Office staff Holland-China Trading Company, Shanghai 1921 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Office staff Holland-China Trading Company, Shanghai 1921

Office staff Holland-China Trading Company, Shanghai 1921

In 1921, director Willem Kien (front row, centre), left the Shanghai office for the Rotterdam office of Holland-China Trading Company (Holland-China Handelscompagnie, HCHC). For this occasion, a office staff group photo was made. In 1921, the office was in Kiangse Road.

At the time, Charles Gesner van der Voort (1916-1991) was five years old, still playing in the streets of Dordrecht. In December 1938, after an internship at the Rotterdam office, he would sail for Shanghai and arrive in January 1939.

Anneke de Jongh, (born 1930, Hong Kong) recognised her father Frans de Jongh (third from the right, front row). "Such a good photo of H.C.H.C. in Shanghai in 1921, with the manager, the comprador and full staff, Westerners and Chinese. My father had just started his carreer - a nice, entrepreneurial man! There is probably no list of names with the photo, unfortunately, because I only know that next to father is Jaap Walle, who also worked for the company for a short while. We knew the Walle family well, he worked for H.C.H.C. for a short while and married a White-Russian woman afterwards. ... They were in Weihsien camp with us afterwards [during WW2]."

A book was published by Mieke Kiebert-Melief, related to Anneke de Jongh: <a href=""">" rel="noreferrer nofollow"></a> If you manage Dutch, a very good radio documentary was broadcasted in 2018 about Anneke de Jongh's life in China:
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Mike Boddé recognised his grandfather Han Boddé fifth from the left.

Photo by Ah Fong, Shanghai & Wei-Hai-Wei
University of Bristol writes about the studio:
"AH Fong had portrait studios in Shanghai and in Wei-hai-wei (Weihai), and was active in the 1930s.  Ah Fong is not to be confused with Afong, which was the professional name of Lai Fong (c.1839-1890), the pre-eminent nineteenth-century Chinese photographer, who founded the Afong Studio in Hong Kong (active 1870-1940s).  A book of photographs entitled The Sino-Japanese Hostilities Shanghai 1937 was sold by 'Ah Fongs Photographers', Nanking Road, Shanghai, although the photographs therein were apparently taken by two photographers identified only as: “S.S.” and S.C.S."
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Google Books has a copy of The Directory & chronicle for China, Japan, Corea, Indo-China, Straits Settlements, Malay states, Siam, Netherlands India, Borneo, the Philippines, &c. for the year 1912. It lists the Shanghai office as follows (p. 889):
何市 Ho-shi
Holland-China Handels Compagnie (Holland-China Trading Co.) Merchants - 7&8 Szechuan Road; Telephone 415
J.H. Collignon (Rotterdam) manager
J.S.R. de Monchy, do.             do.
F.B. s'Jacob, Shanghai           do.
W. Kien, signs per pro.
B.D. (Barend Dirk) Kapteyn   do.
D.H. (Derk Herman) te Wechel (shown in 1918 HK HCHC staff photo)
A.W.M. van Gyn
V. de Carvalho
V.F. Rangel
A. King
S.T. Yu
Java-China-Japan Lijn
General Marine Insurance Co., Ld., of Dresden
East India Sea & Fire Insurance Co., Salamander Fire Insurance Co.

In 1919, Chinese staff presented a tea tray to Willem Kien, with their names inscribed:
Tong Zung
King Kee
Way Chee
Huh Dah
Chue Yue
Nee Foong
Koo Hang Ching
They are probably in the above photo.

Courtesy Kien family archive


Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Saturday, January 1, 1921