Canada's History - - CONTENTS - Sub­mit­ted by Pa­trick Wolfe of Vic­to­ria.

Por­trait shows se­nior staff of a Cana­dian com­pany that sold pills through­out Asia.

The above photo shows my grand­fa­ther Sa­muel Wil­liamson Wolfe circa 1912 in Shang­hai, China, with his se­nior staff. Seated front and cen­tre, he was the Far East­ern branch man­ager for the G.T. Ful­ford Com­pany, a Cana­dian patent medicine firm, from 1903 to 1941.

The com­pany’s suc­cess de­pended on a sin­gle prod­uct — Dr. Wil­liams’ Pink Pills for Pale Peo­ple, an iron-based fa­tigue rem­edy — the rights to which were se­cured by Ge­orge Tay­lor Ful­ford, a Brockville, On­tario, busi­ness­man. The com­pany even­tu­ally op­er­ated in more than eighty coun­tries and sur­vived un­til 1989.

Wolfe was born in 1872 in Cork, Ire­land, and moved to Lon­don, Eng­land, about 1879. Af­ter work­ing in a hard­ware store and at­tend­ing night school, he an­swered a job ad and was sent to Cape Town, South Africa, where in 1895 he joined the Ful­ford Com­pany.

He es­tab­lished of­fices in sev­eral Asian coun­tries and in 1908 moved his head­quar­ters to Shang­hai. There his mostly Chi­nese staff grew to more than one hun­dred peo­ple, in­clud­ing forty men and more than sixty women. His Cau­casian assistants were hired lo­cally or came from the com­pany’s Lon­don of­fice.

Wolfe was in­volved in the com­mu­nity in Shang­hai, or­ga­niz­ing a Ro­tary Club, sup­port­ing the Sal­va­tion Army, and serv­ing as pres­i­dent of the St. Pa­trick’s So­ci­ety. Ev­ery Christ­mas morn­ing, he vis­ited the lo­cal jail to of­fer fruit and other ob­jects to pris­on­ers. His son Pierre called him “a cham­pion for [the city’s] op­pressed and the un­der­priv­i­leged.”

He left Shang­hai for the last time on Novem­ber 22, 1941, in­tent on re­join­ing his wife, Blanche, in Kingston, On­tario, and start­ing his re­tire­ment. But he was trapped in Manila, Phillip­ines, for two years dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

His repa­tri­a­tion was achieved largely thanks to Ge­orge Ful­ford Jr., a Lib­eral MP who wrote to Prime Min­is­ter Wil­liam Lyon Macken­zie King re­quest­ing a “great favour.” Af­ter re­turn­ing to Canada in De­cem­ber 1943, Wolfe ac­cepted a pro­mo­tion and con­tin­ued to work for the Ful­ford Com­pany.

Do you have a pho­to­graph that cap­tures a moment, im­por­tant or or­di­nary, in Canada’s his­tory? If so, have it copied (please don’t send price­less orig­i­nals) and mail it to Al­bum, c/o Canada’s His­tory, Bryce Hall, Main Floor, 515 Portage Av­enue, Win­nipeg, MB R3B 2E9. Or email your photo to al­bum@CanadasHis­ Please pro­vide a brief de­scrip­tion of the photo, in­clud­ing its date and lo­ca­tion. If pos­si­ble, iden­tify peo­ple in the pho­to­graph and pro­vide fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about the event or sit­u­a­tion il­lus­trated. Photos may be cropped or ad­justed as nec­es­sary for pre­sen­ta­tion in the mag­a­zine. To have your posted sub­mis­sion re­turned, please in­clude a stamped, self-ad­dressed en­ve­lope.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.