Object of the Day

Swimming Pool – Balboa, C.Z. 27

Happy Friday, everyone! In honor of the weekend, we are highlighting the relaxing scene on this swimming pool postcard. The postcard’s front reads “Swimming Pool, – Balboa, C.Z. 27”. Please help us learn more about it.imageserverDo you know where in Balboa is this pool located and if it is still there?  Have you seen this image before?

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


  • robertsprague2013

    That was the old pool. I believe it was redone sometime in the 1950s. The slide was not there in the 50s, but I think the other boards were. To the right were the mens and women’s dressing rooms. To your left was the Balboa Clubhouse bakery and the rest of the building. I remember the deep end well as the place my brother used to push me under to impress his friends. Also, a classmate, of mine drowned there during one of the CanalZone College gym classes. It always had the smell of chlorine, and supposedly it could turn your hair green


  • Fred Sill

    I think that a lot of us Zonian kids learned how to swim in that pool. There was a “Honor Roll” on the wall by the changing rooms of swimmers who had won competitions, and one name always pointed out to us was Alan Ford, a fellow Zonian, who had gone on to win a silver medal in the Olympics (in the 40s).

  • Al Jones

    Balboa swimming pool was located behind the Balboa Club House ( community center ) don’t know if it’s still there. I believe that the top platform on the diving tower was 50′.

  • Lesley Hendricks

    The Balboa Swimming Pool is located behind the former Balboa Clubhouse (now a private school). The swimming pool is operated by the Panama Canal Authority and is in excellent condition. I visited it last week. The diving boards have been taken down. My mother, Jean Hendricks, taught swimming there for many years.

  • Robert Dixon Gordon

    The Balboa swimming pool is still there to this date, and is actually operated under the Panama canal authority, ACP. All of us, former, US and none US Panama canal Commission employees that worked at the canal until december 1999, are eligible to this date, to use the Balboa swimming pool, in addition to the Balboa gymnasium, BLDG # 713-X, and other recreational facilities provided by the ACP for all of us. For more information check at the Balboa gym. Yes. The pool is still there, and hardly any significant changes were made to it. I used to work at the Balboa club house back in 1970, The general services bureau) until 1979, were US army retired Coronel Johnson was manager, as the treaties took effect in 1979, and I was awarded, the employee of the year by Canal zone governor Harold Parfitt, in person (I have a picture posted on face book at the award presentation). (Major general Parfitt was the last canal zone governor, 1975-1979) and believe me, WE, to include the governor, were all sad to see the Panama canal company, and the canal zone dismantled, thru those treaties, which I “Dixon” knew that was not valid. The canal was just a simple giveaway. Cant believe it. Dixon

  • Robert Dixon Gordon

    Mr, Fred Sill, Mr, Dixon. I don’t know if you were living in the canal zone back in the early 1960s, when we swam for the Governors trophy every year at the Balboa swimming pool. We were Zonians from Paraiso junior, and senior high school that swam against the kids from the Balboa high school and every year that Vincent Thomas or Anthony Gerald swam, they won the governor trophy. I, Dixon taught Anthony to swim. When Thomas graduated in my class of 1967, from
    Paraiso high school, he had a job waiting for him at the Balboa pool, where he taught, or gave swimming lessons to all of the canal zone dependents, whether they where us or none us dependents. Great times.

  • Robert Dixon Gordon

    Whenever I go back to the gym, I will ask the manager of the recreation facility, if the diving boards can be re installed. All former PCC employees, retired in 1999, to include those ACP retired employees should Check at building 713-X, for more info on the use of those recreation facilities, free of charge.

  • Jennifer Annis Marquardt

    When I started going to the CZ pools in 1964 you could go swimming without your parents once you had your “B badge”. You had to swim two lengths of the pool and float for a time to pass this American Red Cross level. They also had an I (Intermediate) and S (Swimmer) level. After that you could go on to become a life guard. If you had light colored hair the chlorine could indeed turn your hair green. This was a time before sun block cream (shades of Hawaiian Tropic coconut oil) and the lifeguards would put white zinc cream on their noses. This street just to the other side of the pool (not visible) is Tavernilla St.

  • Jim

    Jim Sweeney, former BHS swim coach 1972-1999.
    This is an older picture of the Balboa Pool. Later they put up covered stands where the diving board is shown in this pic. The high board and one meter board were moved to the left and a fence put around the whole place. There was no slide when we went there. The buildings on the left were later changed into a more modern club house where you could get meals, hang out, and stop for food after going to the movies next door at the Balboa Theater. We lived on Tavernilla, the street in the background, so when my kids were little they went frequently to the Balboa Pool to take lessons with Vince and Shorty or just to hang out with friends. I would sometimes go for lunch time swims there between classes. They also later put a bulkhead to make part of the pool 25 yards for meets. They even had a glass in the bulkhead if you wanted to go inside to observe swimmers, which I never did. They made a shallow section behind the bulk head for volleyball and little kids and also a section for lessons and goofing around. The high school used the pool for classes and the college for their WSI and Lifesaving courses. There were meets there on Fridays during swim season. The pools were always crowded on nice weekends all year. We had to get out of the pool if the lifeguards heard thunder.

  • Clea

    In the early 1960s Ms Jean Hendricks taught me how to swim. All the children of the Zone loved her. At the age of 4, (four) I finally passed my Red Cross Beginners Badge at Balboa Pool. I could swim the required length of the deep end without a problem, but it was jumping off the high dive board that prevented me from earning the badge at an earlier age. (While climbing up the high board you could peer into the Balboa Clubhouse bakery, as well as smell the intoxicating fumes of cookies being baked). Mrs. Hendricks was convinced I could do it, but standing on the edge of the board and peering way down into the depth of the deep end was toe curling. I finally was able to overcome that fear and made that leap of faith down into the water, with a little help from the staff at the pool. They disturbed and agitated the water, so much that I couldn’t see the bottom of the pool–and with their encouragement I stepped off the board and earned my B Badge. There was no stopping me after that. I earned all my red cross badges, as well as my junior life saving, senior life saving badges and Water Safety Instructor. With those certificates I worked as a life guard at Paraíso Pool, Los Rios Pool, Balboa and Fort Amador Beach and Fort Amador Pool.

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