Last week at Banting House National Historic Site of Canada, we celebrated World Diabetes Day and Dr. Banting’s Birthday with an event in Sir Frederick G. Banting Square. In total, we had approximately 160 visitors join us for the event in order to listen to some of our “Dear Dr. Banting” letters, take a tour of Banting House, watch the unveiling of the commemorative bricks, and have a piece of Dr. Banting’s birthday cake! From beginning to end, the process of planning and executing this event has been an amazing experience, and I’m happy to take you through a little bit of that journey in this post!
As I mentioned in my “World Diabetes Day 2019: Behind the Scenes” blog post, we began by creating a Critical Path for the event. We did this to make sure that we would not only stay on track, but also to make sure that we didn’t forget any important steps leading up to the day of the event. I also organized a check list for the day of the event, which outlined hour by hour what needed to be done in order to prepare for the celebration. This checklist was very helpful, as inevitably some things get overlooked during last minute preparations.
In the hours leading up to the celebration, preparations at Banting House were in full swing! The pictures above show some of the outdoor preparations, like setting up WDD signage, getting our PA system up and running, putting up tents, and setting up tables for D-Camps and Dr. Banting’s birthday cake. As it started to get dark, one of the most important steps was to light up Banting House blue. Once we did that, it was clear that the event was about to begin! Behind the scenes, we had a great team meeting with all of our volunteers before everyone took their places and prepared to welcome our guests!
Visitors started arriving before we knew it, and began to tour Banting House, grab some hot chocolate, and take pictures with the Sir. Frederick Banting statue before the ceremony began at 7:00 pm. After some tests of our Facebook Live stream, we recorded the entire ceremony, which included the reading of some incredibly moving “Dear Dr. Banting” letters in many different languages.
After the ceremony, it was time for the unveiling of the commemorative bricks! We were able to catch the unveiling on our livestream, and it was incredible to see our visitors so excited to see their brick, the brick of a friend or family member, or just the bricks themselves.
The celebration felt like it went by incredibly fast, but you know what they say, time flies when you’re having fun! We said goodbye to our guests and began to reflect on the great celebration and commemoration that had just occurred. All in all, the event was a huge success, and I am so grateful to be a member of the team that helped plan and execute it. As mentioned on our social media accounts, we had visitors from Michigan, New York, Belle River, Markham, and many other locales, both near and far. We also had livestream viewers in India, Sweden, Japan, Cuba, and all across Canada and the U.S.A., and it was amazing to be able to share in this celebration with people from across the world.
That’s all for now, but if you missed the event, or just want to experience it again, feel free to check out our live stream video on Facebook here!
This post was written by Jenna Philbrick, Graduate research Assistant at Banting House NHSC. Jenna is currently completing her M.A. in Public History at Western University.