The name Bing is synonymous with cricket in the province and of course, the long-standing AP Jones Store in Fish Hoek Main Road. Away from the shop, established in 1928, Brad Bing, founder of Sporting Chance, and his siblings spent much of their time on the sportsfield.
The family moved from Meadowridge to Fish Hoek in 1968 to be closer to the family business but mom Jennifer, her husband Fritz and the children – Richard, Greg, Brad and Jonathan – moved to Noordhoek a year later, as the boys needed a bit of space to play in their own backyard.
The family recently bid farewell to family patriarch Fritz, a Western Province Cricket Association life member and former president who died at the age of 89. Fritz was a well-known sportsman and businessman in the southern suburbs and also served as president of the old Western Province Cricket Union between 1981 and 1989.
He also played an active role during the unification process between the WPCU and the Western Province Cricket Board during 1991. He later also served as manager of the first South African team to tour England when the Proteas were readmitted to the international sport, post-unification.
Fritz captained Claremont Cricket Club in the late 1950s and helped his side win every trophy on offer while at the helm. In 1972, he became a selector for WP, a role he occupied for nearly a decade.
The old man’s love for the game was passed on to his sons who in 1978 represented WP in various age divisions.
Advocate Norman Arendse, former Cricket South Africa president, said Bing was a revered cricket administrator and lauded his role during the unification process.
“Fritz Bing represented what we all love about cricket – intimate knowledge, passion, competitive spirit, and respect for one’s opponents. He of course was a legend when we encountered him at unity in 1991/92.
“He was a welcoming figure and made unity at WP a relatively smooth process. Over the years, he was synonymous with cricket at Newlands, especially the New Year tests. He was much loved and revered. He will be greatly missed,“ said Arendse.
Fritz had a long association with the Claremont Cricket Club, spanning over 70 years, where he served as first XI captain, chairman and president of the club.
He was also described as a very good right-hand batter and right-arm medium bowler during his playing days and represented WP in eight matches and amassed 251 runs, with his highest score being 85 runs during this period.
Johannes Adams, current WP president, said in his tribute to Bing the sport has lost one of its stalwarts.
“Western Province lost one of its stalwarts in the cricket fraternity. The Bing family made a huge contribution to cricket in the Western Cape and Fritz’s knowledge of the game and advice will surely be missed,” he said.
Cyril O’Connor who served with Bing before unification in the old WP said he was a legend in WP as a player, a Claremont club man, a provincial and national administrator.
“He was a great lover of the game. He will be greatly missed by many both in South Africa and across the cricket world.”
As a businessman Fritz bought the landmark, AP Jones store in Fish Hoek in 1984 which was founded by Albert Pascoe Jones and his wife, Florence, in 1928. Fritz married the Jones’ youngest daughter Jennifer. The business is now owned by Greg, youngest son of Fritz and Fritz’s granddaughter, Lauren.
• Additional reporting by Fuad Esack