ALFRED Powell was a man like no other.
He conquered a mobile phone in his late 80s, bought his last car at the age of 99, was still driving at 102, could manage three remotes to listen to his beloved music on the sound system in his elderly years – and lived to be the oldest man in Australia.
Tributes have since flowed for Tamworth’s oldest resident after he died on April 30 at the age of 108.
He is being remembered as a true gentleman, whose integrity, loyalty, logic and impeccable manners never wavered despite witnessing great changes over the years.
Alfred was born in Brisbane on September 16, 1908. The family moved around before settling in Summer Hill, Sydney, where he completed most of his education.
Alfred boasted an extensive career in publishing, clocking up 30 years with Gordon & Gotch.
He married Gwenyth Hughes in 1936. The couple had John in 1938 and then Judith 11 months later.
He served with the Australian Army stationed at Cape York and Thursday Island from 1942-45. His brother George had also enlisted and served overseas, dying as a prisoner of war. Alfred was dealt another tragic blow when his son died in a car accident in 1955 at the age of 18.
When wife Gwenyth died in 1988, Alfred moved to Tamworth. In 1997, he married Betty and they shared several happy years together prior to her death.
Alfred was a true gentleman – his manners were impeccable, and he sported a dress code to match, opting for a tie or cravat right up until his final weeks.
Music was one of his great passions, with anything from Beethoven to Acker Bilk, Mendelssohn to Glen Miller, heard coming from his room at Tamworth Bupa Aged Care right up until his final weeks.
Alf was a man with a passion for his church and personal faith. He was a committed member of the Masonic Lodge and received an award for 80 years of membership at the age of 100. He also enjoyed Probus for many years.
“If I had to think of qualities to sum up my father, they’d include gentlemanly, charming, courteous, humble, organising and resilient, definitely resilient,” daughter Judith said in her reflections.
Alf had four grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
“He was very proud to be the patriarch of a five-generation family, just as he was proud to officially be the oldest man in Australia for the last 12 months,” Judith said.
A service was held on Monday at Tamworth Uniting Church to farewell “the family patriarch”.
- 106-year-old wants to bottle his elixir of life – September 2014
- A young spirit in Alf, Tamworth's oldest man – September 2015
- Tamworth resident now Australia's oldest man – May 2016
- Tamworth's Alf Powell celebrates his 108th birthday – September 2016