Friday 27 June 2014

Did you bring the watermelon? Picnic season is here!

In parks and on beaches, in forest clearings and on church lawns, picnics are happening everywhere and Catholics know how to picnic right. Part fellowship and part fundraiser, picnics have taken place in the Archdiocese of Toronto since at least 1865. In that year, Fr. Jamot wrote to Bishop Lynch regarding a picnic that was being planned as a fundraiser for the House of Providence.

"Yesterday evening we had a well attended meeting for the Pic-Nic for the House of Providence; everyone is very much in earnest; those who spoke, did so in a very flattering manner for the good sisters; I believe that [the]  Pic-Nic will be a perfect success."

This photo was taken at a picnic held by the St. Paul's (elementary school) Old Boys Association at the Milne farm in 1929:

Good to know that nose-picking children existed in the 1920s. 
Why so serious? It's a picnic!
These gentlemen are well dressed for a picnic on a farm.
How many bow ties or three-piece suits do you think you would see at a modern picnic?

It would seem that not everyone enjoys posing.

This photo was taken at a Knights of Columbus picnic on Centre Island in 1923:

It's easy to tell who couldn't sit still.
"Look at the camera! Look at the camera!"
Is that a real beard?
These children don't look too impressed. They'd rather be running around!
I hope the straw boater hat comes back into fashion for men. So dapper!

The next two photos are from a St. Bernard de Clairvaux Parish picnic in the 1960s:

The egg-and-spoon race: as much of a classic in the 1960s as it is now. The game originated in England in the 1890s!
They may have been less safe, but playgrounds used to be way more fun!

The chancery office employees had a lovely picnic in the cathedral garden in 1989:

Brenda (centre) remembers this day because it was her birthday, and because she was stung by a bee and couldn't come to work for three days!

Can you spot a famous young archivist?

Let these photos inspire you to get out and picnic this summer! Check out BlogTO for a list of great Toronto picnic spots, or get out of the city and enjoy one of Ontario's many Conservation Areas or Provincial Parks.

In the archives, our favourite picnic spot is the garden at the Rosehill Resevoir followed by a walk through David A. Balfour park.

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