A Grand Parade For Tainan Peace Day On 20 October 1895

In order to let Taiwan society re-experience the critical date - 20 October 1895 - in Tainan's history, acknowledgethe values of peace, learn more about this home land and generate a deeper semse of identity toward this island, a grand parade for Tainan Peace Day was officially launched at National University of Tainan Affiliated Elementary School on 20 October 2016. This grand parade, commemorating of Tainan Peace Day via kinds of poetic and dramatic events and trying to revive that very day's anxiety facing an unknown fate, marched along Ta-tung Road and reached the destination of Ching Wang Temple of Ersing Li Community at Rende District of Tainan City.

In 1895, China's Ching Dynasty lost Taiwan to Japan in the treaty of Shimonoseki. Tainan seemed soon to be takenover by force, when Japanese troops marched southbound across Taiwan island. Because Mr Liu Yong-fu, the last president of Republic of Formosa, fled to China to avoid a caught by the Japanese soldiers in October, Tainan nobility and businessmen asked the respectable Rev Thomas Barclay and Rev Duncan Ferguson to deal with the Japanese army before a devastating attack could be launched anytime.

On 20 October 1895, Rev Thomas Barclay, Rev Duncan Ferguson and some Tainan citizens,walking southbound off Tainan with a document of commission by those anxious and frightened citizens, finally met the Japanese army commander general Nogi Maresuke and negotiated a peaceful entrance of the Japanese soldiers for Tainan. Next day, as agreed in a previous meeting for peace, Tainan citizens were spared a brutal bloodshed and a very likely devastating destruction when the Japanese army trampled down the city.

After 121 years, this amazing event for Tainan's peace was once again commemorated synchronously by many church institutes and citizen groups on 20 October 2016. Faculties and students of Tainan Theological College and Seminary held a commemorative service on the site of Rev Thomas Barclay's previous house to remember his versatile and pioneering contributions on Christian ministries, be it on negotiating peace, training missionary, educating students, printing newspaper and Bible translation.

In that evening, around National University of Tainan Affiliated Elementary School, an open assembly in the form ofoutdoor drama was taken place to re-experience the anxiety felt by Tainan citizens facing an unstoppable and uncontrollable destiny. Many citizen groups and church institutes, including Culture and Arts Foundation of Tainan Enterprise, Sustainable Management Association of Barclay Memorial Park, Barclay Memorial Church, Taiwan Church Press, Chu-ting Taiwan and Chang Jung Strategic Academy were sponsored to organize this extraordinary event - "Commemorate Tainan Peace Day, Revive That Lost Memory".

To play again the journey of that historic marching for peace, led by Rev Thomas Barclay, Rev Ducan Ferguson andsome Tainan citizens on 20 October 1895, Rev Lo Ren-quei(pastor of Barclay Memorial Church) played Rev Thomas Barclay, Rev Lee Ren-yu(Moderator of Tainan Presbytery) played Rev Duncan Ferguson and many other guests played Tainan citizens in traditional clothes with handy lamps when the grand parade was ready to launch from Small South Gate(modern-day National University of Tainan Affiliated Elementary School).

Later they walked along Ta-tung Road, in a direction southbound for Rende District, finally they reached at ChingWang Temple of Ersing Li Community where a play of meeting the Japanese general Nogi Maresuke was performed to revive the historical event of peace-seeking.

Mr Wu Chung-chin, chief of Ersing Li Community, appreciated the historical meaning brought out by this grandparade for Tainan Peace Day. He also expressed his thanks toward the support from so many citizen groups and church institutes, especially to Rende District Bureau Office and Ching Wang Temple.

Mr Yeh Chong-li, chief executive officer of Culture and Arts Foundation of Tainan Enterprise, gave his deep thankstoward the close support and supplies from local communities and various church institutes. "Hope more and more people know the true stories on our own land through such kind of historical play!", said Mr Yeh.

Source: The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan