Church minister remembers Scotland's 'incredible' oldest man, who has died aged 111

Alf Smith with his longtime minister and friend, Rev Marc Bircham(Photo: Church of Scotland)

Church minister the Rev Marc Bircham has paid tribute to Scotland's "incredible" oldest man, Albert Smith, after he passed away last Saturday at the age of 111. 

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

In 1927, he emigrated to Canada with four of his brothers, returning five years later and becoming a lorry driver for his brother, George.

During the Second World War, he served in the Home Guard, and at 29, married his wife, Isobel.  Together, they ran a farm at Kinfauns, Perthshire, where they raised two children, Irene and Allan.  His son, who passed away last year, would go on to work with him on the farm for 40 years. 

He was a committed churchgoer, joining St Madoes and Kinfauns Parish Church in 1945 and becoming an elder in 1967.  

In 2017, he was presented with a long service certificate by the then Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Very Rev Dr Russell Barr. 

According to the Church of Scotland, he credited his longevity to a good job, eating porridge, and having a supportive network of friends and family. 

Mr Bircham said that Alf was hugely popular with the local primary school children who loved visiting him to hear stories from his younger days. 

He remembered Alf as a "wonderful character who brought great joy to all who had the privilege of knowing him". 

"He was just an incredible individual – one of the most wonderful people you could ever meet," he said. 

"A most welcoming and encouraging man who was a great supporter of the local church and served as an Elder for many years."