The family of Bernie McDonald wore shirts of their beloved husband, father, grandfather and uncle when they crossed the new bridge on Sunday. Bernie died on Wednesday, but not before the RMS allowed him a special crossing just four days earlier.
The family of Bernie McDonald wore shirts of their beloved husband, father, grandfather and uncle when they crossed the new bridge on Sunday. Bernie died on Wednesday, but not before the RMS allowed him a special crossing just four days earlier.

Bernie fulfils dying wish to cross the new bridge

THE family of Grafton man Bernie McDonald knows he goes to his grave a happy man, having fulfilled a dying wish to cross the new Grafton bridge.

And to achieve his goal, he was able to steal a march on the rest of Grafton, by having his personal crossing the weekend before Sunday’s bridge walk.

His daughter, Robyn Harvison said it meant everything to her dad to cross the bridge.

“He came to Grafton in 1968 and even then everyone was talking about a second bridge for the city,” she said.

“He always said it was something he would never see in his lifetime.”

Ms Harvison said her father watched the progress of the bridge constantly, but realised he might not make the bridge walk on Sunday.

“We had a neighbour whose worked on the bridge and through him we were able to organise a trip across the bridge in a car last Saturday,” she said.

“You should have seen the look on dad’s face. Despite everything you could not get the smile off his face.”

They just made it. Mr McDonald died on Wednesday.

But the extended family made a special effort to honour him during Sunday’s bridge walk.

“We got all dad’s shirts and every member of the family is wearing one,” Ms Harvison said.

Mr McDonalds funeral will be held on Tueday in St Mary’s Catholic Church, Grafton.