Uplifting | Animals

Remembering Australia's Oldest Man And The Little Penguins He Saved

When the Penguin Foundation reached out to locals for help with protecting a colony of little penguins on Phillip Island, Australia's oldest man answered the call.

Alfred "Alfie" Date was 107 years old when a nurse at his retirement home asked if he would be interested in knitting sweaters for penguins. It may seem like a strange request, but he was happy to oblige.

According to the Phillip Island website, these sweaters actually protect the tiny birds and help with recovery after an oil spill. A drop of oil the size of a thumbnail can kill a little penguin.

Alfie Date was probably one of the most famous contributors to the jumper program.ninemsn.com.au

Alfred and thousands of other knitters from around the world contributed brightly colored sweaters to The Knits for Nature penguin jumper program in the 1990s and 2000s.

The program was such a success (they received tens of thousands of little sweaters) that it has been closed until further notice. The sweaters that don't fit, or were the wrong wool type are being sold at the Penguin Parade gift shop and as part of the Adopt A Penguin Pal kids pack.

Alphie passed away peacefully in 2015 at the age of 110 years old. Still famous for being Australia's oldest man and jumper-knitter to little penguins, he was fondly remembered for his commitment to making the perfect penguin sweater.


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