On Sunday November 23, 1997 - the final chapter in the story of Kinkaseki was written, as over 150 friends and supporters gathered in the park that now stands on the site of the former POW camp, to dedicate the memorial to the more than 1000 Kinkaseki Prisoners of War. The weather was appropriate - slightly cloudy, but bright; a lovely fall day in Taiwan.
Master of Ceremonies John Chandler got the service underway as Piper Gary MacPhie completed his march down to the camp. Chairman Michael Boyden thanked all those who had worked on the memorial and supported it. He thanked the people of Chinguashi and presented a cheque to Chinguashi Community Committee Chairman, Mr. Chen Han-Ching, for the care and upkeep of the memorial in the future.
Admiral Soong Chang-Chih, the patron of the Committee, then addressed the crowd and spoke of the horrors of war, and of peace, and that the kind of thing that went on at Kinkaseki should never happen again.
This was followed by a moving message from Jack Edwards on behalf of all the prisoners, expressing the feeling that all those who had perished in this place could now rest at peace, knowing their sacrifice was not forgotten. He expressed thanks for the memorial on behalf of all those who had survived and from the families of those who are not with us today.
Alan Collins, Director-General of the British Trade and Cultural Office In Taipei, spoke for all the Commonwealth and Allied representatives. He paid tribute to the prisoners for their sacrifice, and to the committee and all those who worked so hard to make the memorial possible. He stated that it is never too late to remember, and that this memorial would take the memory forward for generations to come.
The poem which gave the impetus for the memorial over a year earlier, GLOOMY TAIWAN, penned by POW Arthur Smith, was recited by Michael Hurst. It served to remind all once again of the suffering endured by the POW's.
Rev. Graham Doyle, of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Taipei, led the prayers of remembrance and commemoration, and this was followed by the laying of wreaths and flowers on the newly dedicated memorial.
The Kinkaseki survivors were the first to lay a wreath, followed by Admiral Soong and the other war veterans. The Commonwealth and Allied representatives, the Kinkaseki Memorial Committee and friends and supporters then laid their wreaths and flowers respectively.
The ceremony concluded with the playing of the Last Post, a one minute's silence and Reveille, before Piper MacPhie led the march-off from the memorial to end the program.
As Michael Boyden said in his closing remarks, the work is done, the memorial is finished, there will be remembrance, the prisoners can rest, there are no more bogies to fill.
The Kinkaseki POW Memorial will always stand as a reminder of the horrors of war, and challenge all men everywhere to strive for peace, so that what took place here will never happen again!