Helena Guergis to commemorate Sir Frederick Banting's place of birth

    NEW TECUMSETH, ON, Sept. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Helena Guergis,
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Sport and
Member of Parliament for Simcoe-Grey, on behalf of Canada's Environment
Minister John Baird, today announced that a Historic Sites and Monuments Board
of Canada plaque commemorating Sir Frederick Banting will be installed at his
place of birth.
    "Our Government is pleased and honoured to commemorate the birthplace of
Sir Frederick Banting," said Ms. Guergis. "Frederick Banting's contribution to
science is something that all Canadians can be proud of, and his outstanding
achievement of having advanced the treatment of diabetes will help to ensure
he remains a true inspiration to all Canadians."
    Sir Frederick Banting was born in 1891 in Alliston, Ontario at the
property now known as Banting Homestead. In 1916, Sir Frederick Banting
graduated from the University of Toronto Medical School and served in the
Canadian Army Medical Corps during World War I. After the war, Banting
completed his training as an orthopedic surgeon and established a general
practice in London, Ontario. In May of 1921, under the supervision of Prof.
John Macleod, Banting began research on diabetes at the University of Toronto
with his assistant, graduate student Charles Best.
    After a few months of intense research, Banting and Best, with the
assistance of chemist James Collip, were able to extract and purify an
anti-diabetic substance from the pancreas, which is now known as insulin. The
drug was hailed as one of the most significant advances in medicine at the
time and immediately began to extend the lives of millions of diabetics
worldwide. The discovery led to many awards, notably the Nobel Prize in
Medicine in 1923 for Banting and Macleod as the discoverers of insulin, and a
knighthood for Banting bestowed in 1934 by King George V. Sir Frederick
Banting died in the crash of a military aircraft in Newfoundland, on February
21, 1941.

    Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises
the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Canada's Environment Minister, on
the national historic significance of places, people and events that have
marked Canada's history. Canada's family of national historic sites recognizes
the vision of Canadians who built our nation and how their actions, the places
they built, and the events they were part of, have influenced the values we
share today. The placement of a commemorative plaque represents an official
recognition of historic value. It is one means of informing the public about
the richness of our cultural heritage, which must be preserved for present and
future generations.

For further information:

For further information: Colin Old, Communications Officer, Central
Ontario Field Unit, Parks Canada, (705) 687-4261, extension 24; Peter Frood,
Superintendent, Central Ontario Field Unit, Parks Canada, (705) 750-4919;
(Also available on the Internet at www.pc.gc.ca under Media Room.)

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