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Bill Wiggins Wigg

by: Pat Lambe Hertzberg

Anyone who remembers Wigg would have to agree that Bill Wiggins was a true “Sesekinika character”.  Any history of the lake wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Wigg.

            Bill and Kay Wiggins (and their children Bruce and Val) owned the cottage on A-7 where Signey Campbell now cottages.  Because Val was my age and my friend, and because their cottage was right across the bay from ours, I saw a lot of the Wiggins. 

            Bill was a colourful character, who loved to compete, loved the show, and would do anything to put a smile on your face!   I don’t think he ever shaved at the lake.  My memory of him is one with a permanent week of stubble on his face.  He spoke out of the side of his mouth, just like our ex-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, and a cigarette often hung from it, bouncing up and down as he spoke.  When I was a six year old, I was in awe of this guy …he was so full of fun, and free-spirited.  Only after growing up did I realize how difficult it must have been for his wife Kay who had to reign in this wild man, and remind him of his responsibilities.

            Bill loved fast boats and owned one of the fastest on the lake.  It was a 25 horsepower motor on a small wooden boat.  It was in part because of Bill Wiggins that our Lake association was formed.  He wanted to have an annual Regatta where boats could race one another, and children and families could compete in swimming, canoe and row boat races.  The first Annual Sesekinika Lake Regatta was held in 1954.  It was organized by the executive of the newly formed Sesekinika Lake Cottagers Association.

            One vivid memory of Bill was on a May 24th Weekend when the water was quite high.  Our cribbed dock was completely submerged under water.  The dock extended out from the boathouse, and there was a flagpole at the very end of it, which definitely looked odd without a visible dock!  Bill came over for a visit, but before docking the boat he must have noticed that we were all on our front porch …so he had a ready audience!  With a big grin on his face, he yelled “hey Lambes, WATCH THIS!  …He then proceeded to open the engine full tilt, and drive the boat between the flagpole and the boathouse (right over the dock, which was perhaps 6 inches under the surface of the water!)  We all gasped and screamed at the sight.  The only reason he didn’t kill himself in the act, is because he lifted the motor at the very last second before reaching the dock.

            Bill Wiggins had a permanent, mischievous smile on his face.  We all thought he’d meet his demise doing some dare-devil act, but he didn’t.  His shows were perhaps better calculated than we gave him credit for.  God rest his soul.


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