Holland-China Trading Company: portrait Hong Kong Textile Department Staff, 1918 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Holland-China Trading Company: portrait Hong Kong Textile Department Staff, 1918

Holland-China Trading Company: portrait Hong Kong Textile Department Staff, 1918

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. This portrait shows the staff of the HK office textile department. From left to right: a compradore (name unknown), F. Lafleur, two employees (name unknown). Suggestions for the missing names are welcome!

Gwulo.com shows F. Lafleur's full name, in a list of jurors: Franciscus Hubertus Joseph Alphonsus Lafleur. He was in Hong Kong for a long period. He appears in the first list of jurors in 1915 and the last reference is the list of 1941.
<a href="https://old.gwulo.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://gwulo.com/jurors-list-1930">https://gwulo.com/jurors-list-1930" rel="noreferrer nofollow">gwulo.com/jurors-list-1930</a>
F. Lafleur's daughter was interned by the Japanese in Stanley Camp; Mary Lafleur, born 10 June 1931. I assume the whole family was interned there.
<a href="https://old.gwulo.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://gwulo.com/node/41084">https://gwulo.com/node/41084" rel="noreferrer nofollow">gwulo.com/node/41084</a>
There is a Franciscus Hubertus Joseph Alfonsus Lafleur, born 10 March 1890 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, who is most likely the person in this photo. The age would about match. <a href="https://old.gwulo.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://www.archieven.nl/nl/zoeken?mistart=20&mivast=0&mizig=310&miadt=0&milang=nl&misort=last_mod">https://www.archieven.nl/nl/zoeken?mistart=20&mivast=0&mizig=310&miadt=0...|desc&miview=tbl&mip1=Franciscus&mip3=Lafleur" rel="noreferrer nofollow">www.archieven.nl/nl/zoeken?mistart=20&mivast=0&mi...</a>
A Lafleur relative in The Netherlands informed me that his wife was named Lilly, "daughter of a mandarin" and that they possibly had two adopted children.
Greg Leck's book Captives of Empire showed two children of Franciscus and Lilly Lafleur in Stanley Camp, Hong Kong:
daughter Ah Kan and son Ah Tong.

Textile was the main trade product at the start of the company, in 1903. By the 1920s, Japanese textile had taken a major market position in China and had outdone the English and Dutch competition.

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>

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Tuesday, January 1, 1918


Dear reader,

New information was added to this photo. The Lafleur family in Hong Kong consisted of Mr Franciscus Lafleur, Mrs Lilly Lafleur, their daughter Ah Kan (Mary) and son Ah Tong. Are any relatives still living in Hong Kong, I wonder...

Kind regards,

Pieter Lommerse