Charles Gesner van der Voort had started his career in Rotterdam, at Holland-China Trading Company (HCHC). In 1938, he went to Shanghai for the firm. The Japanese interned him, and most other Dutch nationals, from 1943-45. In camp, he met his wife Nancy and they married after the war. After a leave in The Netherlands, they returned to the Orient, where Charles continued to work for HCHC in Hong Kong.
Twenty years before Charles started, in 1918, a photo album was made of the Hong Kong office and office staff.
Fortunately, unlike several other HCHC group portraits, there are names written underneath the photograph, although not the names of the Chinese staff members. If you recognise someone, please let me know.
From left to right: Rosario (Fernando Antonio Maria) - Woudenberg (Gerardus) - van den Poll (Gerard Hendrik) - comprador - A.W. (Alexander Willem) van Andel (Manager) - D.H. (Derk Herman) te Wechel - F. (Franciscus Hubertus Joseph Alphonsus) Lafleur - J.Th. (Johannes Theodorus) de Vries - C.P. (Cecilio Paulo) Pintos.
"de jonge man tussen v/d Poll en van Andel is later compradore geworden tot 1950" (the young man in between v/d Poll and van Andel later became compradore, until 1950). His name is Tong Lai Chuen J.P., his portrait can be found here:
Cecilio Paulo Pintos is on Hong Kong Juror's lists, from 1899 (working for Hotz s'Jacob & Co, one of the companies which merged into Holland-China Trading Company in 1903) to 1930.
Fernando Antonio Maria Rosario appears on the 1923 Hong Kong Juror's list on gwulo.com. In the 1918 Juror's list, his employer is the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank, so he must have started working for HCHC in the year this photo was taken. <a href="https://gwulo.com/jurors-list-1923" rel="noreferrer nofollow">gwulo.com/jurors-list-1923</a>
The Comacrib Directory of China (1925, Google Books) lists the following people as working for Holland-China Trading Company:
A.W. van Andel, Genl.Mgr. for China. [mentioned in caption]
F. Lafleurs [s is not correct] signs per pro. [mentioned]
J. Walle, signs per pro. [mentioned in caption to above photo]
J. Th. de Vries. [mentioned in caption to above photo]
H.E. Meyer. [not there in 1918]
C.P. Pintos. [mentioned in caption to above photo]
C.A. dos Remedios. [could be in above photo]
C.G. Markar. [could be in above photo]
Tong Hok Ting, Compradore. [replacing compradore Tong Lai Chuen, who passed away in 1922]
C.E. Tavares. [could be in above photo]
F.X. Delgado. [could be in above photo]
E.C. Olaes. [could be in above photo]
J.A. Lace. [could be in above photo]
1256 N.V. Internationale Crediet- en Handelsvereniging Rotterdam/C.V. en N.V. Wm H. Muller & Co. (Internatio-Muller N.V.) 1402 Foto album van kantoren in China.