In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in the month of October. Our American neighbors (being further to the south and - therefore - warmer) celebrate the holiday on the fourth Thursday in November.
At the Metropolitan Community Church here in Toronto we celebrate Thanksgiving (as well as Christmas) with a huge 'potluck' dinner in our cavernous Social Hall. Recently the church board hired a new Assistant Pastor ( the Rev. Kevin Downer - an American and a delightful man). As a newcomer to us - and to Canada - he is prone to making gaffes at which we laugh heartily.
As the Rev Dr Brent Hawkes - our Senior Pastor - had other commitments it was left to Kevin to be our 'host'. When it came time for speeches he got up on the stage and took over. He tried to give a history of our Canadian Thanksgiving but committed some errors much to the amusement of the rest of us.
In the Saturday edition of the Toronto Star there was an article about the history of our Canadian celebration of Thanksgiving. Whereas our American cousins know that the initial Thanksgiving was celebrated at Plymouth Rock (in Massachusetts?) where the pilgrims were thanking God for a safe passage across the Atlantic Ocean.
The article in the Toronto Star enumerated a number of events in Canadian history that could have given rise to our autumnal celebration. However - it is understood that the initial celebration was arranged by Captain John Frobisher who explored much of the Arctic Ocean including an inlet found along the southern shore of Baffin Island which is now named Frobisher Sound. This is quite a lengthy inlet bounded on both sides by high banks - cliffs? - where it would be easy for a small vessel to become trapped by a sudden deep freeze so Frobisher was grateful for a safe voyage.
Kevin is a delightful man and - as he is a relatively newcomer among us - he does get local (and historical) information wrong. He was not accurate in relating the details of Frobisher's exploration and got the facts mixed up much to the amusement of the rest of us.
I am adding a photo taken in the Social Hall yesterday afternoon. The huge crowd shown is only a part of the throng which came with their offerings of food and there was more than enough to go around.
Naturally - there was turkey on the menu (with cranberry sauce), mashed potatoes, vegetables and stuffing and gravy. This was followed by a wide assortment of dessert items. While I did not notice any pumpkin pies I am sure that there were some.
I did not linger long after I had consumed my meal but returned home on the transit to be greeted by Toby who is always thankful to see me return.