Cenaiko was born on March 21, 1926, at Chestohorb, Ukraine. An immigrant at age three, he grew up on a homestead near Quill Lake, the fourth of seven children. He met his wife, Helen Manchur, while teaching in Watson; he then enrolled in pre-medical courses at the University of Saskatchewan, graduating with his MD from the University of Alberta in 1954. Upon completion of internship at St. Paul’s Hospital, Dr. Cenaiko arrived in Wakaw in 1955, despite pressure from classmates to stay in Saskatoon. He can tell stories of house calls on bitter winter nights, of carrying pre-op patients upstairs, and of being paid in chickens and potatoes. He has experienced the pain of pronouncing friend’s deaths and the joy of delivering three generations of babies. Endurance is exemplified by his service as an admired general practitioner in rural Saskatchewan for forty-eight years.
Dr. Cenaiko has served as school board chair and as mayor. Religious faith has prompted his work in the local Baptist Church, “holiday” medical mission trips to Honduras, and humanitarian work in Ukraine. In 1990 he was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.