Without understanding modern Taiwan history I wrote the following. At the time there was some criticism of a cult surrounding the former President and dictator.
I could not avoid thinking that Elvis’ memorial at Gracelands would rank a poor second to what has occurred with the memorial for CKS here in Taipei.
This is therefore the views of a new visitor to Taipei and not intended as anything serious but simply memorials to past hero’s, despite their track records.
Today the memorial hall is well attended by some of the one million mainland tourists who are now welcome on the island. A few years ago there were no such mainland tourists visiting Taiwan. Japanese visitors also are strong with their attendances, because of the previous colonial interest.
TAIPEI – ELVIS – CKS MEMOIR
Locals point out that USA took over 70 years to become internationally recognized after their civil war. Here there was no war, just a dictator who Elvis would be jealous of.
The dictator liked Cadillac cars as did Elvis, except these were made bullet proof.
Today a wax model of the former dictator sits at an office desk replicating the past- on the far wall plays an endless video – old newsreels of the time in power.
Nothing such as this apparently exists at Gracelands?
I’m told, locals were doing their best to minimise the memory of CKS who was helped with a billion dollars per year from the world’s most powerful country (a lot of money in those times) – the era when communism was the big threat – since replaced by terrorism. And the era of the Korean war.
CKS always believed that one day he would rule China, again.
There was also his beautiful Chinese-born wife, educated in the US who spoke fluent English. One of three daughters of the then richest man in the world, all who attended school in USA.
Madame was a big hit with leading publishers (Time Magazine) and politicians. She received a standing ovation after addressing US Congress.
Eventually, after husband CKS died, she left Taiwan in a chartered jumbo jet with over 100 boxes of luggage – never accounted for and lived her final years in Manhattan.
May-ling Soong (aka Mei-ling Soong) died aged 106, (yes 106) four years ago.
There was an Australian connection. Her good friend was an elderly Australian journalist who was credited with saving her life. He would have written many press releases while alive, on behalf of the Chinese Nationalist Party.
He died in China before the military re-located to Taiwan.
W.H. Donald (see: http://donaldofchina.com)