Justin Golding runs Golding’s Gully Fruit Market in the outer north-eastern Adelaide suburb of Tea Tree Gully and admits he’s “completely useless in a crisis”.
“I know my limitations,” the greengrocer said.
Over the weekend, he found himself in the middle of one as the devastating South Australian bushfires, which have destroyed 38 homes and burnt 13,000 hectares of land, swept through the area.
Golding packed up his wife and son and sent them to relatives as he and neighbours in the nearby suburb of Surrey Downs prepared to defend their homes, pulling an all-nighter on Friday, hose in hand, before finally getting to bed on Saturday afternoon.
“You never know with these things. My house is all garden and I grow some things for the shop,” he said.
Luckily, their homes were never threatened, but on Sunday he closed his fruit shop due to the smoke.
On Monday he decided to say thanks to the locals firies at the country fire service (CFS) shed 400 metres up the road and took them 50kg of watermelon, 10kg of bananas and, as a treat, 5kg of cherries.
He wrote out an invoice for $125 for his own records, just to keep track of stock – “I am a businessmen after all” – and posted it on Facebook “to show my regular customers what we were doing for the CFS”.
The fruit came with a “Pure awesomeness discount 100%” as a little joke.
“Thank you to all our CFS members. You are awesome,” Golding said on Facebook.
And that’s when the internet took over. While the photo has gone viral and global, Business Insider was the first person to actually call and speak to Golding.
“It’s a bit out of control and embarrassing,” he confessed.
“It thought I’d take some fruit up to them. I didn’t do it for recognition.”
Still, it’s a welcome reminder that it’s good to do something nice for others.
And the KCCO at the end of the invoice?
It’s the fruit shop’s motto: Keep Calm and Chive On.
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