Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site, Gravenhurst

4.3
Bethune Memorial House, a National Historic Site of Canada in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada, commemorates the life and achievements of Dr. Henry Norman Bethune. Impatient and restless, he was inspired by a sense of duty to others and a love of the outdoors. In Bethune, these characteristics were the seeds of a battlefront surgeon, activist, humanitarian, inventor, teacher and artist. The historic site explores the roots and examines the legacy of this international hero. Dr. Bethune spent the last two years of his life in China, serving as a surgeon and teacher.The house was built in 1880 to serve as the manse of Knox Presbyterian Church. Malcolm Bethune became the minister of Knox Church in 1889 and, a year later, his son Norman was born in the manse. The Bethune family remained in Gravenhurst until 1893 when they moved to Beaverton, Ontario. Thereafter, the house was occupied by a succession of ministers.In 1973 the house was purchased by the federal government's Department of External Affairs. Restoration of the building was subsequently undertaken by Parks Canada, which is now responsible for its operation.In August 2002, then-Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, who is of Chinese birth, visited the house and unveiled a bronze statue of Dr. Bethune erected by the Town of Gravenhurst. It is located on the main street alongside the notable Opera House.
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Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site Reviews
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43 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Very interesting to tour - we went through on the Canada Parks Pass and had a great time. Kid friendly and staff are very knowledgeable. Recommended.  more »
  • A knew a little of Bethune, but the interpretive centre gave me a nice summary of his life and medical service in the Spanish civil war and in China. The signage is in English, French and Chinese. Wit...  more »
  • We had an excellent time learning about Dr. Bethune's contribution to China and medicine. The kids absolutely loved the Explorers program and it helped them learn about Bethune through the questions, ...  more »
Google
  • Always wanted to bring the kids here. Didn't know it closes at 4, and we got there 5 minutes to closing. But the staff were really nice to let us in and we got a glimpse of the house and spent another 10 minutes touring and learning the history. Informative and well displayed.
  • We had 16 of us arrive at the house and it (house/museum) could easily accommodate all of us. The staff that work there were really great. Teaching us the way it was back in the day. But most of all what a great way to learn about a famous Canadian that should be more known in Canada for what he invented and what he did .
  • This place is popular among Chinese visitors and features a museum besides Bethune's house since 2012. Despite how respectful Bethune's life and work was, I believe he would be disguised at how Chinese communists lied to their people, killed millions during cultural revolution, prosecuted anyone criticizes government, heartlessly exploited human and natural resources to serve power elites rather than the people, disrespectful of the environment and its inhabitants. Chinese communist is not what they said they were. This memorial should have be an example of how Canadian values took part building China. It is about humanity, humility, dignity, selfless giving and to stand against ruthless power (Japan at the time). Instead of how a Canadian adored and helped Chinese Communist army (八路軍).
  • Spent a pleasant hour at the relatively small visitors centre and house. Informative about a portion of Canadian history. Medical advances developed by a Canadian doctor reflect well on Canada.
  • Bethune is one of the greatest Canadians in the history. He has influenced generations of Chinese. His spirit is alive forever.

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