The Bingara Orange Festival, this year celebrating 150 years of public education in Bingara, was probably the biggest since the festival’s inception. The Festival was officially opened on Saturday morning by Member for Northern Tablelands, Richard Torbay. Aso in attendance were Mayor, John Coulton, and Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, who rode his push bike from Warialda to Bingara for the occasion.
“The orange trees lining Finch Street have become a symbol of community pride and a unique living memorial to Bingara’s fallen in World Wars I and II,” Mr. Torbay said. “This memorial has continued since the 1960s and the tradition has been passed down from one generation to the next.”
Mr. Torbay spoke of the history of the Orange Festival since its inception in 1998, held to celebrate the memorial and Bingara’s cultural heritage. He also mentioned the Orange Cook Off and Busking competitions which were features of the festival this year.
“This year is special too, marking the Bingara Central School’s sesquicentenary,” Mr. Torbay said. “Congratulations to Principal Mark vale and all those who have worked so hard to make this a special occasion. “Bingara’s first public school had a student enrolment of only 20. The recent addition of Years 11 and 12 has made significant difference in recent times.”
The celebration of 150 years of public education in Bingara brought a large number of former students of what is now Bingara Central School back to town. The dinner at the Civic Centre on Saturday night saw 410 people crowded into the Civic Centre. The MC for the dinner was former Primary School Captain and reporter with Channel 7, Hugh Whitfeld.
A well attended ecumenical service held at the school following breakfast on Sunday.