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MAC Annual Picnic – 2018

Report by Janet D’souza
Photography by Ivan Lobo

June 23, 2018 dawned cloudy and unpredictable with no hint or even a glimmer of sunshine. Anxious eyes scanned the Weather Network and frantic looks turned towards the skies trying to read between the stormy clouds and rain. Nevertheless, brave Mangalorean’s flocked to the Annual Picnic organised by the Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) at the Meadowvale Conservation Park, Mississauga. After some warm breakfast, socializing and prayers for sunshine, safety and fun, the picnic was an official “go”. A round of free Bingo set the mood for the picnic while the MAC banner and gazebo was set up.

The MAC team did a great job of being creative with the organized group games for all the picnic participants. With the blow of a whistle and blaring megaphone announcements, games such as Head or Tail, Don’t drop the Ball and Distribute the Cards were conducted. These were a huge success with children between the ages of 2-10 years. All contestants received a tasty treat while the winners won prizes. Men and women participated with great enthusiasm and displayed their competitive talents. Each game was designed to bring families and friends closer and enhance the community spirit. Our seniors displayed their enthusiasm and mettle with the Ring Toss, an innovative and fun game that required aim and a keen eye. The Water Balloon Throw is one of the most popular organized games among all people and this year, there was a serpentine queue of participants. People coached their partners on throwing and catching techniques. With much yelling and screaming and at the blow of the whistle, the balloons broke and drenched the unfortunate but the lucky winners were the ones who caught the water balloon without breaking it.

The volley ball and throw ball games generated great competitive and friendly spirits as spectator’s yelled encouragement to the teams. People participated wholeheartedly and enjoyed an aggressive game of throw ball and volleyball. The Tug-O-War contest was elevated to an Olympic sport at the MAC picnic as men and women girded their loins and put in their best effort. Men and women, children and teens did not hesitate to form teams and in a show of unity heaved themselves to victory and the other team to defeat. When the gauntlet was thrown, the challenge was accepted – men against women in a test of strength, strategy and numbers. Women were the winners in this sport of brute strength.

The potluck during lunch was a medley of dishes – tasty Mangalorean delicacies interspersed with pasta, crepes and scrumptious desserts. Freshly brewed ginger and cardamom tea accompanied by tea biscuits were served to provide some respite from the cooler temperatures and misty rain. While the people sipped on their tea, MAC organized another round of Bingo. Monetary prizes were awarded to the delight of the crowd and the winners walked away with a tidy amount. Paul and Irene Mathias, founder members of MAC have been a consistent support to MAC throughout the years. One of their contributions involves providing fresh juicy watermelons at the picnic and this year, the tradition continued to the utter delight of the picnic participants.

As the sun slowly sank and children slowed their pace, it was time to pack up and leave a much enjoyed community picnic. This event would not have been possible without the efforts of MAC members, who worked hard to ensure that the picnic was a resounding success. A special shout out to Olwin and Vidya Pereira who organized, managed and executed a flawless picnic program with outstanding results. Finally, our sincere appreciation goes to the Mangalorean community and the volunteers without whom there would be no picnic.

For pictures of the event click on link below:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/9bLJVjemhTS2L32YA

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