Beloved UCT gardener retiring after almost 40 years going about his business
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CAPE TOWN - Beloved UCT gardener Jonathan Fritz will hang up his gardening gloves and overalls next month after almost 40 years of service.
Fondly known as “Uncle Jonathan” on campus, Fritz started working in the university as a painter and handyman in 1983. He was later offered a permanent position in the garden maintenance department.
He spends most of his days raking up leaves on campus, mowing the lawns, pruning dozens of trees and watching many plants and flowers bloom – a job he describes as one of the best in the world; peaceful and stress-free.
The garden has always been a special place for Fritz. His father, Esau Fritz, was an avid gardener who taught him the ropes.
He said the garden is where he spent most of his time growing up.
“I grew up in the garden. That’s where I spent most of my time as a young boy, helping my father plant vegetables. We had such a beautiful garden. You name it, we had it,” he said.
Preparing for his retirement, Fritz said he can’t imagine life without his beloved gardens.
"I won’t be coming back here and that’s quite hard to believe. After so many years, nothing will ever be the same again," he said.
He plans to spend time with his family and have some much-needed rest after retiring.