Object of the Day

Pacific Sailfish Club

One side of this fish reads “PACIFIC SAILFISH CLUB” and the other side says “DOC + SLIM”. Please help us learn more about this object.
unnamedWhere was the Pacific Sailfish Club? What time period was it in operation? Were you or anyone you know a member? Do you know who Doc and Slim are?

What was this object used for? Is it a decoration or a medal?

If you have any information about this object, please share with us in the comments section!



  • bkarrer2013

    first of all, it would be good to have a size & composition of this guy. That club was on the Canal East Bank & was in operation quite a long time. Sailfishing was & likely still is a major sport on the Isthmus, and many record catches have been made thru the years I know it was in operation in 1920s & 30s for sure based on postcards & photos i’ve seen. There was also a Tarpon Club based at Gatun Dam; they had a restaurant overlooking the spillway to Gatun Dam that was a favorite in the 1960s when we lived over there. I’d suspect this little fella, if is is metal, was likely something that was on a door or wall as a decoration somewhere, but there ought to be folks who know a lot more than a (a non fisherman). Bob Karrer


    From: The Panama Canal Museum Collection at UF [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 12:57 PM To: bkarrer@comcast.net Subject: [New post] Pacific Sailfish Club

    ufpcmcollection posted: “One side of this fish reads “PACIFIC SAILFISH CLUB” and the other side says “DOC + SLIM”. Please help us learn more about this object. Where was the Pacific Sailfish Club? What time period was it in operation? Were you or anyone you know a member? Do you”

    • Richard Bailey

      My earliest recollection of the Pacific Sailfish Club (and the Panama Marlin Club ) was in the ’50s and ’60s was when they occupied the WW2 Officers Club building in the 15th Naval Division in Amador after the war ended in the late ’40s or early ’50s. The Balboa Yacht Club was located in the basement as they had been using the mooring areas for years. As to the metal Sailfish, the only three ” Docs” that come to mind are Dr. Mitten who I believe was the first recognized angler to land a Black Marlin in Panama Bay sometime in the ’30s,Dr. W.T. Bailey (no relation) and Dr.Gerrans(?) who were active in Panama sport fishing in the ’50s and ’60s. I suspect the “Slim” referred to August “Slim” Bauman, another active sport fisherman in the Pacific Sailfish Club.

  • L. F. "Buddy" Hallett, III

    Slim was undoubtedly my grandfather, L. Forrest “Slim” Hallett. He was the Secretary of the Pacific Sailfish Club from 1938 through early 1949, just before the club folded up. The PSC was formed in 1932, and Dr. Mitten did in fact catch the first sailfish in Panama Bay. We have a photo of the very first meeting of the PSC. But “Doc” is probably referring to Dr. Earl Gerrans. The metal sailfish is about 8″ long, and there is one mounted on the top of the frame of Grandpa Slim’s certificate given to him as a Lifetime Honorary Member upon his retirement from the club. Slim put together a monthly newsletter for the club called “The Sailfish”, and we have a copy of almost every monthly issue from 1938 until 1949. So anything at all you would like to know about the Pacific Sailfish Club, just drop me line. In the 30s they met at the Balboa Boathouse, home of the Balboa Yacht Club until Pearl Harbor when they were evicted and all the Japanese women and children held there. After they were transferred to the states, the building was torn down due to its condition. An officers’ club was built on the same spot, but they could not support it for long and it was closed. At the end of WWII Grandpa Slim approached the Canal authorities about letting the Pacific Sailfish Club use the building, and they agreed. After the PSC closed in 1949 the Balboa Yacht Club took it over, and it eventually burned in the 90s, I believe.

    • Buddy Hallett

      Mary, Roy was one of the early members of the Pacific Sailfish Club, and he was a good friend of our grandfather, L. Forrest, “Slim” Hallett. As mentioned above, he was the Secretary of the Sailfish Club. We have several photos of Roy, and also photos of his boat, the “Adventure.” Plus he is mentioned in pamphlets that are part of Slim’s Pacific Sailfish Club collection. We would love to share scanned copies of these photos, etc, with your family.

  • Buddy Hallett

    Oops, sorry Mary, I meant “Ray” was one of Slim’s good friends. Don’t know why I want to call him Roy! But please let me know if your family is interested in seeing some photos from the late 30s of Ray.

  • Melissa plumley

    I have come across a certificate of membership or award for the pacific sailfish club dated oct 1941. Signed by the president secretary etc.

    I am interested in knowing more about it and the member Charles Lear.

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