Historic Bethune Memorial House - Town of Gravenhurst

Bethune House

Historic Bethune Memorial House

This former Presbyterian Church manse, built in 1880, is the birthplace of Dr. Norman Bethune (1890-1939), arguably the best known Canadian abroad given his status as a national hero in China. In 1936-37, Dr. Bethune implemented mobile blood transfusion units at the battlefront during the Spanish Civil War. In 1939 he died performing surgery in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He was a non-conformist surgeon of note, a humanitarian, and an advocate of socialized medicine in Canada, even before Tommy Douglas. This National Historic Site of Canada has been operated by Parks Canada since 1976. In 2015 it received over 15,000 visitors, in part owing to its new Visitor Centre which offers many interactive displays. More than half the visitors come expressly from the People's Republic of China. 

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