S. Oppenheimer Casings: Who is in this One-hundred-year-old Photo from New Zealand?

S Oppenheimers & Co 2nd (1)I started my Jacullman blog to learn WordPress.  It seemed like a safe virtual home for my dad’s history of S.Oppenheimer Co. –  mainly for preservation – the paper was deteriorating and a virtual back-up gave me peace of mind.  What I didn’t expect were the  wonderful connections that have resulted.

Nola and Kerry Griffiths, sisters from New Zealand,  sent the poignant photograph above. It is incredible in so many ways.  To appreciate the full impact of this image, you can see an enlargement by clicking on it.  What is the origin of  this photo? Wouldn’t it be great to learn the identities of the subjects?  I’ll let Nola and Kerry take it from here:

Have found this website (by accident), only because of a photo I have of people sitting outside a business, with a plaque with Oppenheimer on it. Looks to be around WW 1. It would seem to be workers at the Petone plant in Wellington, New Zealand. I suspect you would love to see a copy of this! I have no idea why my Grandfather would have had this image, may have to look in my Great Grandfathers diary to see if there is any message that associates our family with the business.”

Not recognising anyone in the photograph at all makes it difficult for me to say why my ancestors got a hold of this photograph, it was in a box of my Seymour ancestors stuff, they were prominent sheep farmers in the district, and were possibly suppliers to the Oppenheimer firm? 

So many questions, and hopefully you may have the means to identify someone in the photograph. The other clue is the lack of personnel, I had read that Oppenheimer’s had a team of up to 60 people in later years, there are only 22 in this picture, so might be a clue to an early picture also.

I think I have narrowed down who might be in the photo, I just don’t know what he looks like, so cannot point him out as of yet! I have found out that my G.G.Grandfather, James John Fleet, worked in Petone most of his life, one of his brothers worked at the Gear Meat Company (which sounds as if it was in opposition to Oppenheimer’s).

Finally, Nola and Kerry shared a picture of their great grandfather – who they believe is in the Oppenheimer  photo:
James John Fleet and Olive Ilma Fleet [12214486]

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