International Symposium to Commemorate the 80th Anniversary of Dr. Norman Bethune’s Death

Date: October 16, 2019

What the Spirit of Norman Bethune Means to the World Today

Organized by the Confucius Institutes
in Waterloo and Quebec
Oct. 26-31, 2019


Oct. 29, 4:00 – 6:00 pm

College, 3040 Sherbrook West, Montreal
Literature Forum with Montreal Chinese Communities on Bethune,
Co-sponsored by Sept Days
5B13, 5th Floor
Chaired by Meng Rong, Ling Yin
Yun Feng: Writing on Bethune among Overseas Chinese Authors
Fang Liu: Dr. Norman Bethune and Shanghai Journalism Award

Oct. 30, 9:00 am-12:30pm

5B16, 5th floor
Chaired by Larry Hannant, Yan Li, and Meng Rong

Lunch break

1:30 – 2:30pm
Symposium Continued – Observations, Discussion, Action
Chaired by Yan Li:
How we proceed from here, in the spirit of Norman Bethune.

3:00 – 5:00pm
Launch of new books
Chaired by Aziz Fall, President, the Centre Internationaliste Ryerson Fondation Aubin:
Norman Bethune: Anthology in Mandarin, Spanish, English and French, Editorial Board ‘In Memory of Norman Bethune Book series’, and Chinese Bethune Spirit Research Association

5:00 – 7:00pm
Dinner time

7:00 – 8:30pm
Documentary Film: Writing Bethune (Episode One: 35 min.)
by Jordan and CCTV
Chaired by Jordan Paterson

End of Symposium


Yan Li, Director, the Confucius Institute in Waterloo

Meng Rong, Director, the Confucius Institute in Quebec

Representatives from Canada and China:


Arnie at the Dragon Sentry at the Memorial Hall of Dr Bethune

Arnold grew up in Eastern Ontario in the same region as Norman Bethune’s grandfather served as a Presbyterian minister. After attending Ottawa Teacher’s College and teaching Public School for two years, he studied at Waterloo College, University of Western Ontario and Knox College, Toronto. He later graduated with a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago. Arnold served as Minister of St. James Presbyterian Church in Melfort, Saskatchewan. He was Chaplain at Brookside School in Cobourg, and Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton, Ontario. He was Regional Coordinator of Religious and Spiritual Services, Toronto Region for the Province of Ontario in the Ministries of Health, Corrections and Community and Social Services from 1980 until July, 1994.  He then served as Interim Minister in several congregations in the Greater Toronto Area.

Title: The Origin of Dr. Norman Bethune’s Spirit


Dr. Daniel Bratton, a native of Ohio, received his Ph.D. from University of Toronto. He is the author of the biography Thirty-Two Short Views of Mazo de la Roche (ECW Press), which received Honourable Mention for “Best Book of Non-Fiction (1996)” from Quill and Quire. He taught Canadian literature at Ryerson University and University of Toronto Mississauga before spending 17 years in the Far East. Bratton lives in the countryside outside Elora and is a member of the department of Culture and Language Studies at Renison University College, University of Waterloo.

Title: The Stone Barn Where the Communist Party of Canada Was Founded in 1921

BRYANT, Darrol

Prof. M. Darrol Bryant is the founding Director of the Centre for Dialogue & Spirituality in the World’s Religions at Renison University College/University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. From 1973 until 2007 he taught at Renison University College and retired as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus. The author/editor of more than 25 volumes including God: The Contemporary Discussion, Religion in a New Key 3rd ed., Muslim-Christian Dialogue: Promise & Problems, Along the Silk Road: Essays in History, Literature & Culture in China,and most recently a three volume series on Ways of the Spirit: Celebrating Dialogue, Diversity & Spirituality, Ways of the Spirit: Voices of Women, and Ways of the Spirit: Persons, Communities, Spiritualities. He has also written an encyclopedia on Religion in the Modern World. He has been engaged in the dialogue of religions since the late 1970s and has been to China three times including his visit to the Bethune Museums in Northern China.

Title: My Visit of Dr. Norman Bethune Related Areas in China


Scott Davidson graduated with a degree in History and Cultural Studies from Trent University and has since worked at a number of National Historic Sites in Ontario, in the fields of Heritage Presentation and Site Management.  He began working in Gravenhurst, Ontario, at Bethune Memorial House, “The birthplace of a hero,” in the 1990s and became the manager for this Parks Canada operated National Historic Site, in 2001.

Mr.Davidson has been a guest of the government of The Peoples Republic of China, visiting that country on several occasions, touring Bethune-related sites and doing related research. He has been interviewed by numerous Canadian and Chinese media and succeeded in promoting Bethune’s birthplace as an educational facility, a sacred place and a “must-see” for Chinese tourists, and also established himself a reputation as an expert in Sino-Canadian tourism.

Title: What We Can Do to Carry Out the Work of Dr. Norman Bethune


Dr. Lee Errett was the Head of the Division of Cardiac Surgery at St. Michael´s Hospital. He has travelled to all seven continents to teach, mentor and perform cardiac surgery. Dr. Errett is the first Professor of Global Surgery in the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto. In twenty two visits to China, he has established residency and fellowship programs in eleven different medical centres. In 2008, along with two colleagues, Dr. Errett founded the Bethune Medical Development Association which now has over 350 members that offers teaching, service and sustainable programs throughout China in all surgical disciplines. He was honored in 2006 with the Norman Bethune Award and the first ever Chinese Ambassador Award in 2018, and has been called Canada’s “new age Bethune”. He has done extensive work throughout Southeast Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. He currently is building clinics in Jamaica which have greatly increased the capacity to treat patients surgically. Also he has a focus on Canada´s north expanding global surgery to take treatment there.

Title: The Work of Bethune Medical Development Association of Canada


Prof. Aziz Fall lectures at McGill University and UQAM. He is the president of the Centre Internationaliste Ryerson Fondation Aubin (CIRFA) in Montreal, Canada. CIRFA is pursuing with its partners the project In the Footsteps of Norman Bethune, a tripartite initiative in Canada, China and Spain. The forthcoming book, Norman Bethune, is an anthology which will be published by CIRFA in Chinese, Spanish, English and French.

Title: Relevance of Bethune and Internationalism for the 21st century


Dr. Yun Feng is a professor of the Literature & Communication School at Dezhou University College, Shandong Province, China. Her publications include New Immigrant Literature: Integration and Estrangement, and more than forty articles on various academic journals.

Title: “Writing on Bethune” among Overseas Chinese Authors in New Immigrant Literature


Dr. Wendy Fletcher is the President and Vice-Chancellor of Renison University College, affiliated with the University of Waterloo, having served in this role since August, 2014. She is also Professor of Religious Studies and Social Work.  Prior to joining the University of Waterloo Wendy served first as Dean and then Principal of Vancouver School of Theology for 14 years. Previous to those roles, she worked as a lecturer and then professor for 11 years with Huron University College at Western University. She earned her PhD from the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto in 1993.

Dr. Fletcher’s areas of specialization include the history of race and racism in Canada, the intersection of culture and Christianity in the 20th century – including the story of gender and women’s experience in religious leadership, the history of colonization and its impact on Canadian First Nations, and the decline of Christianity in the North American culture. She has authored a variety of books, book chapters, and articles over the course of her career. Her most recent books, both published by Oxford University Press, have been released spring 2018: “Christianity in World Religions” (5th edition), and “Space for Race: Decoding Issues of Race, Belonging and Multi- Culturalism in Canada and Beyond”.


Louise Goyette graduated from University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, and Université de Montréal in Canada. She also taught Chinese language and culture at the University of Adelaide. As a sinologist, translator and Chinese film critic, Louise is fluent in French, Chinese and English.  She specializes in Chinese films, especially those of the fifth-generation directors of China. Her research work in the past 30 years mainly focuses on Chinese cinema and literature, with numerous academic articles published in newspapers and journals as well as the internet. Louise also endeavours to promote cultural exchanges between China and Canada.


A history professor and an award-winning book author and website contributor, Larry Hannant presents history in a variety of formats. He’s the author/editor of three books, including The Politics of Passion: Norman Bethune’s Writing and Art (1998), which won the Robert S. Kenny Prize in Left/Labour Studies and was translated into Chinese and French. His forthcoming book is an edited collection titled Bucking Conservatism: Alternative Stories of Alberta in the 1960s and 1970s (2020). He’s an adjunct associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Victoria.

Title: Norman Bethune and the Dynamics of Social Change


Ms.Hong Jiang graduated from Capital Normal University. She is currently Senior Editor and Vice General Manager of Beijing Guyi Yinghua Culture & Communication Co., Ltd., Zhonghua Book Company. In her more than twenty years ofbook publishing career, Ms. Jiang has worked as executive editor of over forty-odd books and engaged in more than two hundred books publication organizations and plans, a dozen of which being award-winning books. She has also led many successful co-operations with different libraries both domestically and abroad.


Dr. David Lethbridge is a professor of psychology, with degrees from Montreal and Regina. He has written three books, Norman Bethune in Spain (2013), Bethune: The Secret Police File (2003), and Mind in the World (1992). He has published in numerous professional journals including the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History for which he wrote “The Blood Fights on in Other Veins: Norman Bethune and the Transfusion of Cadaver Blood in the Spanish Civil War.” He spoke at the “Many Norman Bethunes” symposium in Montreal in 2009. As former Director of the Bethune Institute for Antifascist Studies, he wrote dozens of articles countering organized racism and fascism. He is currently working on a new biography of Bethune.

Title: Shouting His Delight: The Communism of Dr. Norman Bethune

LI, Longchi

Longchi Li is Vice President and Secretary General of Chinese Bethune Spirit Research Association. He formerly worked as Political Commissar of Bethune Military Medical School. Mr. Longchi Li is editor of This is Bethune and The Glory of Doctors—Dr. D. S. Kotnis in China , associate managing Editor-in-Chief  of Norman Bethune (published in Chinese, English, French and Spanish by China Publishing Group and People’s Fine Arts Publishing House), as well as  author of articles including Bethune Spirit in the New Era and its Formation, Meaning and Relevance in the Modern World.

Title: The Never-ending Bond between Chinese People and Dr. Bethune

LI, Yan

Yan Li, a Chinese-Canadian bilingual writer, translator, Associate Professor and the coordinator of the Chinese Program at the Department of Culture & Language Studies, Renison University College, University of Waterloo, Canada. She has been the Director of Confucius Institute in Waterloo since 2007. She and her colleagues have organized numerous international symposiums to promote cultural exchanges between Canada and China.

Her works in English and Chinese include Daughters of the Red Land, Lily in the Snow, The Deep, Married to the West Wind, Faith Fears No Distance, Lambs of Mapleton, and The Living White House. She has won a number of literature awards internationally and is also the co-editor of Chinese Literature: A Reader, Along the Silk Road, and Rediscovering Norman Bethune.

Title: Stories Behind the Photo of Bethune and Mao

LIU, Fang

Fang Liu is Senior Editor and Vice Director of Xin Min Evening News Supplement. The news reports she edited have won once the first prize of China News Award and several first prizes of Shanghai News Award. She is also winner of the 14thShanghai Yangtze Taofen Award in 2018.

Title:Dr. Bethune and Shanghai News Award


David Livingstone BA, MEd, was born in Listowel, Ontario just 40 minutes east of Waterloo. David was a teacher, music supervisor, vice principal and principal for the Scarborough Board of Education in Toronto. During his career he taught as well, in England and West Germany, and since retiring has travelled widely, including three trips to China. Military history is one of his major interests, perhaps because his father, a Canadian Army medical doctor, told many stories of his unusual experience with the Chinese Labour Corps in World War I, and of David’s own travels around European battlefields.

Title: My Father, a Canadian Doctor in the Chinese Labour Corps in WWI

MA, Guoqing

Guoqing Ma has been Vice President ofChinese Bethune Spirit Research Association since 2009 and published dozens of academic articles on Bethune Studies in People’s Daily, Guangming Daily, among others. Mr. Ma also wrote Bethune: 674 Days and Nights in His Mission in the Anti-Japanese War, which was published in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the War Against Japanese Invasion by People’s Literature Publishing House of Chinain 2015, and it has been reprinted four times ever since due to the wide attention it has drawn both domestically and abroad.

Title: Norman Bethune as the Spirit of Our Age


Jordan Paterson is a Richmond based writer and filmmaker whose films often focus on stories of migration and the social dynamics of communities through history. A graduate of SFU’s film program, Paterson has directed many award-winning documentaries for festivals and broadcast and collaborated within Chinese communities, artists, and broadcasters locally and abroad in the past 10 years. His last documentary “Tricks on the Dead”, about Chinese migrant labour in the first World War, won the BC Must See Audience Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival (2015), Best International Co-production at the Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, three BC Leo Awards, two Yorkton Golden Sheaf Awards and two Canadian Screen Awards. Paterson’s current documentary series is a Canada-China co-production with CCTV 10 on the life of Dr. Norman Bethune.

PENG, Cheng

An author and literary critic, Cheng Peng is the Senior Editor and former Director at the Department of Literature & Arts of Guangming Daily. Mr. Peng is also a member of national committee of China Federation of Literary & Art Circles (CFLAC) and member of Literary Critic Committee of Chinese Writers Association (LCCCWA). He has published several books of prose collection and literary criticism.

Title:Surpassing Estrangement and Hostility with Humanity and Compassion—Significance of Bethune Spirit in the Contemporary World

RONG,  Meng

Meng Rong was born in Shanghai, China, and has been the Canadian Director of Confucius Institute in Quebec since 2006. Ms. Rong graduated from East China Normal University majoring in Chinese Language and Literature, and received her Master’s Degree in Education Administration at McGill University. Meng Rong worked as the Chinese language instructor at McGill University from 1989 to 2006. Since 2006she has taken the responsibility of China Projects at Dawson College in Montreal, and has been the Canadian director of the Confucius Institute in Quebec.


A historian passionate in the history of China and Canada, Marc has finished his studies at the Université Laval where he completed a master’s degree program in history. The thesis is a result of an investigation on Bethune’s public image in Canada, in all its Canadian complexity from his death to 1979, a chapter of which focuses on the diplomatic side of this history as, in the 1970s, Prime Minister Trudeau’s government maneuvers to allow Bethune’s admission as a Canadian of national significance, and to have his birthplace purchased and transformed into a museum. Marc is now finishing a history book about this particular aspect of Bethune’s legacy.

Title: Through a Thousand Windows: Bethune’s Public Image in Canada


Tyler Wentzell is a military and legal historian in Toronto. He writes on a wide variety of topics, most recently focusing on the domestic activities of the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) during the Great Depression and the Second World War, with a particular interest in Canadians in the Spanish Civil War and Bethune’s relationship with the CPC and intellectual left in Canada prior to his departure for China.  Tyler’s first book, Not for King or Country: Edward Cecil-Smith, the Communist Party of Canada, and the Spanish Civil War, is forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press and brings to light new information about Norman Bethune.

Title: The Communist Party of Canada and the Spanish Civil War


Formerly Executive Director and Senior Editor atChina Features of the Xinhua News Agency, Lei Xiong is Senior Research Fellow with the CITIC Academy for Reform and Development Studies.  Since 2006 Ms Xiong has been Guest Professor of Journalism at a number of Chinese prestigious universities including Beijing Foreign Studies University and Qinghua University. She has published in her many years of career in journalism several hundred in-depth reports/articles in overseas newspapers and magazines including New Statesmen and Science. Her other publications include China Insight 2008: Rural Financing, Energy Conservation & Forest Resources (co-editor, 2009), China Ink: The Changing Face of Chinese Journalism (co-authored with Judy Polumbaum, 2008), The Last Paradise: A Photojournalist’s Journey to the World’s Third Pole (translator, 2008), and Issues Once Invisible – Children and Women in Changing China (editor, UNICEF, 2003), among others.

Title: A Lasting Memory – Dr. Bethune in ordinary Chinese people’s hearts

YANG, Haidi

Previously a journalist and television show hostess, Ms. Haidi Yang is currently Associate Senior Editor at Journal of People’s Literature, Editor-in-Chief of Collection of Golden Prose at Wenhui Press, and Director of the Review Committee of San Mao Prose Award. Her publications include literary works as well as a number of movies and TV dramas, some of which have been selected by various off prints, literary anthologies, almanacs and school textbooks. She is also winner of several literary awards in China.

Title: The True Meaning of Saint that I have Learned from Bethune

YUAN, Yonglin

Surgeon-Major-General Yonglin Yuan is the President of the Chinese Bethune Spirit Research Association. He was recruited into the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in 1968 and has served as a medical assistant, a surgeon, the director of a hospital, and the Deputy Minister of Health in the Army.

Title:On the Spirit of Norman Bethune’s Internationalism

Ode to Bethune

Lyric by Longchi Li

Music by Zhaokuan Shi

English translation by Lei Xiong


People say you are an eagle,

Fearing no hardship and danger, flying high in the heaven.

How could you be a common bird?

That’s your true nature.

Going through the war fire, fighting in defiance of death.

You follow your faith, never turning back.

So poised and calm.

You are actually a fiery phoenix,

Bathed in fire for a rebirth,

In a spirit as lofty as the rainbow spanning the sky.


People say you are a wild rose,

Fragrant alone in pride.

How could you be a wild flower?

That’s your true character.

Inspired by the Yan’an Spirit,

You stand out of all colorful flowers.

You are in full bloom, dazzlingly brilliant.

You are actually a peony,

Graceful and elegant, showing amazing splendor.


People say you are a burning fire

Lighting up others with heat, and rising flames.

How could you be a simple fire?

That’s your true color.

In front of your patients,

You are like their endearing folk,

With a sense of scrutinous responsibility and full of enthusiasm.

You are actually a holy fire,

Burning yourself to warm the humanity!