The Family History fair in Nantou, Taiwan held in conjunction with the annual Taiwan Lantern Festival, was a resounding success both for the city and for the members there. The Nantou Chapel, which is located across the street from the entrance to the festival, provided the perfect venue for a Family History fair.
When the opening ceremony for the Family History Fair was held on Wednesday, February 12, the Mayor of the city and the Nantao County Tourism Bureau Director as well as the Taiwan Archive Manger were in attendance and spoke to the visitors. The Tourism Bureau Director struck a huge Chinese gong placed in front of the church to announce the opening.
Visitors and passersby were greeted by dozens of red, lighted, three-tiered lanterns which were hung from the trees around the church; and banners were placed to draw attention of Festival attendees. Inside the church there were beautiful flower arrangements and a large tree scroll was hung near the entry where everyone that attended could sign their names on the tree.
The Taipei East Stake President Wang Ling-Hsing spearheaded the event and a dedicated crew of members planned and set up an impressive display area. As visitors entered the cultural hall, they were drawn into a pathway of displays consisting of two dozen beautiful, professionally-printed scrolls explaining the purpose of family history, the kinds of records that are available, and other sources of family genealogies. These had been prepared by Sister Chou Shu-Min for an earlier Family History event. One section of the hall was set aside with a continuously running video explaining the gathering and storing of precious records in Salt Lake City. Another section was partitioned as a library. All the clan genealogies from the Taipei Family History Center were boxed and transported to the fair and placed on shelves in this area. Tables were set up and eight computers were available for the use of the attendees. Visitors were delighted to be able to sit down and search the records for their ancestors.
In addition to family history, a section was set aside in a hallway alcove with a display of food storage and 72-hour emergency information. There was a definite aura of excitement among all who attended.
President Steve Tsai, Asia Area Family History Director and President of the Taoyuan Stake, commented, “The high point for me was seeing Mayor Hsu sit down at the family tree computer and view her pedigree. For her it was a jaw-dropper, and that goes a long way with government relations.”
What an outstanding effort and event for the people of Nantou!
This article was written and submitted by Elder and Sister Joseph and Isabelle Stringham who currently serving in the Asia Area Taiwan Service Center.