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Remembering a dear friend

Updated: 2024-01-13 11:03 ( China Daily )
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The exterior of a building of Jardin Bussiere, the former Beijing home of the late Jean Jerome Augustin Bussiere, a French physician who had lived in China for over four decades. [Photo by CHEN SHUO/FOR CHINA DAILY]

French physician witnessed huge changes in China



Irevisited Jardin Bussiere with a group of friends on a beautiful Saturday morning in October. The first time had been about seven or eight years earlier, when I drove to Mount Yangtai in Beijing with friends.

We happened to see a sign for"Jardin Bussiere" on the side of the road and visited it out of curiosity. We discovered not only a perfect combination of Chinese and Western garden architecture, and refreshing ecological beauty, but also references to many people and events in modern history.

I've constantly talked about this storied place since. I felt particularly proud that in 2018, through my recommendation to the China Society for People's Friendship Studies, a commemoration marking the 60th anniversary of the death of Dr Bussiere was held in Beijing. At that event, I had the privilege of meeting Bussiere Jr. and Michael Lindsey Jr., as well as Zhang Wei, author of The Legend of Bussiere.

Jean Jerome Augustin Bussiere was a French doctor who lived in Beijing for 41 years in the first half of the last century. While wholeheartedly regarding China as his second home with no intention to become involved in Chinese politics, he personally witnessed and experienced many major events, such as the May Fourth Movement, the work-study program for Chinese students in France and the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45). And he made major contributions we should not forget.

As a prominent physician, Bussiere counted many celebrities, such as Sun Yat-sen, Mei Lanfang and even Mao Zedong among his patients. As president of the French Hospital in Beijing and the founding director of Cathay Medical College in Shanghai, he made significant contributions to the development of modern medicine and health education in China.

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