Memorable Manitobans: Donald Marto “Don” Malinowski (1924-2003)
Born at Lwow, Poland on 14 March 1924, during the Second World War he fought the Nazis in the forests of the Swietokryskich Mountains. Captured by the Soviets, he escaped to Sweden and emigrated to Canada in 1950. He entered the Polish National Catholic Church seminary in Pennsylvania two years later and was ordained a priest in 1957. He became the priest of St. Mary’s Polish National Catholic Church in 1959, holding the position for 17 years, after which he became pastor at St. Joseph’s Church at Beausejour.
In the 1966 provincial general election, he became the first Catholic priest to seek a seat in the Manitoba Legislature, running unsuccessfully for the New Democratic Party in Winnipeg Centre. He was successful at the 1969 general election and was said to remark that he hoped to “translate the Judeo-Christian ideals into legislation.” As an MLA, he advocated for increases in the minimum wage and affordable housing for seniors. He opposed Sunday shopping and the return of the death penalty. He was re-elected in 1973, 1977, and 1981, in the latter year winning a tightly contested nomination race against Roland Penner in which he told party members that “anyone who voted for a communist would spend an eternity in hell.” He did not stand for re-election in 1986.
On 31 December 1957, he married Anna Glazer and they had a daughter and a son. In recognition of his community service, he was inducted into the Order of Canada (1988) and Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta and he received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and the Polonia Gold Medal.
He died at Calgary, Alberta on 16 May 2003.
The Canadian Parliamentary Guide 1986, The Internet Archive.
“Political priest helped aged, poor,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 June 2003, page 21.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz (Legislative Library of Manitoba) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 March 2022