John Laird Wright – MacDonald & Co Shipyard, HK and Green Island Cement, Macau

HF: John Laird Wright worked for MacDonald and Company’s shipyard in Hong Kong from 1907 to 1908. He then worked for Green Island Cement Company in Macau which he left in 1910.

This obituary comes from an Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituary in 1934:
John Laird Wright was for seventeen years a member of the Anglo- Persian Oil Company’s staff in various parts of Persia.

He was born at Elderslie, Renfrewshire, in 1882, and received his technical education at Paisley Technical College.

In 1900 he commenced a five years’ apprenticeship with Messrs. Bow, McLachlan and Company, of Paisley [Scotland], for whom he was engaged principally in the installation of electrical and hydraulic machinery in ships of various types.

He then spent a year with the Arrol-Johnston Motor Car Company, and carried out tests on a new type of engine.

Late in 1906 he joined a tramp steamer as engineer and sailed to Japan.

In the following year he became a foreman in Messrs. Macdonald and Company’s shipyard in Hong Bong, but left in 1908, following his appointment as engineer to the Green Island Cement Company, of Macao. He remained with the firm until he took up his position with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1910.

He took charge of the work at Chiah Sourkh, where the original wells had been drilled, and subsequently supervised the first exploratory drillings at Quishm Island. At Abadan, works involving an outlay of over £500,000 were constructed by the company and Mr. Wright supervised the laying out and erection of the entire oil refinery. The plant was self-contained and included storage tanks, distillation plant, pump houses, a plant for manufacturing containers, and a railway and wharf.

In 1919 Mr. Wright went to Masjid-i-Sulaiman as assistant fields manager and in 1923 he was appointed fields manager.

On his retirement in 1927 he returned to England, and lived at Ifield, Sussex, where he died on 10th January 1934.

He had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1913. (1)

The image shown on the Home page is of the distribution of kerosene by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. Courtesy: (2)


  1. graces guide John Laird Wright 1934 obituary  Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituary
  2. Persian Oil – The International Institute of Social History


  1. Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History is “the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 111,064 pages of information and 153,448 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.”
  2. Anglo- Persian Oil Company wikipedia

nb: Anglo Persian later became Anglo-Iranian which in turn became BP.

This article was first posted on 19th September 2015.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Green Island Cement Company – stunning photos HF: I had always imagined  that the Green Island Cement Company was named after HK’s Green Island (Tsing Chau) opposite Kennedy Town. But no, the company initially started operations on the similarly named island, Ilha Verde, near Macau. The date of its establishment there  is given by various sources as 1886, 1887 and 1890. The contemporary company website says 1887.
    More information about GICC in Macau would be very useful.

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