Memorable Manitobans: Francis “Frank” Sedziak (1877-1952)
Born in Poland on 17 August 1877, son of John Sedziak and Magdalena Kostrzewa, he was educated in Poland, Paris, University of Chicago, and University of Minnesota. He came to Manitoba in 1906 and first settled at Winnipeg, where he worked as a contractor. In 1907, he was appointed Superintendent of the Brandon Machine Works. He returned to Winnipeg the following year and worked successively for the Winnipeg City Light and Power Construction Department (1911), James McDiarmid Company (1911), a construction engineer with W. M. Scott (1912), the Motor Power Department with the Grand Trunk Pacific (1915), and the Joint Bridge Committee of Winnipeg and St. Boniface to oversee the construction of Provencher Bridge (1916).
In 1918, he started to study medicine at the University of Manitoba, receiving a medical degree with honors in 1922, completing the usual five years’ course in three years. As a student, he was an assistant in the Department of Physiology and Biochemistry. After taking his degree, he began a medical practice and was presumed to be the first Polish doctor in Canada. His ability to speak five languages fluently was an asset for his practice to the immigrants of north Winnipeg. He practiced in several rural towns over the next few years, and was later a medical officer at Elie. He was an Independent candidate for Winnipeg in the 1927 provincial general election.
On 31 October 1907, he married Victoria Kamienska at St. Boniface and they subsequently had two sons. The family lived at 358 Pritchard Avenue. In 1924, he was a candidate for trustee in the Winnipeg School Division. He retired in 1950 and moved to Ottawa, Ontario where he died on 30 June 2014 and was buried in the St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“F. Sedziak, Elie doctor, dies in Ottawa,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 July 1952, page 12.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 19 June 2018
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