Comunidade newspaper, 1975-1979. Part 1: Records and commentary

Domingos Marques was born in 1949, in Murtosa, district of Aveiro. His father, who had become familiar with the shores of Newfoundland as a cod fisherman in the Portuguese White Fleet, had migrated to Canada in 1957. Domingos’ mother and his siblings joined his father later. Domingos remained in Portugal to continue his studies in the seminary, where he had been enrolled since the age of 10. He joined his family in Canada in the summer of 1968 at the age of 19.
In some parts of Portugal at that time, studying for the priesthood was the only way that lower class children could pursue more than a basic education. In part, Domingos came to Canada out of a desire to take a sabbatical before advancing towards the final stage of his studies, and contemplate whether or not to become a priest. During this period, Domingos volunteered with St. Mary's Church, the largest Portuguese parish in Toronto at the time. Fr. Alberto Cunha took advantage of the fact that Domingos, unlike other youth in the community, was formarly educated in religious and secular matters, and invited him to organize the parish's youth group. He fulfilled this role for a few years until he decided to discontinue his studies for priesthood and ended his relationship with St. Mary's. Click on the thumbnail and press play in the audio player to hear Domingos Marques' comments on this photo, and learn more about the St. Mary's Youth Group and courting in the Portuguese community in the 1960s.
Domingos Marques became involved with the Portuguese immigrant press soon after he arrived in Canada. His first experience working as a journalist begun in 1969 with O Jornal Português, a newspaper owned by Fr. Alberto Cunha of St. Mary's Church and directed by Fernando Pedrosa. Here he worked close to 60 hours week, including helping at St. Mary's Parish Centre, for which he was paid $65. Click on the thumbnail and press play in the audio player to hear Domingos Marques' commentary and learn more about how Portuguese newspapers were made.

Domingos Marques, sitting at the top of the train, represents O Jornal Português in an excursion to Thunder Bay and Kenora with representatives of various ethnic newspapers. The trip, which toook place in the summer of 1970, was organized by the Government of Ontario to promote the province.

As a university student in Sociology in the mid-1970s, Domingos began working for the West End Y.M.C.A. where he was hired to coordinate the summer project "Learning to Cope". Its objectives were to provide an open-door service for immigrants requiring assistance, ranging from basic form filling or interpreting to intricate counselling, and prepare a booklet with a directory of social services, as well as promote these services throughout the community. Here he met João (John) Medeiros and joined him in the organization of Movimento Comunitário Português, whose goal was to provide information and other social services for the Portuguese community. During this period, as he was being introduced to the many problems affecting working class immigrants and the Portuguese community, Domingos began developing an interest in social activism, community development, and politics.

In 1978, Domingos Marques and John Medeiros would co-author the first history of the Portuguese in Canada, Portuguese Immigrants: 25 Years in Canada, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the arrival of the migrant pioneers. In this photo, Domingos (left) and John (right) promote their book at a community event.

Throughout his life, Domingos has been involved in community organization and social advocacy in a number of roles. In 1988, Domingos ran unsuccessfully as an independent candidate for Metro Separate School Board trustee, in Toronto's wards 3 and 4. He was finally elected in 1991, this time with the support of the New Democratic Party, in 1991. He served one term at the Board, failing to be re-elected in 1994.

This is an official letter sent to potential supporters during his first campaign in 1988, asking for volunteers and financial support.

Domingos was also one of the first Presidents of the Aliança dos Clubes e Associações Portuguesas do Ontário (ACAPO - Alliance of Portuguese Clubs and Associations of Ontario). In this photo, Domingos stands in Mayor Art Eggleton's office during a Portugal Day celebration, as the Mayor presents a gift to the Portuguese gold medalist Rosa Mota.
Domingos' love of history and his penchant for journalism led him to publish another book on the history of Portuguese immigrants in Canada, this time with his future wife Manuela Marujo, titled With Hardened Hands: a pictorial history of Portuguese immigration to Canada in the 1950s (1993). The transcripts of the interviews with some of the earliest Portuguese immigrants, conducted by Marques and Marujo during their research for this work, are available at the Clara Thomas Archives. Between 1996 and 1998, he directed the Silva Magazine, a generalist, forward looking magazine written in Portuguese and English.
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