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, and Liebherr refrigerators.
HCHC had its offices in Alexandra Building.
There is an advertising sign visible on the building on the left: James S. Lee & Co., "recognized by the New York Times in 1956 as the largest custom tailoring concern in Hong Kong".
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Gwulo.com member Herostratus provided the location of the photo: "The photo was taken on the Wanchai Praya, today called Gloucester Road, between Canal and Marsh Roads looking West. The location was infront of 221-22 Gloucester Road. The tall building in the background stood until 2009 - they have now constructed a building called 'The Gloucester' on the site."
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.
Can you recognise people in the photo?