Fred Binns was a man who enjoyed every aspect of life, from sailing to race-car driving, and even driving his caravan. Most importantly, Fred was a man who would do anything for his family, friends and what he believed in.
Born in Sydney, Fred was the only son of William and Dorothy Binns, with two younger sisters Anne and Pat. Initially the family grew up in Grenfell, New South Wales (370kms west of Sydney), where Fred’s father ran a busy dental practice. At the age of 10, the Binns family moved back to Sydney.
From the moment Fred sat behind the wheel of his first REO car, he was in love. From an early age, Fred’s love for motor vehicles grew, to a point that during his university days he became an accomplished racing car driver. A member of the MG Car Club, Fred was hard to beat, winning many economy trials, gymkhanas and hill climbs. He was also a member of the Tasmanian Go-Kart Club and raced his own go-kart in his spare time. His love for cars didn’t stop there, Fred was a keen follower of Formula 1 race car driving.
One Christmas, after all the presents had been opened the Binns family realised there was a singular, lone present unknown to most. Closer inspection of the card revealed the gift was addressed ‘To Fred, From Fred’, starting a family tradition. Fred had bought himself the newly released Playstation, so he could ‘drive the tracks’ in the comfort of his own lounge before watching each race on the television.
Fred inherited his love of sailing from his father who built a boat called “Molar”. In Hobart, Fred’s love for boats contiuned, spending memorable weekends with his wife Di in the Duck Pond, sailing in local yacht races and eventually competing in a couple of Sydney to Hobart races. Not only did he love sailing, but he also enjoyed doing the regular maintenance jobs and generally ‘tinkering’ on his various boats. He was a member of the Royal Tasmanian Yacht Club for many years.
Eventually his passion for boats would change to caravans. Fred and Di enjoyed the camping lifestyle, undertaking numerous trips across Australia and also a yearly pilgrimage to Stewart’s Bay with family. Fred enjoyed traveling and was a keen photographer with an eye for a stunning picture. He was an avid reader and enjoyed good food and wine, going to the movies and in later years playing bowls. Along with his other sporting interests, Fred also enjoyed watching the soccer, cheering along from the couch or from the sidelines. He spent many hours at cold, windy sports grounds watching his children, and then his grandchildren play the game.
Fred had a great sense of humour and never failed to charm everyone he met. He was a loving husband to Di, his wife of almost 25 years, and enjoyed the company of his children, Nigel and Anneli, and his step-children Louise and Shona and their families. He was the much-loved Pa of his grandchildren, who sometimes struggled to understand the effects of Parkinson’s.