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DR. FRANCIS WILLIAM SCHOFIELD

 

Honourable Senators,

I rise today to remember one man who risked his own life to save a nation - a great Canadian by the name of Dr. Francis William Schofield. To this day, he remains the only foreign national to be buried in the National Independent Hero cemetery in Seoul, Korea.

Dr. Schofield was born in Rugby, Warwickshire, England in 1889. In 1907, he immigrated to Canada where he commenced his academic career at the University of Toronto and later earned his ph.D in veterinary science. Soon after marrying Alice, a young pianist, Dr. Schofield made a long journey to Korea with his wife in 1916.

Being one of the first Presbyterian missionaries in Korea, Dr. Schofield contributed to the medical advancement of Korea in significant ways through his teachings of bacteriology and sanitation at Severance Medical School.  Dr. Schofield is equally known for his genuine compassion; he connected with the hearts of Koreans, understanding and feeling their anguish during the hard times of Japanese occupation and for risking his life by openly opposing the Japanese. Dr. Schofield actively engaged in the 1919 March 1 Independence Movement and was such a nuisance to the Japanese authorities that he was forcibly deported back to Canada in 1920. Only in 1958 was he able to return to Korea at the formal invitation of President Syngman Rhee. With his return, Dr. Schofield continued his good works by teaching at Seoul National University and looking after two Korean orphanages until his death in 1970.

Dr. Schofield’s legacy in Korea lives on amidst the solid foundation of medical knowledge and the wonderful works of fine Korean leaders, most notably Dr. Chung Un-Chan, President of Seoul National University and former Prime Minister of Korea, whom Dr. Schofield mentored over the course of his teaching career.

I would like to acknowledge and commend the Dr. Schofield Memorial Foundation and its members for their tireless efforts in ensuring this important Canadian and Korean hero is not forgotten. With their vision and persistence, Schofield Memorial Garden within the Toronto Zoo successfully opened on June 1st, 2012. Member of Parliament Joe Daniel and I had the honour of attending this ceremony with Dr. Chung Un-Chan and several contemporaries who were guided by Dr. Schofield, regional community leaders and members of the Schofield family. And having seen the beautiful garden, I am certain Dr. Schofield Memorial Garden will fulfill its noble purpose. Canadians will know of our international Hero who continues to inspire millions of people to be the kind of selfless leader as he was.

"Dr. Schofield said love must transcend national and racial boundaries...He deserves to be remembered by all Canadians, for embodying in his life and conduct the essence of what Canada stands for today.

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