Thursday, November 23, 2023

Throwback Thursday

Toronto ON

I love wandering this city and learning about local heroes.

This statue of Dr. Norman Bethune was unveiled in 2014 surrounded by trees at U of T, where the Gravenhurst, Ont. native completed his medical degree in 1916.

Canadian physician Norman Bethune (BSc Med 1916) was a military surgeon, inventor and humanitarian who greatly advanced medical science and helped improve life in his adopted country of China.

Bethune developed the first mobile blood bank service, which allowed for blood transfusions on battlefields. He also pioneered new surgical techniques and instruments, and was one of Canada’s earliest proponents of universal health care. He is revered in China for training its doctors and paramedics and ministering to wounded soldiers and sick villagers during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The life-size bronze sculpture features him wearing traditional Chinese clothing and a stethoscope.

The piece was created by Toronto sculptor David Pellettier, the artist behind the ferry terminal statue of late NDP leader Jack Layton.

The sculpture is inscribed with words adopted from Bethune’s writings:

“… I am content. I am doing what I want to do. Why shouldn’t I be happy – see what my riches consist of. First I have important work that fully occupies every minute of my time… I am needed."


  1. Great post....I love reading this sort of thing and learning about people from places I may never visit myself...thanks for sharing.

  2. Lovely statue and message. There are so many interesting things to see and do in Toronto.
    My post features berries, blooms, and more.

  3. Fine photos of this excellent sculpture.

  4. I love learning about people who have done such important things. There are so many individuals that have contributed to medicine, and therefore to improve our lives, that we don't know about.

  5. Interesting post and an excellent sculpture.

  6. Nice statue and important message.

  7. ...being needed is the key. Too many people go through life and never make a difference. Thanks Jackie for this reminder, I needed that today. Thanks for sharing and I hope that your week is going well.

  8. I, too, love to learn a bit of history as I wander about, so thanks much for posting about this interesting Canadian.

    Your post rocks at 'My Corner of the World' this week!

    My Corner of the World

  9. Inspiring. Glad there have been people like him.

  10. Anyone who can say "I am content. I am doing what I want to do." is blessed.

  11. A local hero indeed! Great to be recognised in this way.

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  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. He did serve community well and what better than to be content!


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