Emmet McCusker was born in Alfred, Ontario on February 9, 1890. His family moved west and homesteaded just north of the budding city of Regina in 1903. After his father died in 1908, Emmet helped run the farm, and then entered medicine at McGill University in 1911. In 1914 he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a private in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, serving in France and Belgium. In 1915 he was sent back to McGill to finish his medical course, graduating in 1916. Following re-enlistment, he was awarded the Military Cross at Hill 70 in 1917. McCusker took further training in diseases of eye, ear, nose and throat in Montreal, New York and Vienna before entering private practice in Regina in 1923. He became president of the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Saskatchewan Division of the CMA, the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club, the Canadian Football Union and, as one of the Regina Flying Club’s first graduating pilots, president of the Canadian Flying Clubs Association.
With the onset of World War II, he was promoted to Lt. Colonel and was sent overseas as assistant director of Medical Services, First Canadian Division. Following promotions to Colonel and then Brigadier, he became deputy director of Medical Services, serving in England, Sicily and Italy. He was awarded the Efficiency Decoration, was made Commander of the Order of British Empire, and received the Greek Distinguished Service Medal. After World War II, McCusker was the first board chairman of the Medical Arts Clinic. In 1949 he was elected as member of Parliament for Regina City and became Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health, Paul Martin, Sr. His efforts resulted, among other things, in bringing water to Regina from the South Saskatchewan River, in the building of a new post office, and in the extending of the main runway at Regina Airport.
McCusker was a co-owner of radio station CKRM, and a director of Ducks Unlimited. The Wascana Golf and Country, the Assiniboia, the Antipoh and the New Comemen clubs, the Knights of Columbus, and Notre Dame College each benefited from his wisdom. He died in Regina on January 20, 1973.
Murray M. Fraser