Hi Everyone! My name is Emma Kuiack and I am the Canada Summer Jobs student working here at Banting House National Historic Site for the duration of the summer.
Let me properly introduce myself! I was born and raised in London, Ontario but surprisingly never made a trip to Banting House until September of 2019 when I started volunteering here… But more on that later! I have always loved history, my passion for the subject being rooted in my grandfather’s story. From living through the Holodomor to experiencing true evil within the walls of Dachau Concentration Camp, his life was far from easy but that did not stop him from moving to Canada post-war to start a new life for himself and his family. His story has always been so important to myself and my family and was what really sparked in me the desire to learn more about stories of the past.
Taking with me that desire to explore more, I received my Honours Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in History and a Minor in English at Queen’s University in Kingston. In my fourth year, I decided to do half of my courses online and half as a visiting student at Western University. For one of my classes, I had the opportunity to combine my inclination towards history with my love for animals to analyze the Canadian war horse experience in the First World War. This subject ended up being so fascinating to me that I just couldn’t stop there! In 2020, I started the Master’s in History program at Western University and have been working on my thesis considering the care and maintenance of Allied equines at the Western Front ever since. After two years of writing, I finally submitted my completed project just last week and will defend my work later this summer.
So how did I end up here? In my year off between finishing my undergraduate studies and beginning my graduate career, I was looking for some volunteering opportunities to pursue. One day, my aunt was listening to the local radio and heard a segment where the hosts were talking to the curator at Banting House. He was talking about the recent acquisition of the William Robertson Banting Fonds and my aunt suggested that I reach out to see if I could help work with the documents. From there, I began volunteering here on a weekly basis and never looked back! I have really enjoyed my time spent at Banting House working with the items in the Fonds and chatting with visitors coming from all over the world with fascinating stories to share. This truly is such a special place and I feel very fortunate and honoured to be able to help people learn more about Sir Frederick Banting and his incredible life and career.
I’m really looking forward to spending more time here and can’t wait to learn more about life at the museum. Check back here for more from me as I work through the summer at Banting House!