Tayside and Central Scotland

Tributes paid to Scotland's oldest man Alfred Smith

Alfred Smith in 2018 Image copyright Andrew O'Brien
Image caption Alfred Smith spent much of his life in farming

Scotland's oldest man, Alfred Smith, has died at the age of 111.

Mr Smith, known as Alf, celebrated his last birthday on 29 March, the same day as Britain's other oldest man, Robert Weighton.

The former lorry driver and farmer, from St Madoes, Perthshire, died on Saturday night.

Councillor Eric Drysdale paid tribute to Mr Smith, who credited porridge and having an enjoyable job for his long life.

The SNP Perth and Kinross councillor tweeted: "Sad to hear this morning that Scotland's oldest man, Perth and Kinross based Alf Smith of St Madoes has passed away aged 111 years and 128 days.

"When he was 100 he bought a new washing machine and decided on a 10 year extended warranty! Optimism seems to be the key to a long life."

'Wonderful character'

His minister, The Reverend Marc Bircham of St Madoes and Kinfauns Parish Church, said: "Alf was a wonderful character who brought great joy to all who had the privilege of knowing him.

"A great supporter of the local church, he served as an Elder for many years.

"It has been a great privilege to be both his friend and his minister. Family, neighbours and his many friends will miss him greatly."

Mr Smith was born in Invergowrie in 1908, the fifth of six sons to John and Jessie Smith.

He was educated at Invergowrie Primary School and Harris Academy, Dundee.

In 1927 he emigrated to Canada, along with four of his brothers, but returned after five years and went on to drive lorries for his brother, George.

During the Second World War, he was in the Home Guard, and married wife Isobel when he was 29.

Porridge fan

The couple went on to farm at Kinfauns where they raised two children, Irene and Allan. Mrs Smith died more than 14 years ago, aged 97.

His son Allan, who worked with his father on the farm for 40 years, died in 2016.

Mr Smith retired at the age of 70 but continued to go to the farm until well into his 80s.

Once asked for his secret to a long and happy life, Mr Smith said: "Porridge is helpful and having a job you enjoy.

"I like to think I've lived a decent life. I do ask myself - why me? Why have I lived so long when others haven't?"

Mr Smith was very active in the Church of Scotland, having joined after leaving the Free Church in 1945, and was presented with a lifetime of service award from the Kirk moderator in 2017.

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