A joyous spirit permeated the Church of the Good Shephard in the Republic of China (Taiwan)
as students and well-wishers gathered to celebrate the 36th Anniversary of the Independence of
Saint Kitts and Nevis on Sunday 22nd 2019. The Service of Thanksgiving which included the
active participation of the students from the Federation was also attended by H.E. Miguel Tsao,
Vice Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan as well as other government officials.
Ms. Jamella Fraser read the first scripture lesson, and this was shortly followed by a captivating
performance by Ms. Nevilla Isaac and Ms. Shameika Prentice of the spoken word “Redwoods”.
The poem, which likened the beauty, strength and longevity of the Redwoods to the unifying
body of the church, encapsulated the theme of this year’s independence, “Unify Transform,
Enrich…” and was well received, with many congratulating the duo for the outstanding
performance. Mr. Stephen Richards, a perennial favorite at the church service, delighted the
congregation and demonstrated his musical skills on the steelpan with a lively rendition of “Say
Yes”, with many asking for his participation every Sunday.
In his sermon Father Herbert J. Barker spoke of the lofty ideals of this year’s theme and
reminded the congregation that Christians are called to work together for the betterment of all
and that division produces failure. H.E. Jasmine Huggins, Ambassador of Saint Kitts and Nevis
in the Republic of China (Taiwan) spoke of the Nation’s connection to God and highlighted the
Independence theme in her address. “In our efforts to uplift our communities, we strive to keep
our country free from fear, violence and self-doubt. We try to draw on the resilience of our
people and seek to empower our youth so that they may transform our nation”. Ambassador
Huggins also expressed gratitude to the countries that have aided Saint Kitts and Nevis, and
mentioned in particular, the Republic of China (Taiwan), the first country to establish ties with a
new Independent Saint Kitts and Nevis. “As we sit together in this church with so many of our
citizens, we are reminded of an obvious and tangible manifestation of the support from Taiwan
to the Government and People of the Federation” the Ambassador stated. In reiterating the
Government’s support for Taiwan, Ambassador Huggins also highlighted the fact that both the
Federation and Taiwan “live out the biblical injunction (let us love, not in word or speech but in
truth and action)”.
In his remarks, Vice Minister Tsao, former Ambassador to the Federation fondly recalled his
time in Saint Kitts and Nevis and also had praise for the strides made by the Federation over the
preceding 36 years. He also thanked the Government for their support to Taiwan and pledged a
continued working relationship that benefits the two nations. The service was also, attended by
former Ambassador to the Federation, H. E. Martietta Gao and her spouse, members of the
Diplomatic Corps and Representatives of Foreign offices in Taiwan.