Friends gather to talk about the past at the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge during the tenth anniversary celebration held on October 22.  Picture are Sigi Liebman

Friends gather to talk about the past at the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge during the tenth anniversary celebration held on October 22. Picture are Sigi Liebman

Ten years later, a bridge reunites the past

The celebration of 10 years since the construction of the pedestrian bridge brought friends from all over North America back together.

To the sounds of great applause Mayor of Golden Christina Benty opened the celebration by announcing, “I feel incredibly privileged to have the honour to welcome you all here today to the 10th anniversary of the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge.”

Benty said that she had gone online to watch a video from 10 years ago and what struck her the most was the change and development of the area around where the bridge was put.

“It really was the initial trigger in the much needed transformation of the downtown,” she said. She credited the hard work of people involved with the project who fought to have the project completed. “This bridge has become symbolic of the spirit of volunteerism and international co-operation that took place in our community,” she added.

Also on hand at the event were a number of dignitaries and people who helped bring the dream of the bridge to a reality.

Former mayor of Golden Walter (Red) Scott, who was mayor during the discussions leading up to the bridge being built spoke about the history of the bridge.

He explained the long process that the people in the town along with council went through to make the bridge reality happen.

“You take a community like ours and you put together all of the volunteers that make it happen. I am not just talking about our bridge…every little organization in this town is run by volunteers. We should be very proud to live and be a part of a community like this,” Scott said.

Cathy Williams who was one of the organizers of the anniversary event spoke highly of the people who came together to see that something happened to celebrate the bridge’s creation a decade ago.

Joel McCarty is a member of the Timber Framers Guild who was a part of the group that volunteered their time and energy to build the bridge. Now the Executive Director of the guild McCarty said it was a pleasure to be on hand and see many friends.

“All I got is gratitude for you all. We made a small change in your town but you made a huge change in our lives,” McCarty said. “We have done about 66 projects over the years and we have never been as welcomed or fed or well celebrated.”

He went on to thank the local Sikh community who he said quietly helped many of the framers from the United States after the 9/11 attacks which happened as the build was part way completed.

As the speeches ended people slowly made their way on to the bridge to see  pictures of people who worked on the construction and development 10 years ago but have passed away in the subsequent time.