Hello everyone! My name is Kat MacDonald and I’ll be working at Banting House National Historic Site as an intern for the summer! I am currently completing my M.A in Public History at Western University. I am originally from Kingston and completed my B.A (Hons.) in History and German Studies at Queen’s University.
Prior to me moving to London, I knew a bit about Frederick Banting and the discovery of insulin. I am an individual who lives with Type 1 Diabetes and uses insulin therapy as part of my treatment. When I was diagnosed, I wanted to learn all that I could about diabetes and the history of insulin. Growing up, we were briefly taught about Dr. Banting and his discovery in school, but after reading up on it more, I grew to further appreciate the discovery and its history. Throughout all of this, I never knew that Dr. Banting lived in London! It wasn’t until the day I moved to London and was driving up Adelaide that I noticed his statue in Sir Frederick G. Banting Square and grew curious. So, when my public history class took a tour through the house I finally learned about the significance of his time in London.
Being able to go into the bedroom, where Dr. Banting first thought of the idea of insulin, was an incredibly moving experience. I learned so much during that tour and throughout my class’ collaborative projective with Banting House for the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. My favourite thing I learned was that Dr. Banting was an artist. I have always loved the art produced by the Group of Seven, so to learn that Dr. Banting has worked with some of the members and it was refreshing to see learn about some of his hobbies.
Aside from a few class projects in my undergrad, I haven’t had much experience working in a museum setting. Despite this, I have a passion for museums. Whether it be in education and programming or curation, my long-time dream has always been to work at a museum. So, the chance to do an internship at Banting House under the guidance of Grant is an amazing opportunity. I am looking forward to being able to learn a variety of new skills such as programming and collections management and further developing prior skills like social media management, research, and digital history!
I look forward to being able to share progress on my projects, my love of history, and in general bring you along on my journey as an intern!
Kat at World Diabetes Day 2019.
This post was written by Kat MacDonald, an intern at Banting House NHSC. Kat is currently completing her M.A. in Public History at Western University.