Annual picnic of Lakshmi Narayan Mandir at Neilson Park, Scarborough

Lakshmi Narayan Mandir Picnic

Toronto/CMEDIA: This year our Picnic was organized by the joint efforts of Ashwani Bhardwaj, the President of Lakshmi Narayan Mandir and Shakuntla Varma, the President of the Seniors Golden Group.

The picnic was held on Sat July 15, 2023 at Neilson Park, Scarborough located at Neilson Road and is easily accessible by bus and Wheel Transit. Our Seniors didn’t have to walk that much.

The picnic time was 11am to 4pm.

People started reaching the park by 10:30 am including myself and the directors of the Seniors Club to set up everything. Ashwani ji and Naval ji also arrived to help with the preparations for the picnic. There were a lot of people there by 11am.

The event was started by Shakuntala Ji by reciting Gayatri Mantra

The venue being very close to the parking lot it was very convenient for the attendees of the picnic.
The weather was beautiful and sunny.

I believe the picnic was attended by almost 140-145 people

Finally the Snacks arrived that were sponsored by Rajan Sharda the Branch Manager of ICICI Bank located at Steeles and Middlefield.

People enjoyed the delicious samosas, Vadas and mouth watering Gulab Jamuns followed by Tim Hortons tasty coffee. Everyone was socializing and enjoying the food. Jyotsna and Haresh Pandya helped serve the Snacks and the Lunch.

Serving of the snacks

Thanks to all the directors and Volunteers who helped serve the food and coffee. There was good music playing while people were having Snacks.

People enjoying snacks

It was time for the games now. We set up the favourite game of Everyone; Throw a Ball Through The Hoop.

This year men and women equally took part in this game. Many people succeeded at the first trial. Then I increased the distance and it was quite challenging to get the Ball through the Hoop. Eventually, we had two people winning the first and second prize.

Musical Chairs was the next game played.

Mainly women participated in this game. It took some time to complete this game because there were so many female members who took part in it and everyone wanted to win. Eventually we had our First and Second Prizes won and the game finished.

It was Time For Lunch.

Delicious food was cooked at Mandir in the morning by the members of the Golden Group. Lunch included Puri, Chhole, Rice and Greek Fruit Yogurt and lots of bottles of water. People praised the food and enjoyed eating it.

The line for the lunch started.

Lunch being served

Here I must mention the names of the members of the Golden Group who assisted in the cooking of the food starting 10:30 am. The names included Savita Chaba , Anita and Naval Grotra . Indu and Rampal Paliwal and Asha Bhanot. Naval ji brought the food to the park and also helped serve the food. Special mention of Daksh Vasudeva, son of Tarun Vasudeva, who also served the food. Amita Gupta assumed the entire responsibility of overseeing the food distribution.

Thanks to all the other volunteers who helped in any other way.

People enjoying lunch

After having food, people were still sitting under the Shed and relaxing.

Last Game: Pass The Parcel

The parcel game then started. A small parcel is passed along and the music is playing. When the music stops, the person who has the parcel pulls a slip from a bag and tries to answer the question on the slip.

Most of the questions are about the Golden Group, Our Temple and of course Canada , our home now.

There were some gifts given out during this game.

Some songs were sung and good time was had by everyone.

Prize Distribution

Finally, the first and second prizes were distributed to the winners of the games.
Raffle draw was done and for first and second prizes. Some people started to leave by this time.

Last Hurrah

There were still two groups left in the park. One group enjoyed the Card Game , while the second group played the game of Antakshari. It’s always fun to play this game , sing and dance. It was a good mix of old and not so old songs. It was time to pack up everything and say good bye to everyone.

The event Concluded at 4 pm.

It was really an enjoyable and Memorable Day!!!

Until Next Picnic……..

Written By: Shakuntla Varma, The President of Seniors Golden Group

All Photo and video credits: Mr Desai and Naval Grotra.