In June, 1961 Dr. Tudor Gencheff along with the help of the Canadian Polio Foundation opened the doors of Camp Gencheff to our first Campers.
Although the camp began with just a few rustic cabins it has expanded into a modern year round facility, which was erected in 1992. As did Dr. Gencheff, we strive to make this a memorable part of the lives of our special individuals by accommodating and encouraging all persons with disabilities to enjoy what Camp Gencheff has to offer.
Dr. Tudor Gencheff
How It All Got Started
Mr. Baxter outlined available literature and supplies available for the March of Dimes Campaign, January 5 to 30, 1959 inclusive, being chosen dates for our province. As a project for this year’s campaign, he suggested building a cottage hospital near the seashore, which would provide a summer holiday camp for crippled children….. It would operate for a period of six weeks, accommodating approximately 20 children for each two-week period. He further suggested that a committee be appointed to help draw up feasible plans for the campsite and building.
You may recognize some of the directors and executive of the PEI Polio Foundation for the 1958 year were:
President – J. Lincoln Dewar, Vice president – Judge St. Clair Trainor, Treasurer – Mr. William M. Melish, Secretary – Mrs. Edith Gates.
Going to the November 20, 1958 minutes, “Mr. Baxter then presented to the meeting his ideas and tentative plans for a summer camp for Polios and other crippled children
"We are the only province in Canada,….. which does not have a center where crippled children may enjoy a holiday at the beach under expert care and protection…"
He thought we might possibly get Federal and Provincial assistance. . He envisages a cost of approximately $40,000. He would like to winterize it, so as to be able to rent it to other clubs and organizations.
Building a Camp!
In February 23, 1960 the Polio foundation met and Mr. Lincoln Dewar, chairman of the Camp Site Committee reported that following negotiations with Eastern Trust Company, one of the Executors of the estate of F.L. Hazard and with representatives of the Stewart Family, tenants of “Bellevue Farm” near Tea Hill in Queens County, the chapter could purchase a portion of the said farm in excess of 20 acres for the sum of $4,000 as a Camp site for Crippled Children.
After a full discussion it was moved by Dr. Fisher and seconded by Dr. Gencheff that subject to the approval of a “View Committee” the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Foundation of Poliomyelitis purchase the property at a price not to excess $4,000. (this amount was increased to $5,000 at a later meeting) Judge Trainor brought to the attention of the meeting the fact that as the Chapter was not incorporated, it was not capable of holding property in its name and he suggested that if the property is purchased the title should be taken in the name of trustees for and on behalf of the chapter
The trustees who were appointed were: Mr. Charles Linkletter, Mr. Lincoln Dewar, Dr. Gencheff, Mr. Herbert Baxter, and Mr. Harvey Campbell.
At the June 15, 1960 meeting Dr. Gencheff reported that 30 acres of shore property had been purchased at a cost of $5,000.00.(hard to imagine a price like that) He spoke of the desirability of the location in being close to Charlottetown and it suitability of the shore. When constructed it will be open to all handicapped children.