Report by Janet D’souza
Photographs by Ivan Lobo

“I don’t ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are, and they are beautiful.” Pete Hamill

Nary a cloud in the sky nor a hint of precipitation but just a whisper of a delightful breeze and bright warm sunshine!  It was as if God himself had painted the sky a scintillating blue and blessed the Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) with a flawless day to bring the community together.  MAC hosted yet another successful event, the Annual Family Picnic on June 22, 2019 at the Meadowvale Conservation Area, Mississauga. 

The festivities began with a prayer and an opening address from Vidya Alvares, the emcee for the day.  Little kids enthusiastically played Passing the Parcel and won treats and gifts for their participation.  Animated and excited children ran all over the park to capture the scattered multi colored leis in the Caterpillar Hunt game.  The creative Step Folder game tested the agility and balance of teenagers who hopped, tethered precariously on one foot yet buoyed by shouts of encouragement raced towards the finish line.   Our seniors came in large numbers to test their aim and strength and displayed their awesome prowess as they knocked the trolls in the Wooden Trip a Troll game.

What is a picnic without the quintessential group games such as volleyball, throw ball and tug-of-war? Women rolled up their sleeves and prepared to play a vigorous and aggressive yet enjoyable game of throw ball.  Men flexed their muscles and demonstrated killer instincts and a winning edge during the volley ball match.  The perfect summer day deserves the ideal water game, the Water Balloon Toss.  Partners formed a line up and faced their partners.  Each coached their partners on the throw and catch technique.  It was gratifying and fun to watch the intent expressions on the competitors faces as they focused on getting the water balloon across to their partners without dropping it.  Tug O War – that Olympian heavy rope symbolizing sheer brute strength, technique and collaboration mobilized men, women and teens to put on their best performance. 

All this exercise and sport made the participants and their families very hungry.  While the tables were being prepared, Manohar Pais, President of the Mangalorean Association of Canada thanked the people for their involvement and patience and also shared details of the 12th Annual MFSI Cricket Tournament.  Proceeds from this tournament will go towards fighting hunger.  Lunch was then served after a short prayer and was a delicious buffet of Mangalorean dishes such as Baffat, Italian dishes such as pasta, salads, beans and vegetables.  To quench the thirst and cool the palates, MAC generously served scoops of ice cream, a treat much enjoyed by everyone.  MAC members and volunteers sold Bingo tickets while Paul Mathias, a magician when it comes to delectable watermelons, cut and served slices of the mouthwatering fruit to all. 

While the volley ball and throw ball final matches ensued, the MAC ladies prepared a delightful blend of tea and served it with biscuits. Satiated and replete with a hot cuppa, it was time to play Bingo.  Winners were thrilled to make some money while resting under the shade of the gazebo.  As the sun descended into the distant horizon, people folded their umbrellas, packed their belongings, waved goodbyes and left tired but content, smiling and happy to share in the camaraderie and joy of being outdoors with family and friends.

A huge shout out and sincere appreciation to Vidya Alvares, Vice President, for her inimitable emceeing of the event, Ivan Lobo for capturing animated and priceless moments with his camera, and Charles D’Souza, Sports Coordinator for organizing and coordinating the program and games.  MAC was tremendously successful in bringing the community together, providing a venue and a platform for new immigrants and members to mingle, get to know each other and have a fun day as well.  Our many thanks to the members and volunteers who devoted their time, energy and skills to help accomplish a sensational and fun event.

Click below for pictures:

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