The Missing Day - Roosevelt, Churchill and Widgawa Lodge
In August 1943 McGregor Bay had one of it’s most famous visitors for a week of fishing and enjoying the seclusion of the area. In the midst of World War II and days before the First Quebec Conference, a secret military meeting between Mackenzie King, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, United States President Roosevelt came fishing in McGregor Bay.
Roosevelt’s secret and well guarded visit was recommended by Commander Eugene MacDonald, the President of Zenith Corporation and a summer resident in the Bay. The visit has been well documented and scrutinized over the years but the myth remains - Did Roosevelt and Churchill secretly meet at Widgawa Lodge for one day that week?
That same week, Robert Laberge and his older teenage sister were walking from their Lang Lake camp to Whitefish Falls to tell Mr. Deagle that their power had been out for a couple of days. Robert had his trusty 22 with him, just in case they saw a partridge or rabbit for the family meal.
As the trail neared Widgawa Lodge armed soldiers appeared and questioned the children about what they were doing in the area with a rifle. The soldiers were American and weeks later the children were told there was a secret meeting going on at Widgawa Lodge.
Was it Roosevelt and Churchill planning before the Quebec Conference as the media later speculated? We may never know.
Unveiling the Roosevelt plaque at Birch Island June 16, 1946
The Widgawa Lodge Dining Room
The Widgawa Lodge lounge & lobby
Kerry Butler, Robert Laberge & Joshua Willoughby at Widgawa Lodge August 2017
Robert Laberge & Jon Butler at Widgawa Lodge August 2017