When it comes to the history of this squad, no one can tell the story better than the first squad leader since its organisation, and this man would be Chen, Tian-fu.
The History of Volunteer Squad
By Chen, Tian-fu
I received a phone call from Director Li, Xing-yang in October, 1984, inviting me to deliver a speech about the concept and my experience of volunteer service in a volunteer training session. I accepted the mission without a second thought because it would be a tremendous pleasure for me to contribute myself to the work of volunteer, and I would spare no efforts to get the job done.
Those volunteers-to-be, as I remembered, were a horde of students, who are now no longer in the team for their career or departure for Taiwan. They were young and invincible, and had a lot of potential and possibilities.
After my speech in front of all the students, Director Li handed me a letter of appointment, also the first one from this squad. Consequently, I was appointed the first volunteer squad leader (also the organiser of volunteers). During the seven years of my tenure, I was also vexed by the fact that the number of volunteers was simply not enough. Finally, the volunteers from the China Youth Corps came to my mind. Without them, I would not have been able to organise several large-scale events with great success for the last 200 days and more. These events including ‘Penghu Holiday Camp on Halley’s Comet,’ ‘Spring in Penghu Serial Activities, ‘National Art and Literary Festival,’ ‘National IT Fair,’ ‘Holiday Events at Square’ and others have drawn a lot of attention in Penghu.
The volunteers included Zhu Dong-liang, Zhan Yan-long, Wang Li-yun, Ou Xiu-zhi, Xu Ming-shan, Chen Bao-yuan, Cai qi-wen, Cai Mei-man, Ye Yong-song, Wang Tian-tai, Shao Bi-xia, Wang Wen-zhu, Zheng Cai-ai, Huang Ren-xian, Xu Xiu-zhen, Cai Yue-yun, etc.
For the seven years, this volunteer squad has also become a cradle for the talented people such as Liao Rui-zhi, Huang Yu-mei, Lu feng-zi, Gao Bai-jin, Lu Zheng-lin, Chen Yu-qi, Wang Ke-bao, Guo Mei-hua, Zhou Jian-zhong, Ye Wen-han, Wang Zhen-chang, Ye Kun-rong, Lin Shu-zhen, Chen Mei-feng, Wang Wu-yue, Guo Zi-de, Wu Huang-cen, Chen Tian-sheng, Chen Ming-zong, Huang Jian-she, Xu Hui-yan, Su Wen-zhen, and Huang Ying-qiang. These volunteers made indelible contributions to the squad.
Due to the fact that the squad has already been mature, and with the encouragement of Lin Li-qing, in July 1991 I was appointed by Director Li Xing-yang to draft the bylaws of the squad. At the time, the wittiest fellow on the team, Huang Ren-xian, had gathered various versions of bylaws of volunteer groups and bureaus from God knows where. Finally, it was my call to make a draft based on the version from Tainan Municipal Government. On November 1st of the same year, we finalised the bylaws in which the title of the squad is officially stipulated as ‘Volunteer Squad for Penghu County Cultural Centre’ thereafter.
Chen, Tian-fu was chosen as the first squad captain; Wang Li-yun, Chen Bao-yuan, and Zhou Jian-zhong as vice captains. For the past decade, the squad has had Chen Tian-fu as the second captain followed by Xu Ming-shan as the third, Chen Tian-fu as the fourth, Ye Yong-song as the fifth, Cai Mei-man as the sixth and seventh, Gao Bai-jin as the eighth and ninth, and Ye Yong-song as the tenth. Over the years, the volunteer team has had tremendous development under the hard work and leadership of these captains.
Now we are excited about the rise of young and talented team members. As thrilled and gratified as we are, we will continuously hold onto our beliefs and work for the team. Today, you are proud of our endeavours and respect us, and we hope that we can count on you in the future. Someday you will play your part in the team. There is nobody else who can bring about a bright future for the team anymore than you do.
As a founding captain, I will always assist you, listen to you, and serve you when you are in need. I treat this volunteer squad as my own. It is my precious and an indispensable part of my life. Today, I also serve as the team advisor, so I will be at your disposal to serve the needs of the squad.
Lin Li-qing is nicknamed ‘the God Mother’ and I ‘the God Father’ which suits us well, respectively. However, if it had not been the support from Director Li Xing-yang, tasks scheduled and pushed by Lin Li-qing, and my painstaking efforts, the so-called invincible trio, it would not have been possible that the team made its way to the 17th year. It was not until 10 years ago has the squad been formed, but in the previous seven years the squad had taken shape as its predecessor. People come and go, and the newcomers have injected vitality and energy into the squad.
My role as an organiser, a captain (for 3 years), or the incumbent advisor, has secured my position in the squad and established me as the veteran on the team. My contributions to and love for the squad will never fade away. As a Chinese old saying goes, ‘Wisdom of experience is the jewel at home.’ In this case, I am more than willing to offer my complete understanding of the operations of the squad and spare no efforts in guiding the team members.
During the past six thousand days, we have been through thick and thin. A bundle of enthusiasts, with smile on the faces, gave it all to lay a solid foundation for the sustainable development of Penghu’s culture.
Seventeen years just slipped away, and my hair has turned grey. Though I am not as witty and agile as I used to be, yet the older I get, the more well-experienced I become. With my experiences, I will work hand in hand with you to forge a better future for the squad!