Tue, Jun 16, 2009 - Page 4 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: BTCO celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

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More than 300 guests raised their champagne glasses to wish Queen Elizabeth II a happy 86th birthday during a reception held by the British Trade and Cultural Office (BTCO) in Taipei on June 9.

Office Director David Campbell said the queen’s actual birthday is on April 21, but the monarch’s official birthday, which is a public holiday in the UK as well as many commonwealth countries, is usually celebrated in June.

Last year had been a “very positive year” for bilateral relations between Taiwan and the UK, Campbell said, and the friendship was strengthened when both countries agreed to grant six-month visa-waiver privileges to each other’s citizens.

The visa-waiver program began in March.

VISITORS

Touting the trade and cultural relations between the two sides, Campbell said a large contingent of British athletes will participate in the World Games in Kaohsiung next month and the Deaflympics in Taipei in September.

BTCO said approximately 3,000 British nationals are living in Taiwan. The number is expected to increase due to the visa-waiver program, the office said.

At the center of the birthday reception last week was an ice sculpture of Big Ben to mark the 150th anniversary of the British landmark.

BRITISH FARE

Guests at the queen’s birthday reception, including senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the heads of embassies and representative offices, and representatives from the business and academic sectors, partook of typical British fare such as roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, sausage rolls, minced meat pies and English trifle.

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