Hsinchu  新竹市


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The Aandahl Family of Hsinchu

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The Nan Ta Lu (South Big Road) church was the first church of the Lutheran mission my parents were with that was established in Hsinchu after the mission was relocated from the China mainland following the Communist victory in the civil war. It was located in southeast Hsinchu about 3/4 kilometers from the railway station. The facility was made up of several former Japanese style buildings and houses and offered a roomy church environment. This is a photograph of the Nan Ta Lu church congregation in 1958 staged outside on Nan Ta Lu street.

Included in the photo are the other foreign missionaries in the mission. They are, from the right; Rev. P.M. Valder, seated next to my father, Rev. and Mrs. Arthur Nyhus, Rev. and Mrs. Otto Valder and three of their children, and Rev. and Mrs. Kristofferson and their first son. Both Valder families (father and son) were based in Taipei, the Nyhus' were in Miaoli (south of Hsinchu) and the Kristofferson's were in Taipei in language school.

The leadership of the Nan Ta Lu church is assembled for a photograph after a meeting in 1958. The lady in the blue jacket to the left of my mother, Mrs. Yau, was the principal of my Chinese kindergarden, Fu Shau. She was also a lay minister and was "famous" for her sermons that usually ran well over an hour. Pastor Lee of the church is in the center immediately below the curved archway over the entrance, his wife is to his left.

Nan Ta Lu church, like Victory church, had a small but enthusiastic choir.  My fondest memories of Christmas in Hsinchu were the separate visits of the Nan Ta Lu church and Victory church choirs  on Christmas eve.  Each sang 2 or 3 Christmas carols outside our front gate after which they were invited inside our yard to snack on oranges, then just in season.  Usually one or two other local  Protestant church choirs would visit our home bringing us Christmas cheer as well.

 The Taiwan Railway completed a branch line in 1951 from Hsinchu into the hills east of the city to the village of Neiwan.  Along this 28.7 kilometer line were six stations.  The Lutheran mission my parents were with had churches or chapels at five of these stations; Chuchung, Chutung, Hengshan, Chiutsuantou, and Neiwan.  Only Hoshing, the next to last station, did not have a ministry.

 About 5 kilometers east of Victory church along Kwang Fu Lu, near the Chuchung railway station, a small chapel was established at
Kwang Tung Chiao.  Many of the congregation were Nationalist Chinese military personnel from nearby bases.  The small congregation is pictured outside their chapel in the 1950s.

Chutung was the largest town along the Neiwan branch line.  It had  two major industries, a cement plant and a glass factory.  The ministry here began in a small chapel followed soon after by the  construction of a new church, seen here on 19 June 1955.  It was surrounded by rice fields.  In the distance was the smokestack of  the cement plant.


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