QAHN Heritage Talks Online (No. 11):
Communities love their bridges, both metaphorically and as an important partner in their lives. Wakefield’s wooden covered bridge had linked the two sides of the Gatineau River for 70 years. This provincial highway bridge was a victim of arson and all that remained were the blackened timbers and cement piers. The community mobilized to rebuild its beloved bridge, if only as a walking bridge. This is the story of how a small community rallied and in 10 years, rebuilt their covered bridge.
Neil Faulkner was educated in England and studied science at McGill University. He joined the Federal Public Service serving first in the Canadian Arctic, and subsequently, in work relating to indigenous peoples, northern social, economic and political development, indigenous health, and the settlement of comprehensive land claims. A resident of Wakefield since 1988, he has been involved in community planning and other village organizations including the re-construction of the Gendron Bridge now called the Wakefield Covered Bridge from 1993-1998.
Joan Garnett witnessed the burning of the Gendron Bridge from her home and as a consequence, was inspired to work closely with her friends the late Norma Walsley and the late Anita Routledge on the committee to rebuild the bridge. Joan created and sold certificates as part of the fundraising efforts. “I was a riverside supervisor when the new Wakefield Covered Bridge 're-a-piered!'"