It was one of the most prosperous of the three districts of the Province. Most of her revenues came from leasing the turtle boats each year to the most successful bidder, and from the "Baker's Coconut Plantation Co.", in Cocoplum Point. A company engaged in planting coconut around 1924 or 1925, it started operating in Cocoplum Point (in spanish, "Punta de Icaco").
The chief men from this company came from the Cayman Islands. They employed lots of men, about one hundred from all over. They stuff, etc. They also had a boat making weekly trips between Bocas Town and Cocoplum Point. This boat was also named "Cocoplum". They shipped the coconuts out to the United States. They also used the meat, drying it, when it was turned into a hard leather like stuff called "copra", which they also shipped out to the United States.
Men were also used in finding and killing a bug that would destroy the young plants, paying 25 cents for bug. When the time came, as it does to all business, they just closed down and went away. Since it was in the Bastimentos jurisdiction, whatever taxes they used to pay and which helped to swell its revenues, on leaving, Bastimentos was left with little money to pay its employees. As a matter of fact, Bastimentos, after a few years of strenous struggle for existence, ceased to be a district, giving way to Changuinola, which now has been a district since 1969.
It is alleged that the name "Bastimentos" was given to Old Bank as a result of Columbus landing there to replenish his store of provisions before sailing out. I may venture to say that Bastimentos has seen better days there was a fair sprinkling of West Indian element. Not all were good as you will find among all nationalities, but we must face the truth. They brought us their West Indies culture, ministers, their school teachers, tailors, barbers and farmers. All these contribute toward the progress and advancement of the island.
There were many West Indians in Old Bank on account of the closing down of the French Canal and a good many of them, instead of going back to ther old homeland, found it easier to move on to Bocas, because they were farmers and procuring land in Bocas was absolutely no problem, so that was their inducement to come to Bocas they were called "drift coconuts" by the natives or creoles, simply because they had superior knowledgement in farming and this created jealousy amont the real native.
One notable farmer from Jamaica was Robert Earlington. This special farmer
brought to Old Bank the first mule, jackass donkey and assisted the natives in
the art of successful farming. We, the people of Old Bank had never seen a mule
or donkey until Earlington brought such animals. Only horses and cows had we
seen. He was a mulato, "con pelo bonito" (with beautiful hair), from a
successful farming family. I think he was looking for better farming facilities.
(from the book "Memories of a Bocatorian Creole" by CARLOS REID).