MCA-EC Holds Decennial Year Summer Picnic
USA: Saturday, June 8, 2019, was a beautiful day in Bridgewater, NJ’s Duke Island Park—the perfect day for the Mangalorean Catholic Association EC, Inc. (MCA-EC) to hold its annual Summer Picnic! 10 years ago, the organization was formed at the first Summer Picnic. They celebrated this monumental occasion with exciting sports and entertaining games for all ages, scrumptious Mangalorean food, and bumping music.
Picnic attendees had no problems finding Duke Island Park’s Pavilion Grove; they simply followed the melodies of Konkani, Hindi, and English songs presented by the MCA-EC’s very own DJ Vijai Furtado. As they entered, they were greeted at registration by Treasurer Ben Sequeira, Anne Sequeira, Bruno Sequeira, and Sonia Sequeira. An authentic Mangalorean breakfast was prepared by Tony Seravo’s Mangalore Kitchen caterers. Everyone ate upma, poha, vadas, and muffins to their heart’s content. This was paired with Assamese masala chai and coffee.
The day’s events were kicked off by our young, dynamic emcees Shyna Quadras and Anuj D’Souza, who were assisted throughout the day by Monti D’Cunha and DJ Vijai. They joyously welcomed all of the attendees into the park. Thereafter, they introduced Spiritual Director Fr. Ron Machado to lead the day with a prayer. Running around and documenting it all were our excellent photographers, Christopher Monis, Don Lewis, Anuj D’Souza, Merlin Mendonca, Angela Jozsef, and Nancy Castelino.
The sports and games were soon kicked off as the teams took to the field. Cricket was managed by General Secretary Eric Correa, while Saritha Pinto refereed the throwball teams. Meanwhile, Melrin Sequeira, Sunil Lobo, and Simona Fernandes kept everyone else busy with various games, including the sack race, langdi, and tail tag. Even our youngest members, aged 0-2, had the chance to participate in a gift lottery led by Vice President Lloyd Fernandes.
At 12:30 pm, the attendees spent a moment in silence praying for world peace, under Pope Francis’s directive. Immediately following the minute of prayer, our six attendees in this year’s cooking competition started to prepare and unveil their dishes. The chefs were tasked with preparing a dukra maas-inspired dish, and we saw some creative entries:
Mark Mendonca: DukraAas
Merlin Mendonca: PorkyFry
Nancy Fernandes: Piggy Bites
Sabina Monis: MPB (Moodubelle Pork Bhakri)
Premilla Mendonca: Pork chili (Indian pork with Chinese sauces)
Saritha Pinto: Indhadh
After our judges had a chance to taste and score the 6 dishes, everyone got the chance to dig in and try a bite of the delicious pork. It was certainly a tough call! In the end, the prize was awarded to Mark Mendonca for his DukraAas.
All that playing and seeing the well-presented cooking competition dishes certainly whet some appetites! After a grace led by Fr. Ron, the delicious buffet of authentic Mangalorean food was opened to refuel the attendees. People enjoyed such delicacies as chicken sukka, vegetable stew, dukra maas, and sannas, also catered by Tony Seravo’s Mangalore Kitchen. Regional Coordinator Jennifer Fernandes, Ivan D’Souza, Anita Pinto, Mark Mendonca, Simona Fernandes, Fr. Ron Machado, Nancy Castelino, Norbert Mendes, and Rima D’Souza worked hard to set up and serve the lunch. The ice gola station was opened thereafter, for a cooling sweet treat.
Sports and games continued thereafter. While the cricket and throwball teams played their final matches, MCA-EC’s younger members took part in the first ever lagori (7 tiles) tournament! They ran, jumped, and dodged to win the cup for their teams.
Evening tea and snacks were served. Murukku, banana chips, orange cream cookies, and chocolate cookies were generously donated by Bob and Olivia Vaz of Babco Foods International. Attendees also enjoyed juicy watermelon and buttery popcorn.
After snacks, the new executive board had their first chance to introduce themselves to the members of the organization.
President Clayton Monis
Vice President Lloyd Fernandes
Treasurer Ben Sequeira
General Secretary Eric Correa
Regional Coordinator Jennifer Fernandes
The board members took the opportunity to felicitate last year’s board members, advisory council members, and gurkars/gurkarns were felicitated with plaques for their contributions to the organization and for the example they’ve set. Thereafter, they handed out ornate trophies, medals, and certificates bearing the logo of the organization to the winners of the various sports and games:
Bucket and Balls (3-12)
1st Place: Aston Seravo
2nd Place: Irel D’souza
Spoon and Marble Race (3-12)
1st Place: Aaron D’souza
2nd Place: Isha D’souza
Sack Race (9-15)
1st Place: Matthew Pinto,
2nd Place: Liston Lobo
Tail Tag (10-22)
1st Prize: Isha D’souza
2nd Prize: Orran Mendonca
Catch the Flag (10-22)
3-Legged Race (10-22)
1st Place: Ben Shu and Brandon Sequeira
2nd Place: Simona Fernandes and Melanie Mendonca
Passing the hoop (45+)
1st Place: Don Lewis
2nd Place: Manoj Pinto
Spoon and Marble (45+)
1st Place: Mark Mendonca
2nd Place: Bruno Sequeira
Men – Cricket:
Fr. Ron Machado
Women – Throwball:
Growing stars – Lagori (7 tiles)
There were many other people for President Clayton Monis to thank at the end of the event, especially all of the volunteers who made the day so enjoyable. The pictures are a testament to all the efforts of members and attendees. Additionally, the board members thanked an anonymous sponsor who chose to donate $500 after an enjoyable day in the park.
Finally, the event wrapped up with the organization’s signature picnic group picture. Steven Aranha got everyone participating in one last game—the tug of war. Everyone had a great time, pulling with the might they had left after a long, fun day.