Guide Extraordinary Canadians: Norman Bethune

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His prodigious energy included inventing surgical instruments, mobile blood-transfusion units, teaching, and advocating for social justice at home and abroad. Adrienne Clarkson, a Chinese Canadian, has always been fascinated by the dynamic man who married his social conscience to his medical mission.

Norman Bethune | The Canadian Encyclopedia

Reviled as a Communist by some, revered as a humanitarian by others, Bethune was a complicated, inspirational figure who lived and loved on a large canvas. Product Details About the Author. In her multifaceted career as an accomplished broadcaster and distinguished public servant she has received numerous prestigious awards and honorary degrees in Canada and abroad. In , she founded The Institute for Canadian Citizenship. Average Review.

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Montreal's forgotten history: Rebel and crusader Norman Bethune

A car tumbles through darkness down a snowy ravine. A woman without View Product. Now, in response to at least two Extraordinary Canadians Glenn Gould. Abandoning stage performances in , Gould concentrated instead on mastering the various media: recordings, radio, His prodigious energy included inventing surgical instruments, mobile blood-transfusion units, teaching, and advocating for social justice at home and abroad.

Adrienne Clarkson, a Chinese Canadian, has always been fascinated by the dynamic man who married his social conscience to his medical mission.

Adrienne Clarkson on Norman Bethune

Reviled as a Communist by some, revered as a humanitarian by others, Bethune was a complicated, inspirational figure who lived and loved on a large canvas. As a result of the poverty and degradation he had seen in Montreal during the Depression, Bethune turned to communism in - which undoubtedly tarnished him in many eyes.


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  7. Does this account for the fact that he was nearly forgotten in Canada before and the beginning of Canada's diplomatic relationship with the People's Republic of China? In the years that followed, it's almost as though Toronto and Ontario have blamed him for being raised to heroic stature by the Chinese. His birthplace in Gravenhurst has a historical plaque and is a shrine to the thousands of Chinese who visit it every year.

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    But it is noteworthy that, even in , a letter from the National Sites and Historic Monuments Board to a petitioner said Bethune's significance was "not of national historic importance. Bethune is still passionately remembered; in China, many biographies and lengthy television series a hour one in continue the acknowledgment of the place he holds in Chinese history.

    His statue is the central one in the Martyr's Cemetery in Shijiazhuang; there is a beautiful modern museum dedicated to him, showing his typewriter, his portable operating table and his stethoscope, among other relics. In , as governor-general, I inaugurated a life-size statue of Bethune offered by the Chinese in the main square of Gravenhurst. One looks in vain in Toronto for any noticeable public sign of him. So where's the statue, the bust, the square or the street to acknowledge that Bethune graduated in medicine from the U of T? Or that he worked in the lumber camps for Frontier College, or that he lived at 19 Harbord St.

    In China, I saw numerous statues, universities, medical establishments and hospitals that were named in his honour, a man whom the Chinese consider to be a great humanitarian, a man who abandoned a comfortable and easy life in a peaceful country to join them in their struggle against the Japanese. Since , in Malaga, Spain, a two-kilometre promenade by the sea where , refugees fled bombing by Franco and his Nazi allies has been named El Paseo de los Canadenses. The plaque reads: "In memory of aid provided by the Canadian people from the hands of Norman Bethune to the fugitives in February, Norman Bethune is commemorated in Montreal, China and Spain.

    It's time for Toronto to show that he means something to us as Canadians today.

    Extraordinary Canadians: Norman Bethune

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