10/02/2017, 12.56
TAIWAN
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A prize to 'Uncle Jerry', a life of faith in the media

by Xin Yage

A Golden Bell Award was attributed to Jerry Martinson, a Jesuit who died in May, for his dedication to the television world. Louise Tsuei and his brother Barry, also a Jesuit who serves in a mountain parish among indigenous people, remembered him.

Taipei (AsiaNews) – Fr Jerry Martinson (丁松筠 神父) received an award for special contributions at the 52nd Golden Bell Awards Award (金鐘 52 特殊 貢獻 獎) on Sunday. Known as ‘Uncle Jerry’, the clergyman died on 31 May.

Like every year, the live show was followed in and outside Taiwan by a large audience that had an opportunity to see TV celebrities together.

Louise Tsuei (崔 苔 菁), a major TV star from the "The Enchanting Generation" (一代 妖姬), a show from the 1980s presented the award. Although she left the business many years ago, she wanted to be back for “our friend Father Jerry”. When she came on the stage, everyone stood up. Her address brought back emotions of a lifetime.

"I have a unique respect for our friend Jerry who chose Taiwan,” she said. “He received the mission of spending great part of his life in this land. He loved our island and our people, so much that he became officially Taiwanese. Now his remains lay at Changhua (彰化市).”

His brother Barry (丁松青神父), also a Jesuit who serves among Indigenous Taiwanese in a mountain parish, picked up the Golden Bell on his behalf.

Louise Tsuei paid homage to Jerry's influence on many TV personalities. Her earliest memories of him date back to when she was 17 and Kuangchi Program Service (光啟 社) where she hosted her first show, ‘Blue Sky and White Clouds’ (藍天 白雲). She went on to sell a lot of records.

She also studied English with Jerry to improve her international repertory. But  what struck her more than anything about the then young Jesuit was his deep dedication to the mission entrusted to him by his superiors in the media.

"He used to say that ‘Working in the media is like an act of faith, because, since we cannot see the public, we must firmly believe in what we are doing (他說:『做媒體要靠信仰,因為看不到觀眾,所以我們要堅定地相信自己在做的事情』)”.

At the press conference, she said, "I just came to bear witness to Jerry's generosity to our people. Now I want to go home to continue living my simple life."

"Thank you for this great gift,” said Father Barry on the stage when he received the award. “My brother really loved Taiwan and loved the Kuangchi Program Service and its mission in the media. I want to thank you because Jerry and I here found the warmth of a family."

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