The annual Bingara Orange Picking celebrations were extra special this year due to the 100 year commemoration of our ANZACs. Planted as a living memorial to Bingara’s fallen in World Wars I and II the Orange tree play a very special role in the community, particularly to the students of Bingara Central.
A juicy Orange picked by smiley faced Bingara Central student, Sophie Small.
The ceremony and harvest proved to be a moving occasion as students, locals and visitors gathered to commemorate and celebrate in an event like no other in the region.
Addressing the gathering was Bingara Central School captain, Mary-Ellen Honeysett who spoke of her own personal experiences of Orange Picking and the memories she will continue to cherish for years to come. “Let us take a moment to reflect on the reasons we are here today. It is more than just picking oranges,” said Mary-Ellen.
“Our community planted these wonderful orange trees as a memorial to the soldiers who did not return from war. We remember them. “We are indeed fortunate to belong to this wonderful community, one that has shown the younger generations the meaning of respect. I am, and will always be proud to be a Bingara kid.”
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall also attended the ceremony.
“These oranges that we are about to pick and the trees that they grow from represent something far more important than a bit of fun or a bit of juice, or something to eat at the end of it,” he said. “They represent a huge amount of personal sacrifice, personal service, selflessness, of people that came a long time before you and a long time before me to protect our country and fight for something bigger than themselves, than Bingara, than their own families, even this country.”
“I think this is a wonderful thing that the Bingara community has, a wonderful tradition, a very unique way of remembering those who served from this community. I don’t know of any other community across New South Wales or indeed Australia that has a memorial grove like this where every year we gather to pick the oranges and have a bit of fun, but more important to remember what has come before.”