Dr. Norman Bethune: An Important Bridge of Friendship between China and Canada
    2009-11-26 06:53:20     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu Danning

Norman Bethune [FilePhoto: CRIENGLISH.COM]

Dr. Norman Bethune's name is widely known by Chinese people. This Canadian physician and surgeon made great contributions to China's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, and eventually sacrificed his life while in China. Chinese people have long recognized this international hero. Recently, CRI's North America-based correspondents Han Shu and Wang Shanshan interviewed the curator of the Bethune Memorial House in Canada.

Bethune Memorial House, located in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada, is the birthplace and former residence of Dr. Bethune. Scott Davidson, curator of the house, told CRI that the Canadian government purchased the house in 1973 and opened the restored building to the public as Bethune Memorial House in 1976.

"The museum sees on average about 11,000 people each year, and we have seen those numbers fairly steadily for a number of years now C for more than ten years. Out of those 11,000, about 45 percent are visitors from China; they come from China to pay their respects to Dr. Bethune," Davidson said.

Norman Bethune was born to a family of Canadian clergy in 1890 and graduated from the Toronto School of Medicine in 1916. In November 1935, he joined the Communist Party of Canada. Three years later, Dr. Bethune led a medical unit of Canadian and American doctors to Yan'an in the northern part of Shaanxi Province in China. During his stay in China, he saved countless lives by performing emergency battlefield surgeries. He once performed 71 surgeries within two days. Bethune died on November 12, 1939, of blood poisoning from a cut he received when performing surgery. Generations after his death, his name is still warmly remembered, as his story continues to be taught as an example to millions of Chinese people. Zhang Kun, who works at the Bethune Memorial House, told CRI about the respect Chinese visitors have towards Dr. Bethune.

"Chinese visitors, without exception, come here with a feeling of respect. They all have certain knowledge about Bethune and his great contributions to China's revolution. So they come here to see the place where he was born to realize the dreams deeply rooted in their hearts. Many visitors even view us as Bethune's relatives and show their respect to us." Zhang Kun said

Dr. Bethune is an important bridge of friendship between China and Canada. When his name is mentioned, the first reaction of Chinese people is always: "He is our 'Canadian friend.'" Mr. Davidson also said that Dr. Bethune's great contributions to the China-Canada friendship will never be forgotten, even though he only spent two years in China.

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