The Republic of China (Taiwan) which was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis in 1983, a few days after the latter attained its independence, will be celebrating the 111th anniversary of its independence on Monday, October 10 (Double Ten Day).
In commemoration of this milestone, the Embassy in St. Kitts and Nevis, led by the Resident Ambassador to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Michael Lin, organised and held the Taiwan National Day Health Walk on Saturday, October 8 which attracted among others, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Hon Dr Terrance Drew, and Premier of Nevis, the Hon Mark Brantley.
“Thank you for joining us today to celebrate our 111th National Day of the Republic of China,” said Ambassador Lin at the Frigate Bay lawns where participants assembled at the end of the health walk. “One hundred eleven years ago, our forefathers sacrificed their lives and their families to establish the Republic of China.”
In attendance were national leaders of four political parties, the Hon Dr Terrance Drew of the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party, the Hon Mark Brantley of the Concerned Citizens Movement, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris of the Peoples Labour Party, and the Hon Shawn Richards of the People’s Action Movement. In reference to the different party colours, Ambassador Lin in welcoming them noted: “We are united in same colour to celebrate our national day.”
“In St. Kitts and Nevis we established our diplomatic relationship in 1983, exactly to the day tomorrow (October 9), in 1983,” recalled Ambassador Lin. “(Prime Minister) Dr Kennedy Simmonds signed a joint agreement with my Premier at that time (Hon Sun Yun-suan) to establish the official relations between our two countries. This year we celebrate the 39th anniversary of your independence, as well as our relations.”
Ambassador, His Excellency Michael Lin, promised that next year when the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis celebrates its 40th Independence Anniversary, it will be a very big event for St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as for Taiwan.
“My prayer for next year is to invite our Honour Guard to come back to visit St. Kitts and Nevis again for your Independence Parade – that is my prayer,” said Ambassador Lin. “Also next year we will have a reception, either at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort or the Royal St. Kitts Hotel. If you do not like to walk too often, next year we will have a reception.”
The Taiwan National Day Health Walk, which was coordinated by Mr Damien I-Ching Liu, Third Secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in St. Kitts and Nevis, took the participants from the Independence Square, on to Pond Road, Frigate Bay Road, Southwell Highway, and the Gulf View Drive before branching off to the Frigate Bay lawns.
Enthusiastic walk participants had assembled at the Independence Square as early as 6:00 a.m. and among the first to arrive were Ambassador Lin, and Prime Minister Dr Drew. Also coming early was the Premier of Nevis, the Hon Mark Brantley, who jokingly told fellow walk participants that he had walked from Nevis.
Others who took part in the health walk included Federal Minister of Tourism et al, Hon Marsha Henderson, Federal Minister of Environment, Climate Action, and Constituency Empowerment, Senator the Hon Dr Joyelle Clarke, Nevis Deputy Premier the Hon Alexis Jeffers, Permanent Secretaries Dr Delores Stapleton-Harris (Health), Ms Sharon Rattan (Environment et al), and Ms Naeemah Hazelle (Office of the Prime Minister), and Special Adviser to the Premier of Nevis, Ms Latoya Jones.
Also joining them was a mascot depicting Prince Nezha (a protection deity in Chinese folk religion) who walked all the way to the Frigate Bay lawns where he stole the show and became the centre of attraction as walk participants posed for pictures with him.
A healthy breakfast was served to all the walk participants, and buses were later provided to ferry them to Basseterre city centre where most would have left their vehicles.