Alfred ‘Alfie’ Date first learnt to knit in 1930 for his nephew. After 80 years he is able to use his knitting skills to save the wildlife. The greatness is that the 109 year old put excellent use of his old and frail hands, instead of staying idle, he started knitting and created some beautiful sweaters for Penguins!
In the year 2014 the Phillip Island’s Penguin Foundation requested all the knitters around the globe to help the penguins who were victims of the oil spill by making them sweaters. Alfie who was in the home for the elderly in New South Wales Central Coast was also approached for the same. He readily agreed.
Sweaters are the only resource to help the birds. The oil patch in the size of our thumbnail can spread over the feathers and cause them to stick together. This causes the cold of the ocean water to reach the skin of the birds. The penguins try to clean themselves by pecking on the feathers and eat away some of the oil thereby causing even greater risk to their digestive systems. The sweaters on the penguins that were rescued prevented the birds from pecking on the wings and also help in keeping warm.
This was also done in the 2001 when 468 penguins were affected from the spill. With the help of these sweaters almost 96% of birds were saved and released into the wild by the Wildlife Clinic at Phillip Island Nature Park.
Alfie continues to knit the adorable sweaters to the Penguin Foundation. A spokesperson from ABC Nine News says “It’s amazing and we feel quite privileged to have him dedicating his time and effort to the Penguin Foundation”.
Many knew him as an old man but no one knew that he is declared the oldest man in Australia! This is really amazing.