Australia’s oldest man, Alfie Date, has died peacefully at the age of 110. Alfie became famous after knitting jumpers for penguins who were affected by oil spills.
Alfie Date was born in 1905 in the UK. He passed away on Monday morning in Peninsula Village, an aged care facility on the central coast of NSW. The oldest man of the country had passed his last 30 years in Davistown before moving to the aged care facility at Umina Beach, reported 9News.com.au.
Mail Online quoted his daughter Marjorie Ransom who, while reminiscing her father’s illustrious life said that he has a wealth of happy memories to look back on.
“It’s been a really eventful and really satisfying life I’d say,” Marjorie said.
Steward Date, Alfie Date’s grandson has posted in Facebook a tribute to his grandfather in which he called him a “very special” man, who was a “champion and a legend.”
Steward’s Facebook post read, “well after a great knock, and an amazing life my grandfather, Alfred Samuel Date, passed away this morning [Monday] in his sleep. 110 and out now but he was a champion and a legend, and will always be. Rip grandpa see you [sic] on the other side.”
Alfie Date grabbed the attention of media last year when he volunteered to knit jumpers for penguins in Phillip Island after an oil spill. He took up knitting back in 1932 and got the chance to make jumpers for Phillip Island’s Penguin Foundation to save the penguins and minimise the amount of oil they ingest while preening themselves. According to the foundation, the oil mats the penguins feather which prevented it from regulating its temperature. Thus, Alfie was, in a way, providing them a protective shield against the man-made disaster.
Notably, Little penguins are only found in New Zealand and Southern Australia. In Phillip Island, there is a colony of 32,000 penguins. Date, at that time, said that he made sure that the jumpers for the penguins were up to the mark.
He said, “I like to make it without mistakes and I don’t excuse myself for doing it.”
Date said that he was happy to help the penguins.
He said, “the girls who used to work for me, they’ll tell you I am a sucker. I can’t say no.”
He observed, “it’s a good way of getting along in life. You make friends all the time but you don’t make a fool of yourself either.”
On his 110th birthday, the father of seven was asked about the secret of living to such a ripe old age, he replied that it was “waking up every morning.”