Meet Australia’s Oldest Man, Who Knitted Jumpers for Penguins Alfred Date, Previously Australia’s oldest man at 109 years old, has never taken pleasure in refusing to say no. His joy in assisting those in need led him to knit tiny sweaters for tiny penguins.
Alfred Date’s Happy Life
Regardless of his age, Alfred Date will never forget the Titanic’s sinking in 1912 or the outbreak of World War I. The Daily Telegraph interviewed the “old boy” who maintains his sense of humour as he reveals his secret to a long life, “getting up every morning.” Another key to living a long and happy life is to assist others as much as possible.
When Phillip Island’s Penguin Foundation began asking expert knitters for help in March 2013, after an oil spill, Alfred Date was one of the persons picked from worldwide as a competent knitter to construct sweaters for penguins to protect them from oil. The sweaters are not a fashion statement, even though they look adorable on the small penguins. Avoid getting oil on the penguins’ coats, as this will cause their feathers to stick together, allowing water to enter into their inner down layers. They grow freezing and distressed due to this, and their coat becomes so heavy that it prevents the penguins from hunting.
Alfie as a knitter
Alfie is currently residing at a retirement home on the Central Coast of New South Wales. When the nurses at home discovered Alfie’s knitting abilities, they requested him to assist them in producing sweaters for the penguins. Alfie began knitting sweaters for the penguin with the available heavy wool from the nurses, relying on his 80 years of knitting skill.
When asked why he used hefty wool, he replied, “You’re wasting your time if you’re using a ball of light wool.”
The foundation’s concept of putting sweaters on the penguins saved nearly all 438 penguins on Phillip Island. When the population was in need due to the oil spill in 2001, the sweaters appeared to be profitable at first. To prevent the penguins from licking the hazardous chemical coatings on their feathers, they were forced to wear jackets when they arrived at the foundation (which had previously been soaked in oil). Little penguins are found only in Southern Australia and New Zealand, with a colony of 32,000 credited to Phillip Island.
Thanks to her sister-in-law, Alfie learned to knit eight decades ago, who approached him with a pair of knitting needles and some wool, intending to make a jumper for her son. Despite his first attempt, Alfie was successful, so he wanted to improve his knitting needle skills. Penguin Foundation now has an excess of knitted sweaters given for penguins in stock; therefore, there is no need to request more. On the other hand, Alfie continues to make scarves and beanies for his friends and preterm newborns.
Alfie was just discovered to be Australia’s oldest man by the Penguin Foundation. Because he refused to say no, several little penguins now get a second chance at life. Thanks to the man who never imagined knitting penguin sweaters. “It’s amazing, and we’re pleased that he’s contributing his time and efforts to the Penguin Foundation,” they said. The Penguin Foundation received so many sweaters that they had to sell them to fund their operating expenses.