Sunday 24 September 23: Our 1952 Head Prefect, and life-long Wynberg Man has passed away leaving an extraordinary Wynberg legacy. Fritz lives on as a giant at Wynberg, SA Cricket and community … loved by all. Rest in peace, Old Boy:
13th Headmaster, Keith Richardson writes:
On Sunday 24th September 2023, Fritz Bing died two days after his 89th birthday and after nearly a year of hospital visits and the trauma of losing both his legs.
He has been part of my life since I first started teaching at Wynberg in 1975. I was made teacher in charge of the cricket kit room and part of my duties was to buy all the school’s cricket equipment from AP Jones in Fish Hoek – and that is when I first met Fritz. We hit it off from that moment on. A mutual love of cricket and a similar sense of humour ensured a lifelong friendship. It is definitely true that when you are in the presence of good people, you are continually reminded that they are good by their demeanour and their actions. Even when I went to visit Fritz in the last few months of his life when he was in ongoing pain, his positive influence always enabled me to leave uplifted and inspired by his cheerfulness and his dogged determination not to let his affliction get him down.
I have a number of images of Fritz: Supervising the braai fire like the lord of the manor at his home in Noordhoek where his four boys grew up – and where I just recollect laughter and fun; in the Presidents Bay with Jenny where he had regular seats as a reward for decades of service to WP (and SA) cricket and I would hazard with some accuracy that he never missed a day of test cricket at Newlands; sitting on the bench on the bank of the Jacques Kallis Oval supporting Wynberg cricket in his capacity as Patron of Wynberg Cricket – a duty he took very seriously; attending without fail every Founders Day Ceremony at Wynberg with his great pals, Dave and Joy Stewart. How poignant to think that the 2023 Ceremony, which he bravely attended in his wheelchair a few weeks ago, would be his last.
My favourite image, though, is Fritz holding court at the counter of AP Jones surrounded by the local gentry of Fish Hoek. He knew everyone and everyone knew him. With his well-known glint in the eye and cheeky smile, he had a quip and a chirp for them all – and they loved him.
His legacy will live on through his sons – all of whom inherited his love of cricket and his sense of humour. Even more importantly, like Fritz, they also have a track record of life-time selfless service to Claremont Cricket Club and continue to serve the club in a variety of administrative roles.
The jury is out on whom he loved the most – Jenny (who partnered him to his matric dance), his four sons (all of whom followed him to Wynberg), his ten grandchildren (who loved him to bits), Claremont Cricket Club (where he is a past President); or Wynberg Boys’ High School (where he was Head Boy, an extremely proud Old Boy and a past patron of the Union).
Another of his great pals was another classmate – Mendel Kaplan, also a generous supporter of Wynberg. If he was still around, I know that Mendel would have given him the ultimate compliment by calling him a ‘mensch’ – a Jewish word for someone whom everyone respects; who is kind and supportive; who is calm in a crisis.
I can’t think of a better word to describe Fritz Bing. By his loyalty and his support of Wynberg, he was an example to all Wynberg boys.
Sincere condolences to Jenny, Rick, Greg, Brad and all the grandchildren. While we mourn the loss of Fritz, we are grateful that we could share him with you all and are particularly appreciative of the special impact he had on our lives.