Thank you, TCCCNA, so much for your kind Christmas gift, actually worth quite a bit more here since our Canadian dollar dropped like a stone after the George Bush financial crisis hit the US, and sideswiped the rest of world. Makes sense doesn't it - American greed destroys its own economy and creates a financial panic around the world and what do investors do - buy more American dollars!

Anyway, enough of my editorial. I attach my Christmas propaganda letter which may be of interest because it tells about the fate of George Leslie Mackay's artifacts. You may know that the three grandaughters of GLM are still alive (but getting frail at 88, 93 and 95) here in Toronto. Our church youth went carolling at their apartment Christmas eve.

I also attach a letter I wrote to President Ma through the China Rights Network, a coalition here in Toronto of which the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada is a member. Unfortunately it was sent right before Christmas so got absolutely no notice here. Hope somebody read it on "constitution Day" in the "ROC".

Rev. Michael Stainton

York Centre for Asian Research

Christmas 聖誕快樂 新年祝福 2008

1948 *Years of the Rat* 2008. I have completed the Chinese cycle so I’m ready to start again. It was a happy year and I got exactly what I wanted for my 60th birthday, a picnic and play at Niagara on the Lake (Mrs. Warren’s Profession), and dinner with my closest family. Other highlights of the summer were taking Mengting for a holiday to Montreal and Ottawa (all those great Quebec beers), and 5 days at cousin Janet’s cottage in Muskoka.

On April 2 my baby was born after 11 years. A permanent display of Taiwan aboriginal artifacts collected by George Leslie Mackay opened in the new “crystal” at the ROM with my text and display plan. I am a proud dad.

I also enjoyed continuing to serve my church, Taiwanese United, as part time minister. Among the joys was discovering the riches of John, a gospel I never liked until I lead a study on it last winter. I enjoy the intellectual and spiritual adventure of preparing sermons and the art of designing worship services. Having a salary was nice too. My other life at York Centre for Asian Research was highlighted by a seminar on Chiang Ching-kuo and Taiwan’s Political Culture, before the elections in Taiwan that brought the KMT back to power. I was asked to write an encyclopedia article on the KMT, so I had lots of interesting reading to do. However, I also lightened my load this year donating boxes and boxes of my books to the UofT East Asian Library and Yushan Theological College in Taiwan.

My hat as President of the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada was full in 2008, working in the China Rights Network to award the Communist Party of China medals for Olympic achievements in violations of human rights. Then in the fall a wave of arrests in Taiwan of officials of the previous administration by the new KMT regime has led to real fears of erosion of democracy there. And more work for those who care.

It gets me down sometimes, and I do get frustrated easily. So I thank you for your love and friendship as we continue to walk through life accumulating more bumps and taking more pills, but always believing Bethlehem’s babe will meet us as the Prince of Peace on the road when we least expect to encounter him. Someday we shall all sing “fallen is Babylon the Great” and then there will be time for more picnics, stamp collections, country drives and great music (all of which I enjoyed in 2008 (especially The Barber of Seville at Toronto’s new opera house) but I have promised to keep my annual epistles to one page and not write about my affairs with doctors, (which we are allowed to do after 60, you know).

史邁克 Michael Stainton