Balmy clear skies, pleasant breeze, shaded trees and lively spirits – even the heavens smiled and cheered as Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) concluded the Annual Family Picnic on June 24, 2017 at the Meadowvale Conservation Park, Mississauga.
With the blow of a whistle and a blaring megaphone announcement by emcee, Janet D’Souza for everyone to gather, the festivities began with a prayer invoking God’s blessings and some housekeeping rules.
The first game was for children ages 5 and under and they eagerly played “Passing the ball”. Other new and innovative games such as Leap Frog, Dodge ball, Bottle game and Arm race tested the agility and balance of the children who participated wholeheartedly.
It was gratifying to note that the picnic grounds had a huge gathering of teenagers and young adults who played to win yet demonstrated sportsmanship and enthusiasm. Our seniors were not to be left out as they played Bean Bag Toss with precision and aim. The Family relay was unique as it brought families together in a game of co-operation and mutual competitiveness
Lunch was a delicious array of potluck dishes ranging from sannas, pork, samosas, salads and vegetables. With a thanksgiving prayer, people respectfully and graciously helped themselves to the laid out buffet.
50/50 and Bingo tickets were sold by the committee members after which delicious watermelon was served courtesy of Paul Mathias.
Group games such as volley ball and throw ball generated immense interest among the men and women. Women, young and old, rolled up their sleeves and prepared to play a spirited and aggressive yet enjoyable game of throw ball. The men flexed their muscles and arms and demonstrated their killer instincts and winning edge during the volley ball game. Every single participant in the two games had a thrilling set of games.
The referees, Charles D’Souza and Reynold Sequeira conducted the games ensuring fairplay.
What is a picnic without water? The Water Balloon Throw is one of the most popular organized games among children and adults. As the line-up was formed, men, women and children 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.
Tug O War! That heavy rope which determines sheer brute strength, technique and team work! Men and women, children and teens did not hesitate to form teams and in a show of unity heave themselves to victory and the other team to defeat.
While the games were being played, the MAC ladies prepared masala tea and served it with biscuits. Content and replete with a hot cuppa chai, it was time for the 50/50 draw and Bingo. Ably conducted by Reynold Sequeira, the winners were thrilled to make some money.
Manohar Pais, President of MAC introduced Vidya Alvares, the Sports Secretary who successfully masterminded the Annual Picnic and the games. He also presented the remainder of his Executive Committee members and highlighted their portfolios.
Olwin Pereira, Cultural Co-ordinator thanked the community as well as committee members who worked hard to organize the event. A shout out to Ivan Lobo whose camera and photographic skills captured the memorable event and action in beautiful pictures.
As the sun set in the horizon, the evening came to an end, people folded their umbrellas, packed their belongings and left tired but 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.