This humble fruit market is making a huge difference in Ballarat

Pick of the bunch: Members of the No. 23 Masonic Social Committee ready fruit for sale in Delacombe, with money heading to local charities including the 3BA Christmas in July appeal and the Cops 'N Kids Camp.
Pick of the bunch: Members of the No. 23 Masonic Social Committee ready fruit for sale in Delacombe, with money heading to local charities including the 3BA Christmas in July appeal and the Cops 'N Kids Camp.

A humble annual fruit sale is paying huge dividends for Ballarat’s charities. 

The No. 23 Masonic Social Committee donated $3000 to the 3BA Christmas in July appeal, to go toward food, toys and other essentials for Ballarat families suffering hardship over the cold winter months. 

The upcoming November Cops ‘n Kids camp also received a $1,500 donation partially drawn from the money raised at the fruit sale. 

No. 23 Masonic Social Committee president Ken Jenkin said lodge members were hands on in preparing the fruit, with the Cops ‘N Kids camp an important “action-packed event” to support. 

“The fruit is collected by lodge members direct from the grower in Shepparton, then re-packaged into 5kg lots for sale to the general public,” he said. 

“The camp was originally established by members of the Ballarat Police who wanted to provide an entertaining and invigorating experience for children with cancer.

“It should come as no surprise that a highlight of the action-packed schedule for most kids is the chance to meet members of the Victoria Police in person and travel in police cars and the police bus.”

The fruit sale happens each year in the farm supplier Hewitt and Whitty’s Delacombe store, with the company also providing a truck to pick up the fruit. 

The fruit is collected by lodge members direct from the grower in Shepparton, then re-packaged into 5kg lots for sale to the general public.

No. 23 Masonic Social Committee president Ken Jenkin

The group is a sub-committee of the Sturt-Buninyong United Lodge No. 23, which meets in monthly.

The lodge was formed in 1858, and has been at Warrenheip Street, Buninyong since 1906. 

In excess of $50,000 has been distributed by the social committee to local groups and organisations since 1999.

Freemasons Foundation Victoria donated $2000 of the overall 3BA Christmas in July appeal money. The appeal provides non-perishables and monetary donations to the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Anglicare and Uniting Ballarat.