‘Orange Police’ out in force to protect ‘our’ fruit

May 27, 2011

Bingara’s school students, the custodians of Bingara’s famous orange trees, were quick to act when their precious trees came under attack recently.

During the lunch break, a group of students called their teacher to ‘come quickly Miss ….., people are stealing our oranges. They are from (an Inverell school)’.

Upon investigation, the teacher found that a car with adults and students who were in town for the zone cross country had pulled up in Finch street, and the people were picking and bagging the oranges.  After the importance of the orange trees was explained to them, the visitors stopped picking the oranges and left the scene.

Bingara Central School students have a proud history of looking after the oranges, and have thwarted several orange thefts. Under an agreement spanning more than 50 years, the children of Bingara do not pick the oranges until a day agreed upon by the Central School, RSL Club and Gwydir Shire Council.

A ceremony is held to remember the reason the Memorial trees are there, then the children are ‘let loose’ to pick the fruit. It could be to the benefit of all concerned if visitors were educated about the trees. There are signs near the intersection of Finch and Maitland Streets, perhaps individual signs, made by the children, and placed at each tree may be needed.