Shareholders vote on Shell’s departure to the UK. The founder of this multinational company is Aeilko Zijlker, son of a farmer from Nieuw Beerta

Aeilko Zijlker (right) at Telaga Said’s first oil well. Photo: Heritage & Historic Archives

The story goes that during an inspection trip to a tobacco field in Sumatra, Aeilko Zijlker was attacked by a tropical storm. As he sought refuge in the tobacco warehouse, his gaze fell on the monitoring torch next to him. She asked him what kind of wood the torch was made of. He guessed that it must contain a lot of resin, otherwise it would never give so much light. Supervisors told him the torches had been dipped in ‘earth wax’, which was bubbling from below in many places in the area.

Shaun Dennis

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