#39: Norman Lush

Written by: Dr. Robert Steadward

Dr. Norman Lush was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland and completed his secondary education in Gander, NL.  He entered Pre-Med at Mount Allison University 1951-1954 and went on to complete his Medical Education at Dalhousie University 1954-1959 - M.D.,L.M.C.C.  He did his Post Graduate Education in Internal Medicine at St. John's General Hospital -1962-1963 and Neurology at Montreal Neurological Institute & Hospital –1963-1966 F.R.C.P. (C)

Dr. Lush had a very distinguished career as a Neurologist in St. John’s, NL for over 4 decades.  Appointments, at a number of hospitals, held during his professional career included Chief of Neurology; Chief of Staff; Consulting Staff; Director and Chief of EEG; Medical Director of Adult Rehabilitation Services and Medical Director. 

He was actively involved with the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association and served as President Elect, President and Past President.

He was married to the wonderful Greta Lush and together they raised three daughters.  Beyond his professional life he was also fully engaged in community work.  In particular he had a keen interest in working with and supporting persons with disabilities.  In 1973 he became involved with the newly formed Wheelchair Sports Association of Newfoundland & Labrador and became a strong advocate for sports and persons with disabilities. His association with this organization continued for years and he served in many capacities – as a board member, medical director and fundraiser.  He was elected Chairperson on more than one occasion and through his leadership and support the organization flourished.  On the landscape of sport and disability in Newfoundland & Labrador Dr. Lush, and his partner Greta, were front and centre.  In 1978 the Canadian Games for the Physically Disabled were held in St. John’s and Dr. Lush played a pivotal role in bringing these games to the province and was one of its key organizers.

Dr. Lush became involved with CWSA in the late 70’s and he provided essential medical expertise, especially in the field of classification. As a strong and active member with CWSA he travelled to Paralympics, Pan American Games, Stoke Mandeville World Games, and International Super Challenge as the Team Canada Medical Doctor.  He served as Vice-President of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association and was its Medical Director for several years.

In 1975 it seemed he had some extra time on his hands and became involved, along with his wife Greta, in the formation of the HUB – Physically Handicapped Service Centre.  Their work in the development of this service centre became a labour of love, motivated by the desire to create a facility and an environment that supported persons with disabilities in their pursuit of employment.  The HUB was an ‘overnight success’ and became the focal point of the disability community and a strong advocacy organization known nationally and internationally.  It operated from a unique perspective of having persons with disabilities equally involved with running the day-to-day operations with strong representation on the board of directors.  Dr. & Mrs Lush were instrumental in the success of this organization.  They served on the board, fundraised, lobbied government for core funding, scrubbed floors, spoke at service clubs, cleaned bathrooms, painted walls and encouraged their neighbours and friends to become involved.  Their affiliation with the HUB continued for over a decade and while there were many challenges along the way the successes were tremendous. 

Dr. Lush was invested into the Order of Canada in 2003 and awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal. He retired as a medical doctor in 2005.