Charles Gesner van der Voort (1916-1991) 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. This portrait shows the manager of the HK office: Mr. A.W. van Andel. Gwulo.com shows his full name: Alexander Willem van Andel. He was on several Hong Kong Jurur's lists, between 1908 and 1927. <a href="https://old.gwulo.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://gwulo.com/jurors-list-1908">https://gwulo.com/jurors-list-1908" rel="noreferrer nofollow">gwulo.com/jurors-list-1908</a>
The Dutch site archieven.nl returns only one Alexander Willem van Andel, it is very likely the man in the photo. He was born 6 December 1880 in Rotterdam and died 23 January 1966 in Rotterdam. He was married to Kate Davies.
In the typical arched window with half transparent glass, you can see the lighting through the opposite office windows. De person who printed the photo left fingerprints in the left upper corner: a personal touch! Mr. van Andel looks like a rather serious man, where would his thoughts be?
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.
courtesy Stadsarchief Rotterdam, <a href="https://old.gwulo.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"http://www.stadsarchief.rotterdam.nl">http://www.stadsarchief.rotterdam.nl" rel="noreferrer nofollow">www.stadsarchief.rotterdam.nl</a>