Wakefield woman gifted box of gifts from Canada after spectacular Facebook mix-up

When Sue Perry decided to join a local Facebook group, she could not have realised that she would soon have a group of new friends from across Wakefield. The twist? These friends lived in Wakefield, Canada - more than 3,000 miles away from Sue's home.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 9:07 am
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 9:16 am

Earlier this year, Sue Perry joined a Facebook page dedicated to buying and selling in Wakefield.

But what she did not know was that she had accidentally joined a group based in Wakefield, Quebec, more than 3,200 miles away.

Sue, from Crofton, said: “I had some things I wanted to get rid of and my son suggested I look online, so I joined a local Facebook group.

When Sue Perry decided to join a local Facebook group, she could not have realised that she would soon have a group of new friends from across Wakefield. The twist? These friends lived in Wakefield, Canada - more than 3,000 miles away from Sue's home.

“I started having a look and the things that were on offer were skis and skiing bags, and lots of warm clothing.

“I thought I’d never seen anything like this before in Wakefield, so I went back and realised what I’d done.

“I put up a post saying ‘I’ve joined the wrong one, I’m in Wakefield, UK!’

“And I thought that would be it.”

After a few weeks, locals in the other Wakefield began organising a care package of local items to send to Sue, to show her what she was missing out on. Among the items included were a local colouring book, a shirt and, of course, a bottle of maple syrup.

But the residents of Wakefield, Canada, were so enthralled by Sue’s mistake that they continued to engage with her Facebook post.

After a few weeks, local resident Scott Milton Grace suggested organising a care package of local items to send to Sue, to show her what she was missing out on.

And dozens of people quickly got involved, offering everything from food and drink to local photography books, clothes and even a copy of the town’s annual nude calendar.

Also included in the box was a letter and selection of gifts to be delivered to Wakefield’s Mayor, councillor Charlie Keith.

The gift box included everything from food and drink to local photography books, clothes and even a copy of the town’s annual nude calendar. Also included in the box was a letter and selection of gifts to be delivered to Wakefield’s Mayor, councillor Charlie Keith.

Sue said: “It sort of started as a snowflake and it’s ended as an avalanche, it’s been wonderful.

“I thought Scott was joking when he suggested it, I didn't think he was serious. But then everyone said they’d get things to send.

“It was a continuous trickle of people saying they’d like to add things. Scott had the box in his office and it quickly filled up. And then it came to me. It’s just absolutely wonderful.

“It cost them $245 to send it, but when there was no more room for anything to go in the box people gave money towards the postage.”

Although she has relatives in Canada, Sue said she had no idea that there was another Wakefield in the country before her mistake.

She has now been invited to visit her new friends abroad, and says she has no regrets about joining the wrong Facebook group.

She said: “There’s been so many people say we’ll have to come on holiday. There’s been lots of that. People said I should be the ambassador from our Wakefield to theirs. And quite a few people said we should be twinned with them.

“All this from joining the wrong group. My kids think it’s absolutely hilarious. It’s uplifting and at the same time it’s very, very humbling, it’s lovely.

“It’s been such a heartwarming experience. All this from a mistake - a very happy mistake.”

Wakefield, Quebec, is a small village located about 22 miles north of Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.

Home to around 2,000 people, it is known for its thriving arts scene, and boasts a popular hotel and spa, as well as The Blacksheep Inn, a pub popular with indie, folk and jazz acts.

And the village even has its very own Wakefield Express - a takeaway offering fire roasted pizzas, sandwiches and Chinese food.

But it is not the only familiar town in the vicinity.

Less than 50 miles to the west of Wakefield is Mansfield-et-Pontefract, a municipality home to around 2,200 people.

And to the south, over the border into Ottawa, is Canada’s Castleford, a small community which forms part of the township of Horton, which has a population of fewer than 3,000 people.

The nearby city of Gatineau is also home to a province called Hull, named after East Yorkshire’s Kingston-upon-Hull.