On the morning of July 7, 2010, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, and Mr. Jean-Daniel Lafond, along with their daughter Marie-Éden, visited West China Medical Center of Sichuan University. They were accompanied by Canadian delegates working in various fields.
Their Excellencies were warmly welcomed by the leaders of the Sichuan University headed by President Xie heping. They toured this historical campus, and visited the Number Eight Building where they saw an exhibition on the history of the medical campus and how Canadian missionaries have made significant contributions to the Centre.
John Small, Canada’s second Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China was born in Sichuan and his father was responsible for the construction and renovation of buildings on campus for almost 25 years.
Three generations of the Kilborn family have contributed their knowledge, skills and even life to the development of the medical school. Dr. O.L. Kilborn came to Chengdu to set up a hospital in 1892, and later helped found the medical school. Now the university hospital and the medical school continues to benefit from the Kilborn Memorial Fund, which supports some of the best Canadian medical experts to work short-term at Hua Xi. The Kilborn Memorial Fund and the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians of Canada have established a visiting professorship program at the West China Medical Center.
Dr. Ashley W. Lindsay had been well-known for being the first dentist sent by the Canadian Church to China in 1907. He was described as the “Father of Chinese Dentistry”. He set up the first dental clinic in Chengdu. In 1917, Dr. Lindsay founded the Department of Dentistry, which evolved into the College of Dentistry in 1921. The School of Stomatology remains the best in China, and many of China’s best dentists are trained here. In the early 1920’s, our College of Dentistry received students from Russia, Indonesia, Korea and Hungary, spreading dentistry to southeast Asia and eastern Europe.
The Canadian Dr. Edwin N. Meuser was the founder of the College of Pharmacy. He came to China in 1909, and put a high value on the Chinese medical herbs in Sichuan Province. Later he initiated pharmacy classes to train pharmacists, and he also produced and sold pharmaceutical Products. In 1932, he founded the College of Pharmacy.
The Department of Pharmacy of West China Union University, founded in 1918 by Dr. Meuser was one of the bases of pharmaceutical higher education in China. It contributed greatly to the research, application and development of the world-famous “Sichuan Herbs”.
Mr. Frank Dickinson from Canada introduced Dutch Cows to give local people quality milk, Swiss goat and such new varieties of vegetables and fruits as tomato, seedless orange, etc., which contributed a lot to the founding of the Department of Agriculture in 1934.
Canadian ties to the University remain strong today with initiatives with Western, Dalhousie and Manitoba Universities. Most recently the University of Western Ontario visited the university to forward the development of a Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics (CSTAR) - WCMS Industry Roundtable initiative which will help bring Canadian life sciences technologies to China. The university is recognized as having one of the top medical schools in China.