TAIPEI, Taiwan Sponsored by three stakes in this city, a Taipei Family Week was attended by an estimated 2,500 people in the space donated in the National Taiwan Central Library.
Conceived by the Key City Public Affairs Council and Family History Center, the family week opened its doors at 10 a.m. August 8, following the fortuitous change of direction by a typhoon that had been"knocking at the door" of the city. With the typhoon safely far out in the China Sea, favorable weather conditions followed for the four days of family week activities.
The formal opening ceremony was held with traditional ribbon cutting and welcoming of leaders from business, education, government and interfaith organizations. Taipei Taiwan Central Stake carried out this project, which included a gift of Church books to Library Deputy Director Jian-Cheng Song.
Members of the Church serving as guides ushered guests to various areas of the event and answered questions.
Family week began on Taiwan's Father's Day and included a family history exhibition demonstrating the latest technology for research. Scrolled wall hangings featured genealogies, temples, families and printed records, inviting guests to learn more about their family roots.
Mr. Ker Dong Tso, one of many participants who was not a member of the Church, indicated he had visited a ward family history exhibit earlier and had learned how to begin his work. He later donated to the family history center a book of his family history covering 18 generations.
Sister Shu-Ming Chiu, Taipei Family History Center director, planned and supervised the family week project, which also featured instruction and activities for children to discover their ancestors.
The Taipei Taiwan West Stake displayed 72-hour kits and family food storage ideas and suggestions, which is a unique idea for city residents. Also shown on a continual basis was a local video production of a family night, showing how families can unite by spending time together. It was a popular feature for many parents interested in learning how to strengthen family ties. In Taiwan, children are in school all day and into the night, fathers and mothers work and there is very little opportunity for families to spend time together.
A two-day seminar on the problems of addiction and drug abuse was presented by Dr. Glen R. Hanson, professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Utah and former Director of Drug Abuse at the National Institute of Health, and Dr. Gordon B. Lindsay, chairman of the Health Science Department of BYU. The purpose of the seminar was to assist workers and therapists in better understanding and dealing with drug abuse and the problems that severely affect the family and society.
The concluding event of the week was a Family Values Award presentation in which the Church recognized the honorable efforts of outstanding community leaders who strive to advance high standards and values of the family. Awards were presented before an audience of more than 350 guests to three recipients: Mr. Tomming Lai, a distinguished businessman and foundation chairman; Dr. Chien Hsing Lee, former President of National Taipei University and a previous Vice Minister of Education in Taiwan National Government; and a special family of five young children and their father, Mr. Po-Yuan Wei, known as "The One Bowl of Noodle Soup Family." Having lost his wife and the mother of his children to cancer, he struggled successfully to keep the family intact in spite of often having only one bowl of noodle soup shared between them for a meal. Their reluctance to take handouts has endeared them to communities all over Taiwan. They exemplify a commitment of family togetherness.
Five television stations covered the Family Values Award event.
Taiwanese people recognize the value of strong families and are eager to learn and accept the encouragement the Church offers to strengthen families.