Alfred (Alfie) Date, might not be with us today, but what he left in his legacy is the idea of ‘age is just a number’. The oldest man of Australia spent his days knitting small wool sweaters for injured penguins in the time of crisis.
In 2001, when an oil spill disaster struck, the wildlife clinic at Phillip Island Nature Park was prepared, with hundreds of little wool sweaters on hand.
Shortly after transferring into a care home in southwest Australia, Alfie began knitting the ‘easy single-rib and double-rib sweaters.’
Just read about Australia’s oldest man. He’s called Alfie Dates, he’s 109 and he knits really lovely tiny sweaters for injured penguins. pic.twitter.com/Lc3uxNIzmW— Lisa Allen (@LisaTheAllen) February 20, 2021
How much penguinny cuteness can one fit into a single day? 😂— Charlton Hardick (@czarleehall) February 20, 2021
When he discovered he had a flair for knitting, two nurses approached him, regarding the Phillip Island Nature Park, to gauge his interest in knitting for the penguins.
isnt it just lovely? we need some lovely just now I reckon xx— xbeldaran 🏴🏴💙🍒 (@xbeldaran29) February 20, 2021
I make you right. 109 and he can still knit thats wonderful. I have kept the pictures to look at now and then.— Annie T Delaney 💙🌹⚫ #FBPE (@AnneDel81230567) February 20, 2021
483 little penguins were taken to the rehabilitation centre after a spill on Phillip Island, with 96% of them being released back into the wild.
The centre eventually didn’t require any more penguin sweaters, but the fact that so many small penguins’ lives were spared because to Alfie’s efforts cannot be forgotten.