Taipei, Taiwan: Students and Nationals living in Taiwan came together this past weekend to commemorate the 33rd Anniversary of the Independence of Saint Kitts and Nevis. At the invitation of the Embassy of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Republic of China (Taiwan), citizens of the Federation braved the inclement weather on Saturday to attend a buffet lunch hosted by the Embassy, at the Regent Hotel in Taipei. H.E. Ambassador Jasmine Huggins used the occasion to welcome the new students to Taiwan and reminded all that their presence and educational opportunities in Taiwan were directly related to the attainment of Independence 33 years ago and the establishment of diplomatic relations between Saint Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan.

At a Service on September 18 at Church of the Good Shepherd, this sentiment was further reinforced when Ambassador Huggins in her address to the congregation thanked Taiwan for its support over the years and stated, “…In fact, we need look no further than the pews in this church that are filled with our students, to see the manifestations of the generosity and good will of the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan).” Ambassador Huggins also noted that nation building required adherence to the principle that we are our brother’s keeper and suggested “This edict, if strictly followed, will have us all live together in harmony, creating for each of our nations, communities and families, a wholesome inclusive space, where we can all thrive as we endeavor to serve each other. Our paths and journey may be different, but they converge on the altar of empathy, morality and compassion.”

Representing the government of Taiwan, H.E. Paul Chang Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan, mentioned the long-standing relations between the Federation and Taiwan, and cited a range of areas where both governments had collaborated. Reference was also made to the Formosa TV crew that is currently in the Federation and the hope was expressed that through their efforts, Saint Kitts and Nevis will be promoted extensively in Taiwan and beyond. Reverend Dr. Herbert Barker in his homily reminded that in today’s world especially, our concerns and love for our fellowman should extend to the wider global community and quoted from Finlandia, A hymn of Peace, “This is my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for lands afar and mine; this is my home, the country where my heart is; here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine: but other hearts in other lands are beating with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.”

Two students from the Federation, Ms. Rolhensha Henry and Ms. Natasha Maynard, gave a moving rendition of a medley of hymns that included “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus” and “Lift every voice and sing” while Mr. Stephen Richards, also a University student, captivated the congregation with a lively performance on the steel pans.

Fellow Ambassadors of the Diplomatic Corps and Representatives of Foreign and Trade offices in Taipei from several regions around the world, including Europe, Africa, South Pacific and Asia, as well as other officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan attended the event. The service was also attended by two former Ambassadors of the Republic of China (Taiwan), to Saint Kitts and Nevis, H.E. Ambassador Miguel Tsao, Director General of the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs and Mrs. Marietta Liao who has retired from the Foreign Service.