, this being something unique then
in Panama, and later, when the Americans arrived, we added a Real Estate
and Employment Office, and assisted not a few early canal employees to
find board and loging, for None of them were overburdened with cash.“
(Caroline Wirz)

Postkarte von Caroline Wirz: Kanalbau in Panama (Gatun Locks, eine Schleuse).

Titelblatt „The Panama Canal 1914 – 1939, Twenty-fifth Anniversary“ (25 Jahre Fertigstellung Panama Kanal)

Bildtext: „The Incas Society was organized under the leaderchip of Colonel William Crawford Gorgas, shown in the Center. It is composed of men who were employed by the Isthmian Canal Commission during 1904. It was the wish of Colonel Gorgas that the Society hold an annual banquet until the last man had left, and this Tradition has so far been pbserved. Only two members, R. W. Glaw and C.A. McIlvaine are still in Service. Other members who has left the Service but now make their home on the Isthmus include Harry Leonard, R.D. Precott, Foster Spier, F.H. Sheibley, R.P. Dixon, G.O. Richardson, C.L. Stockelberg, C.C.J. Wirz, W.A. Torbert, Frank E. Moore, and W.C. Haskins.“ (Quelle: University of Florida – Digital Collections, „There are two
societies on the Isthmus which tell of the effects of homesickness of
the Americans in the employ of the Canal Commission—the Incas, and the
Society of the Chagres. The Incas are a group of men who meet annually
on May 4th for a dinner. The one requirement for membership in this
dining club is service on the canal from the beginning of the American
occupation. In 1913 about 60 men were left on the Isthmus of all those
Americans who were there at the time of the transfer of the canal
property to the United States in 1904.“

C. C. J. Wirz in der Festschrift der Incas Society.

Postkarte von Caroline Wirz gesendet: Krankenhaus in Ancon, Canal Zone.

C.C.J. Wirz, ca. 1914


The Wirz Memorial „A new home for Isthmian Canal Rebekah Lodge No. 1, I.O.O.F. will soon rise on the Balboa Road in Balboa. It is being constructed as a memorial to the late Mr.
and Mrs. Charles Clemens Joseph Wirz. He was a former Canal employee
who arrived in 1904 and resided in Panama City until his death in 1947.
Mr. Wirz bequeathed the lodge $50,000 for the building’s erecrion.“
(Canal Record, Juni 1951)

(Anm.: I.O.O.F. = The Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
Isthmian Canal Lodge No. 1 [1], [2],International Association of Rebekah Assemblies [3]) „Rebekah Lodge To Hold „Open House“ Isthmian Rebekah Lodge No. 1 is holding an „Open House“ at the new Wirz Memorial building
at 806 Balboa Road an Sunday. 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. The public is
cordially invited to attend the opening ceremonies an dto inspect the
building. Tea will be served.“ (Zeitung Panama American, 3. Januar 1952)


In der Zeitung Panama American, 5. Januar 1952 (Seite 6), erschien ein Bild vom „The Wirz memorial on Balboa Road“.

„Rebekah Lodge No. 1 Isthmian Canal Rebekah Lodge No. 1 will meet Friday at 7:30 at the Wirz Memorial
in Balboa. Mrs. Marie M. Bennett, president will turn the gavel over to
Mrs. Louise Merchant incoming president. There will be a social after
tre meeting.“ (The Sunday American, 8. Januar 1956) „Christmas Party For
Rebekahs Isthmian Canal Rebekah Lodge One of Balboa will have a
Christmas party and dinner tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. The meeting will
follow at 7:30 p.m. at the Wirz Memorial on Balboa Road.“  (The Panama
American, 15. Dezember 1958) „Jehovah’s Witnesses [= Die Zeugen Jehovas]
Meetings Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 4:00 pm – Wirz Memorial
806 Balboa Road, Balboa.“ (The Panama American, 27. Juni 1959) „Harnett
[& Dunn, Ball Room Dancers Studio] was my dance teacher. About 14
middle-school age kids and myself learned the walz, foxtrot and
jitterbug under her direction. This was in about 1960. Her dance studio
was on the first floor of a building that had the name Rebecca IOOF
at its front. The building was along Balboa Road in the area of the
police station.“
Neben dem Wirz Memorial auf der Balboa Road war eine Kirche („… Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Balboa … at the church on Balboa
Road next the Wirz Memorial.“, The Panama Canal spillway, 31. Oktober

Sahler, G. (2012): Briefe aus Panama ins Bergische Land
– Lindlarer Familie korrespondierte mit Verwandtschaft in Übersee; Karl
Wirz baute mit am Panamakanal vor 100 Jahren. In: Rheinisch-bergischer
Kalender; 83. 2013, S. 84 – 90.