Australia’s oldest man has spent a lot of his days knitting sweaters for little penguins.
Alfred ‘Alfie’ Date spoke to Nine News about how his inability to say ‘no’ to favours got him into making the miniature animal clothes.
The jerseys were requested from Victoria’s Phillip Island Penguin Foundation in 2013, to assist the survival of little penguins after an oil spill. Little penguins are a species of penguin only found in southern Australia and New Zealand, with a lone colony of 32,000 remaining on Phillip Island.
The 109-year-old, who lives in a retirement home on the New South Wales Central Coast, was asked by two nurses to help make the sweaters, as they had heard he was an experienced knitter. It was a request he could not refuse. Using heavy wool provided by the nurses, Alfie put his 80 years of knitting skills to good use and got to work.
The self-taught knitter, who refined his skills after making a baby jacket for his nephew in the 1930s, has seven children and 20 grandchildren, and “about the same amount” of great grandchildren. According to a profile on The Daily Telegraph in 2014, Alfie remembers the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and the declaration of World War one. He told the newspaper his secret to a long life is simply “waking up every morning.”.. see more