Memorable Manitobans: Charles Ernest Dojack (1918-2005)
Publisher, community activist.
Born at Winnipeg on 25 April 1918 to Czechoslovakian parents, Rosa Misera (1882-1974) and Frantiszek “Frank” Dojacek, he attended St. John’s College and Pre-Law at the University of Manitoba. While at university, having received lessons in cello, he was responsible for the organization and development of the first University of Manitoba Student Symphony Orchestra, the forerunner of the present Winnipeg Symphony. His studies were cut short by the Second World War, when he joined The Army Show, a Canadian production created for entertaining the troops, and was stationed in England. Upon returning to Winnipeg, he took over from his father as the general manager of National Publishers Limted, which published several ethnic newspapers, including The Canadian Farmer, Der Nordwestern, Polish Times Czas, and The Croatian Voice.
Like his father, he devoted much of his work and leisure time to the welfare and settlement of new Canadians. He was strongly committed to promoting citizenship within Canada’s multicultural heritage. In 1967, to promote a better understanding across cultures, he organized a tour that saw 58 ethnic press editors visiting the Province of Quebec, and 72 French Canadian editors visiting ethnic communities in Western Canada. During his 28-year publishing career, he served as the President of the Ethnic Press Federation, comprising nearly 100 weeklies; President of Winnipeg’s Sales and Advertising Club; director of the Winnipeg Press Club; President of the Canada Press Club of Winnipeg; and director of the German Canadian Business Association of Manitoba.
He was devoted to his community and the arts, holding positions in various organizations, including director of the Canadian Folk Arts Council; founder of the Community Folk Arts Council of Manitoba; National Director of the Dominion Drama Festival; director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra; member of the National Executive for the 1967 Pan-Am Games, and Vice-President of the Winnipeg Symphony. His love of music resulted in his being a first-desk cellist for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for eight years and a member of the symphony board for 14 years. His devotion to those causes resulted in him receiving community service awards from Mayor Stephen Juba, the Metropolitan Government of Winnipeg, and the Honourable Edward Schreyer.
In 1973, he and his wife moved to Ottawa, where he was a special consultant to Canada Manpower and Immigration on the 1973 Immigration Adjustment Program and the 1975 Green Paper on Immigration. He served as President, director, and fundraising chairperson of the Canadian Citizenship Federation. He received a Citation for Citizenship in 1992, the Canadian Scene Award for the Promotion of Intercultural Understanding in 1993, and was short-listed for appointment to the Senate in recognition of his services to Canada. In 2002, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal. Leisure time when in Manitoba consisted of vacationing with family at their Lake Winnipeg cottage at Whytewold.
In 1947, he married Anne Margaret Carpenter (1917-1995) and they went on to have three children. After his wife’s death, he married fellow cellist Donna Grescoe in 1996.
He died at Vancouver, British Columbia on 31 March 2005.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Death registration [Anne Margaret Dojack], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Obituary [Anne Margaret Dojack], Winnipeg Free Press, 4 July 1995, page 21.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 April 2005.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Lois Braun.
Page revised: 28 December 2021