Mangalorean Association of Canada Holds Annual Family Picnic 2016
Canada: A warm heat accompanied with a gentle breeze just enough to cool the fine sheen of sweat, shaded trees, the gazebo and tents, picnic chairs and lively spirits – it appeared as if Providence himself had decided upon a perfect day for a family picnic. The Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) organized its annual family picnic on June 25, 2016, at the Meadowvale Conservation Park, Mississauga.
With a prayer and an opening address from Maxim D’Mello, President of MAC and blaring megaphone announcements, the festivities began with games for young kids such as Passing the Candy and running with a ball between the legs. The Sack race and the 3-legged race tested the agility and balance of the teenagers who hopped, straggled or ran towards the finish line. There were many who fell but buoyed by shouts of encouragement from the sidelines, they picked themselves up and finished the race. The Lemon and Spoon race was another fun game that tested the balance and determination of our youth. Not to be left out, moms and dads participated wholeheartedly perhaps reliving their youth and to prove that they are as capable as the younger generation. Our seniors were not to be left out and displayed their aim and mettle at Bocce Ball. The Water Balloon Throw is one of the most awaited games enjoyed by both adults and children alike. As the line-up was formed, men and women coached their partners on throwing and catching techniques. Poof! Splat! The balloons broke and drenched the unfortunate but the lucky winners were the ones who were able to successfully catch a water balloon without breaking it.
What is a picnic without the quintessential volleyball, throw ball and tug-of-war? The sunny temperatures and the picnic mood brought out the sportsmanship spirit in all the competitors as men, women and teenagers battled to win the team games. The tug-of-war with its aggressive tactics was a pleasure to watch as each side heaved, pulled and grunted to ensure its victory. The contestants clearly enjoyed the exercise, a testimony to the skill and physical strength.
It was then time for lunch. Led in prayer by MAC’s spiritual advisor, Fr Edwin D’Souza, people helped themselves to a melange of dishes. Ranging from samosas to butter chicken, pasta to salad, everyone enjoyed a quiet meal with family and friends. Vorn, a delicacy of Mangalore, was generously served and thoroughly relished by all. The second round of activities ensued with MAC members selling tickets for a 50/50 draw and Bingo. Sweet, luscious and juicy watermelon cleansed the palates and provided a cool respite to the afternoon heat.
With a traditional cuppa ‘chai’ and biscuits, it was time for the winners of the 50/50 draw to be announced. People sat in the shade ready for a round of Bingo and once done, it was finally time to wind down a fun filled day of incessant activity and games.
As the sun set over the horizon and the youth played their last games, tired yet satiated people folded their umbrellas, packed their belongings and left content, smiling and happy to mingle with old friends, share a gossip or two or just soak in the sun with fellow Mangaloreans. MAC was tremendously successful in its objective to bring the community together, provide a venue to meet and mingle and offer opportunities for our youth to have a day of fun yet show initiative and leadership.
The Mangalorean Association of Canada appreciates the tremendous efforts and time expended by its members, families and the volunteers. Without each one’s contributions, the picnic would not have been the successful event it was.
By Janet D’Souza
Pictures by Ivan Lobo