Memorable Manitobans: Matthew Popovic [Popovitch] (1890-1943)
Political leader, journalist.
Born in the Ukraine on 21 August 1890, after teaching school in the Ukraine for a short time he immigrated to Canada in 1911. Upon his arrival he became involved in left wing politics and began editing radical Ukrainian newspapers, such as the journal Toiling People. He was converted to Bolshevism in 1917, and he participated in the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919. He was assistant editor of the Ukrainian Labour News in 1919 and editor of the Voice of Labour from 1922 to 1924. He was a candidate for Winnipeg in the 1922 provincial general election.
In 1921, he became the national secretary of the Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association and joined the Communist Party of Canada. He ran as the Communist Party of Canada’s aldermanic candidate in northern Winnipeg (Ward Three) in 1923, 1924, and 1925. Popovic went to Toronto to become the permanent Ukrainian representative at the Party’s headquarters. He was tried along with seven other prominent Communist leaders in 1931 and was sentenced to five years in prison for sedition. He was paroled in June 1934. He remained a loyal member of the Communist Party throughout his life.
Times of Trouble: Labour Quiescence in Winnipeg 1920-1929 by David Edward Hall, MA thesis, University of Manitoba, 1983, page 94.
We thank Stefan Epp for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 9 June 2018
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