Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Yes, we came together at the beginning, made progress, and worked together.
Today, MCA-EC has been recognized as the vital organization for Mangaloreans in the USA East Coast to connect together and cherish the rich Mangalorean culture. I would like to provide a brief history of its genesis and demystify some of the myths surrounding its birth.
How it all began?
Our story is no different than that of the birth of several great organizations, which started at the basement of a house or at a car garage. About 8 families, all from Mangalorean origin, used to meet together and celebrate events as one big Mangalorean family.
One day, one of the members jokingly said, “I am tired of looking at the same ‘old’ faces.” That triggered the thought of expanding our family by reaching out to other fellow Mangaloreans. We all agreed, but no one took any actions. We met again (in fact, met several times) and we discussed the same thing, but no actions. Finally, I was assigned to draft an email to these 8 families and discussed to forward the email further to our friends as a chain letter.
Despite a great plan, procrastination took us nowhere. Several months passed and one day I was talking about this, my wife got to her nerves and shouted at me, “If you do not send this email today, never bring this topic again.“
Well, suddenly, I got the energy and wisdom to write the email and forwarded to 8 families with the request to forward to their friends and family members. The email contained our initial vision for the organization, logistics for our inaugural potluck meeting, and other information about how to sign up for potluck.
We booked a small park in Woodbridge, NJ for 50 people with the expectation of about 50 or so people to attend. The eight families shared most of the expenses for this maiden get-together. To our surprise, about 150 guests from over six states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Mary Land) of the East Coast graced the inaugural of the Mangalorean Catholic Association, at William Warren Park, New Jersey on Sunday June 7, 2009.
The weather was splendid, and the park provided a magnificent setting for partygoers, who enjoyed great food, wonderful company and the opportunity to meet fellow Mangalorean Catholics, thus began this awesome organization we call MCA-EC.