A guide to the Master Key to the Panama Canal certificate issued to Vincent P. McMurdo, 1957 November 4
Processed by: Historic Documents Department Staff.
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park2012
Building E, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
A Guide to the Master Key to the Panama Canal certificate issued to Vincent P. McMurdo
HDC0031San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, National Park Service
2012, National Park Service
Title: Master Key to the Panama Canal certificate issued to Vincent P. McMurdo
Date: 1957 November 4
Identifier/Call Number: HDC0031 (SAFR 17603)
Originating agency: Panama Canal Company
Physical Description: 1 item
Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
Building E, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
Abstract: The certificate (SAFR 17603, HDC 0031) was issued to Mr. V.P. McMurdo November 4, 1957. The certificate has two foil seals, one gold and one red. The replica key is scotch taped to the red foil seal.The collection is processed and open for use.
Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
Language(s): In English.
This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.
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[Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], HDC0031 (SAFR 17603), Master Key to the Panama Canal certificate issued to Vincent P. McMurdo, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Donated by Mr. Vincent P. McMurdo in 1975.
Panama Canal Company history: Panama Canal Company, is a corporation, the stock of which was wholly owned by the United States, the Secretary of the Army being designated as the sole stockholder. Panama Railroad Company (name changed to Panama Canal Company, Act of September 26, 1950, 64 Stat. 1038) was incorporated under federal charter (Act of June 29, 1948, 62 Stat. 1075). It is the governmental agency through which the United States carries on the functions necessary for the operation and maintenance of the Panama Canal. The act of September 26, 1950 is superseded by the Panama Canal Commission, 1979. The Panama Canal Commission, was established as an independent agency, effective October 1, 1979, by the Panama Canal Act of 1979 (93 Stat. 452), September 27, 1979, superseding the Canal Zone Government and the Panama Canal Company.
Citation: National Archives, accessed October 29, 2010. see http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/185.html, and Docket 25681, United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1959.
Vincent P. McMurdo, native San Franciscan, was born in March 2, 1893, and expired October 30, 1975 in Alameda. According to a Time news article dated October 1, 1947 titled Phony Beef, Mr. McMurdo was the Pacific Coast Manager for Luckenbach Steamship Company.
Citations: Ancestry.com, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,933761,00.html
The certificate (SAFR 17603, HDC 0031) was issued to Mr. V.P. McMurdo November 4, 1957. The certificate has two foil seals, one gold and one red. The replica key is scotch taped to the red foil seal.The collection is processed and open for use.
Certificate text: The Esteemed Order of Bearers of the Master Key to the Panama Canal Know All Men By These Presents: Whereas, The Esteemed Order of Bearers of the Master Key of the Panama Canal has been established to join together all Panama Canal advisors in a favored fellowship of peregrinating potentates who have viewed the marvels of American enterprise and Panamanian geography at the Crossroads of the Earth, shared the tropical delights of the Canal Zone, observed the fiesta and the siesta, seen the sun rise in the Pacific and set in the Atlantic, angled in the bay of abundant fish, and drunk deep of the waters of the Chagres which assures their return; Whereas, Membership in said Order is conferred in the respective grades as follows: Honorary Pilot - having traversed the big Ditch that divides the land and unites the world. Honorary Lockmaster - having inspected the Locks through whose chambers pass ships bearing flags of all nations. Honorary Aide to the Governor - having assisted in important duties of the Governor, diurnal and nocturnal. Now, therefore, Membership in the Esteemed Order of Bearers of the Master Key of the Panama Canal is hereby conferred upon: Mr. V.P. McMurdo in the grade of Honorary Aid to the Governor and said Bearer of the Master Key is hereby possessed of all honorary rights, privileges, perquisites, emoluments, and memories appertaining to membership in the said Order and is hereby authorized to display this certificate and a replica of the Golden Key to the Locks of the Panama Canal. In Whitness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seals this 4th day of November, 1957, at Balboa Heights, Canal Zone. [signature of] W.E. Potter, Governor of the Canal Zone, President, Panama Canal Company
This is a collection consisting of a single item.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Panama Canal Company