|GENERAL OFFICE BUILDING|
|A photo of the General Office Building (GOB) at the Colony entrance to the refinery. This building was constructed before World War II and was air conditioned, a really new idea for the time. The colony gate to the refinery is just to the right of the orange safety sign on the right of the photo. The Esso Dinning Hall is across the street, out of the photo.|
The following black & white photographs are from the Don Blair collection and probably taken between 1938, the year he arrived in Aruba and 1940, the beginning of war for Aruba and the start of census of letters and photos.
|THE FRONT ENTRANCE TO THE GENERAL OFFICE BUILDING|
|THE GENERAL OFFICE BUILDING, LOOKING SOUTHWEST|
|LOOKING AT THE BUILDING TOWARDS THE SOUTH EAST|
|THE BACK OF THE GENERAL OFFICE BUILDING LOOKING TOWARDS THE NORTHEAST|
|ONE PART OF THE LOBBY ON THE INSIDE OF THE GOB|
|MR. L. G. SMITH, PRESIDENT OF LAGO GETTING IN HIS CAR, HIS OFFICE WAS IN THE GOB.|
|After I posted the photo above I got the following email from Garry Smith, Mr. L. G. Smith's son. Seems this is not Mr. L. G. Smith but Mr. Tom Cook.|
The man in the photo is Tom Cook, a close friend and associate of my Dad. He was killed in an auto accident in New York City, shortly after this photo was taken. He and Dad were the principal designers of the Aruba Refinery, and he and Dad were the ones who went to Aruba in 1927, from Casper, to lay out and arrange the Lago Concession. The chauffeur holding the door was James, a refugee from Ethiopia who claimed to be the grandson of Haile Selasi (sp?). Our regular chauffeur was Cecil Songue, also a black man.
I will be happy to send you a copy of my biography of Dad. It is 24 pages long so I will have to send it to you via snail mail, if you will send me your mailing address
The biography is, by no means, a complete one. Most of it is my memories of Dad plus what little I could get from my living siblings. Dad was not inclined to talk about himself or the deeds of his past. He wrote almost nothing about himself or his work. He kept no diary or journal. (Let that be a lesson for you. Your grandchildren will need to know all about you.) I make no claims as to its accuracy. It may be only the ramblings of a devoted son.
I think I remember your mother. Was her name Kamma? It seems she was a regular at the Yacht Club and they teased her (principally by Jack Schnurr) about her Scandinavian ancestry. She had a great sense of humor and backed all into a corner. Is she still living?
|SCOTTISH TROOPS MARCHING TOWARDS THE COLONY IN FRONT OF THE GOB. NOTE THAT THE GATE TO THE REFINERY HAD NOT YET BEEN BUILT. THE TWO STORY BUILDING BEHIND THE TROOPS IS THE LAB FOR THE REFINERY. THIS WAS 1940.|
|AND THEN IN FEBRUARY OF 1958 THE COMPANY OPENED THE NEW ADMINISTRATION BUILDING|