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COMPASS MAGAZINE > February 2011
 

Witness to a legendary general: The Memorial Hall of General Sun Li-jen

Witness to a legendary general: The Memorial Hall of General Sun Li-jen
The reconstruction of General
Sun's former residence as a
memorial hall was marked in
an opening ceremony hosted
by Mayor Hu.

Witness to a legendary general: The Memorial Hall of General Sun Li-jen
The furnishings in the memorial
hall are very simple, preserving
its original atmosphere from
when the owner was still alive.

Witness to a legendary general: The Memorial Hall of General Sun Li-jen

Witness to a legendary general: The Memorial Hall of General Sun Li-jen

Text and photos by Taichung City Goverment
Translated by Angel Pu

Memorial Hall of General Sun Li-jen
18, XiangShang Rd, Sec 1
open every Sunday10 am-4 pm
For groups reservations, please call (04) 2229-0282, ext. 214 to reach Ms. Chen (groups must be at least 10 people).

After eight years of planning and reconstruction, the Memorial Hall of General Sun Li-jen located on Taichung's XiangShang Road officially opened in November, 2010 in a ceremony hosted by Taichung City Mayor Jason Hu. Over a hundred invited guests, including General Sun's family and former subordinates, attended to pay tribute the great contributions of this famous Chinese military leader.

Illustrious military exploits make Sun a legend
According to the Taichung City Cultural Affairs Bureau, General Sun was the ROC's most internationally-renowned military officer, serving as commander of the 38th Division, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and Chief Military Adviser to the President. His experience included numerous wars and battles, in World War Ⅱ's China-Burma-India theater of war, China's Siping City, and Guningtou on Kinmen island. His brilliant military achievements in these conflicts made him the most celebrated general in modern Chinese history.

However, while General Sun was Chief Military Adviser to the President in 1955, he was forced to resign after one of his subordinates was accused of spying. Sun was then placed under house arrest for 33 years in a residence at 18, XiangShang Road, today still known as General Sun Li-jen's Former Residence. To preserve this important piece of history, the Taichung city government decided to register this structure as one of Taichung City's historic buildings in July, 2002.

Experiencing the legacy of General Sun
With the permission of the Sun family, the city government requested a supplementary budget from the central government's Council for Cultural Affairs. This was used to reinforce the structure and its roof, pest control, preservation efforts, lighting, landscape maintenance, and debris removal. The most important task was to reinforce the building's safety, appearance and durability over time, followed by actual restoration work. Also, to ensure that the residence would be functional again after restoration, the city government invited specialists, scholars and Sun's family to participate in the creation of the Preparatory Committee for the Memorial Hall of General Sun Li-jen. The committee's focus is preserving General Sun's spirit and designing the exhibit spaces, display of the historic artifacts and future management of the hall--all to portray the loyalty and great achievements of the general.

Following restoration, the Memorial Hall of General Sun Li-jen will be managed by the Taichung City Cultural Affairs Bureau during the initial stage, and a website for General Sun will be set up. In order to avoid damage to the historic building, the memorial hall will be gradually opened for visits. Currently, it is only open on Sunday each week. In addition to individuals, groups are also welcomed by appointment. All are welcomed to stop by this new historic landmark to learn more in person about the life led by General Sun.