A ceremony was held on Saturday on the banks of the Chihpen River in Taitung County to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of local postman Wen Yung-nan (溫勇男).
Wen died on the job when he was swept away as he attempted to deliver mail in the aftermath of a typhoon.
On Oct. 12, 1973, Wen left Taitung for Taimali Village (太麻里) to deliver mail, but when he reached Jhihben River (知本溪), its bridge had been swept away by the flood caused by Typhoon Nora.
In an attempt to fulfil his duties, Wen tried to forge the river, but was swept away by the swift-flowing current.
However before being engulfed, he managed to throw the bag of mail he was carrying on to the opposite shore, ensuring that the intended recipients still received their letters.
After Wen’s death, a statue was installed on the riverside to commemorate him. He was the first postman in the country to be accorded such an honor and the first to be enshrined at the Martyrs’ Shrine.
During Saturday’s ceremony, which was presided over by Taitung County Council Deputy Speaker Rao Ching-ling (饒慶鈴), a ritual was held in which a postman crossed the Jhihben River and handed over a bag of mail to Tsai Chu-lung (蔡居隆), general manager of the Taitung Post Office.
Tsai then stepped forward
toward the bronze statue with the mail bag, saying: “My predecessor, your mission has been fulfilled as all the letters have been delivered. We are proud of you.”
Chen Hsing-chuan (陳興泉), the sculptor who made the statue of Wen, also attended the ceremony.
Chen said the statue is included in the collection of national masterpieces compiled by the Council of Cultural Affairs, which is now the Ministry of Culture.
The work is titled “Glory of Taitung.”