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Andrew Swan, MLA Minto
October 28, 2011

Manuel Guerra

I’d like to honour today the memory of a dedicated leader of our Winnipeg Portuguese community, Manuel Guerra, who passed away from cancer last December.

Manuel, who was born in Portugal before building a rich life here in Manitoba, exemplified the vision and courage it takes to emigrate to a new country. Together with his immediate family, the Portuguese community, and many others in the West End, we will remember him as a man who always welcomed people in with open arms.

Manuel Guerra arrived in Canada in 1967 and worked most of his career in real estate. He became involved in the Portuguese-Canadian community immediately upon his arrival, and in 1969 he became the president of the Portuguese Association of Manitoba’s general assembly and also held various executive positions with the association over the next several decades.

In 1972 Manuel founded a Portuguese newspaper called O Mundial. This newspaper connects Portuguese Canadians with their home country and highlights successes in developments of the Manitoba community. The newspaper links people in a community who share both a history and a future, and it was one of Manuel’s proudest accomplishments.

Manuel was a veteran of the Portuguese Armed Forces. He served his Catholic parish here in Manitoba. He was a man of action in many ways. If Manuel saw an opportunity to improve the lives of his neighbours, he did not hesitate. He also served in the Board of Regents at the University of Winnipeg, and founded the Association of Portuguese Entrepreneurs.

We still feel Manuel’s legacy most deeply through the Portuguese newspaper which his wife and his sons continue to run. I had many occasions to spend time with Manuel at various events, and although we did not always share political views, we shared a love for the West End community.

My deepest condolences to Manuel’s family for their loss. His life’s passions will continue to inspire our community for many years to come.