By Andrew Vaccaro
Originally hosted by KSCV Wodonga Branch Member, Barney Gehrig (now hosted by his son Bernie), it became known as ‘Barney’s Picnic’, and the name has stuck ever since. Being hosted in the same location for over 50 years by Rutherglen, Wodonga, Myrtleford and Wangaratta Branches, ‘Barney’s’ has become a KSCV institution, one of those events that makes being a Knight a joyous experience. 2020 was the only year we missed ‘Barney’s’, for obvious reasons.
Members who take the coach from Melbourne to Barnawatha have the privilege of stopping for breakfast at Longwood, organised by former Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria State Chairman, Tom Brodie. This breakfast, much like a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and the Vatican, is something every Knight must do at least once in his life, mainly for the bacon, sausage, and egg in bread! And that is quite literal − the fried egg is embedded in the bread!
Upon arrival of the Melbourne visitors, the day begins with Mass celebrated on the banks of the Murray, beneath a tree that is on consecrated ground. This year’s Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of Sandhurst, Shane Mackinlay, and concelebrated by KSCV State Chaplain and Parish Priest of the Catholic Parish of Greater Box Hill, Fr Tony Kerin, and retired priest Fr Michael Grace.
As Barney’s is held on Divine Mercy Sunday, the Gospel and Homily every year references ‘Doubting Thomas’. Masses in recent years have been celebrated by Sandhurst Bishop emeritus and International Alliance of Catholic Knights (IACK) Chaplain, Most Rev. Lesie Tomlinson.
Following the Mass, KSCV members from throughout Victoria and southern New South Wales gathered together for a great lunch prepared by local KSCV members, followed by long chatty catch-ups over the next few hours and concluding with a raffle. Then, for the Melbourne visitors, the long journey home begins.
Andrew Vaccaro is the State Secretary of The Knights of the Southern Cross (Victoria) Inc.
CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS IN SEPTEMBER
The Knights of the Southern Cross will be celebrating their centenary on 10 September 2022. Save the date!
The Order of the Knights of the Southern Cross is a national organisation of Catholic laymen who operate with the support of the Australian Bishops; St Mary of the Cross MacKillop is the Patron. Membership is open to all practising Catholic men; for details on the Sandhurst Diocese branch please contact Colin Runnalls phone 5446 2733.
Knights are committed to strengthening their faith, supporting the Church, promoting vocations and support for seminarians, assisting with the implementation of projects in local parishes and making the community a better place.