After a year of language study in Beijing in 1946-47, Alfred P. Giger SMB worked in the Hebochang parish in the south of Beijing for five years. Then he studied Japanese in Tokyo for a year. From 1954-1970 he was a missionary in the Taidong mission, Taiwan. In those 16 years he was a missionary with the aborigines of the Amis, Bunun and Tao tribes. He had his greatest impact on Orchid Island, where he worked for the preservation of the native culture and the education and promotion of children and adolescents. When he died in a traffic accident in 1970, he was honoured by the Tao as the father of Orchid Island.
During his tenure there, Ms. Elizabeth Gschwind also worked on the island. She saw herself as a mediator between cultures. She received many gifts from the local people. On behalf of the Divine Word missionary and anthropologist, Dominik Schroeder, she bought many cultural objects. But as Fr. Schröder died before her return to Switzerland, the artifacts remained in her hands. In 2012 Mrs. Jenik-Gschwind hosted an exhibition of cultural relics in her home town, Therwil, before she decided to return them to Orchid Island.
Moreover, a sister of Fr. Giger, Mrs. Agnes Dinkel, and Josef Züger-Haag, who worked at the industrial school in Taidong also collected many cultural objects. They also returned these precious objects free of charge to their original location. The Alfred Giger Foundation, founded in 2013, gratefully accepted these treasures. Many of the items can hardly be found today.
In gratitude, an exhibition is being held from Feb.14th until 31st October 2015 in the airport of Orchid Island.