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.
This photo was found in the company archives, held by Stadsarchief Rotterdam. A Volkswagen Transporter, type 1, was used to transport goods from the harbour to a warehouse and to clients. Several products were advertised on the van: Pammastic paints, Mitchell air-conditioners, and Liebherr refrigerators.
HCHC had its offices in Alexandra Building, later Alexandra House.
The photo shows many details: faces of people in the street, vegetables and fruit in a market stand, a clothing shop, advertising signs which must have been very colourful (Double Cola, Philips and dozens of signs in Chinese), a street in the distance with a bus, the slopes leading to Mount Cameron. Do you recognise your (grand)father or mother? Please let me know!
Gwulo member tinwantower revealed the location of the photo: Wan Chai, Tai Yuen Street (太原街).
The sign board on left hand side of the photo is "鏡記麵厰“.
Sign board for "金鳳冰室” can also be seen.
1256 N.V. Internationale Crediet- en Handelsvereniging Rotterdam/C.V. en N.V. Wm H. Muller & Co. (Internatio-Muller N.V.) 1479 Foto's Holland China Trading Co in Sjanghai en Hong Kong.