Who says age is a barrier? Senior citizens living amazing lives

Feb 12, 2015 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Being 109 years old, you'd think Alfred "Alfie" Date would have slowed down a bit in life. What you wouldn't expect is that he spends his time doing his bit to help the Phillip Island penguins.

From the rooms of his retirement village, Alfie spends his time taking part in a familiar pastime that has been keeping him entertained since the birth of his nephew in 1932. It's knitting. But he's not knitting scarves and jumpers for his family or their children, instead he's using his knitting skills to craft jumpers for the penguins of Phillip Island.

After an oil spill that affected the area and prevented the penguins from staying dry and well, there was a call out from the Phillip Island Penguin Foundation for knitters to put their dexterity and nimble fingers to good use to create jumpers for the tiny, shuffling birds, poisoned by the spill.

Alfie had just arrived in the retirement home — he'd only been there for a mere 12 hours — when the nurses caught on to the fact he could knit and asked him if he wanted to participate.

"I think I'd been in here about 12 hours, might have been 13. The two [nurses] come in to me and say, 'We believe you can knit,'" Alfie said.


Thanks to Alfie, and the hundreds of others who have lent their knitting skills to the cause, the colony of some 32,000 penguins has been outfitted in brightly coloured knitwear.

"The girls who used to work for me, they'll tell you I'm a sucker. I can't say no. 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," Alfie says.

We love your work, Alfie. And we just can't look past people doing amazing things in the community. These senior citizens have also proved that age is no barrier.

Kimani Maruge

Senior Citizens doing amazing things

Image: IBM Research Africa/Flickr

Although he passed away in 2009, Kimani Maruge is an inspiring example that you're never too old to accomplish anything, enrolling in primary school at the age of 84 — proving it's never too late and we're never too old to learn and accomplish our dreams.

Minoru Saito

Senior Citizens doing amazing things

Image: Saito8

At the age of 77, Minoru Saito circumnavigated the world. And if that wasn't impressive enough, he went on to successfully circumnavigate the world a further seven times. On his eighth journey, he went against the winds and currents and it took 1,080 days to complete.

Gladys Burrill

Senior Citizens doing amazing things

Image: Governor Neil Abercrombie/Flickr

Deemed the "Gladyator", Gladys Burrill completed a marathon at the tender age of 92 and became the Guinness Book of World Records' oldest female marathon finisher. What a feat!

Which senior citizens are doing amazing things in your community? Let us know in the comments section below.

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