— -- Some 109-year-olds read books, or play bridge -– but not Alfred “Alfie” Date.
The oldest man in Australia spends his time knitting tiny wool sweaters for tiny, injured penguins.
The prolific knitter told Australia's Channel Nine News that when Phillip Island’s Penguin Foundation requested the tiny sweaters following a massive oil spill that injured hundreds of Little Penguins, a species only found in southern Australia and New Zealand, he couldn’t refuse.
"The girls who used to work for me, they'll tell you I'm a sucker. I can't say no,” Date told Nine News.
"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,” he added.
Date has been knitting for more than 80 years, but this was his first foray into bird knitwear. The Penguin Foundation stresses to eager knitters that “this is not a fashion statement" -- the sweaters actually prevent the injured penguins from preening and swallowing the toxic oil.
The foundation dubbed Date their “most senior little penguin jumper knitter," but they didn’t realize Date was also the most senior Australian citizen.
"It's amazing and we feel quite privileged to have him dedicating his time and effort to the Penguin Foundation,” a spokesperson told Nine News.
But settle down young knitters, according to the Foundation’s website, they "have plenty of penguin jumpers at this time donated by generous knitters across the globe… and do not need any further donations at this time.”