Marie was born to Dr. and Mrs. A.A. Alford on November 28, 1926, in Oakville, Manitoba. She earned her Home Economics Degree from the University of Manitoba in 1947 and her Masters Degree in Public Health Education from the University of North Carolina in 1949. In 1951, Marie married Edgar Salway and they had two children, Gordon and Margaret. Her maternal grandmother, Janet Wood, is also a member of the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Marie worked with the Manitoba Department of Health as a nutritionist in Steinbach and later as a public health educator in Neepawa, where she served a broad agricultural area and helped people to develop family life skills. She initiated much needed rural community programs, which benefited a variety of groups, from children to seniors. She was an avid supporter of Neepawa’s Touchwood Community Living Program and conducted seminars throughout Manitoba for teachers and nurses.
A much sought after speaker, Marie addressed local and national assemblies, such as the Manitoba Women’s Institute meetings; the Union of Manitoba Municipalities Conference; Manitoba Hydro Supervisors Annual Conference; Business and Professional Women’s Conference; Manitoba Association of Licensed Practical Nurses Council; the Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference and the First National Farm Women’s Conference in Ottawa; Alberta Federation of Women United for Families in Edmonton; National Conference on Family Planning and many graduation classes.
Among the awards Marie received were the National Health & Welfare Lifestyle Award from the National Department of Health in 1977, a Life Membership in the Manitoba Women’s Institute in 1978 and the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in 1989.
Journalist Ted Byfield paid tribute to Marie’s influence in his introduction to her book Butter Side Up – Common Sense Solutions to Critical Family Issues, published in 1995: “If there was an Ann Landers of the Canadian prairies during the latter part of the 20th Century, it would have to be Marie Salway.” Her columns on moral and family issues – marriage, divorce, pregnancy, child-raising, teen problems and aging – appeared monthly in Grainews from the 1970’s through the early 1990’s. “…For her, you did not change morality to conform to the world. It was the other way around. You changed the world to conform to morality.”
Marie was an active member of the Anglican Church and her faith shaped all that she did. She generously shared her knowledge and enthusiasm with everyone she encountered. This delightful, talented lady accomplished a great deal with her life.