A 90-year-old man has been touted as a “blessing to the community” and praised for his generous tradition of shouting customers at his local café.
Harry L Brierley, also known as Tiny, has lived in the Campbelltown community in southwest Sydney since 1960, and for the past few years he’s made patrons of Macarthur Square’s Leaf Cafe & Co smile by “paying forward” coffee.
Harry’s act of kindness was inspired by someone who did the same for him and his wife a several years ago.
“Somebody else paid for mine and my wife’s meal one day and it made my day. I thought it was a great idea so I have done it ever since,” Harry told Yahoo News.
Harry’s wife of 67 years, Shirley, has passed, but he still continues to pay for other customer’s coffees at the Leaf Cafe.
“I’ve been told on numerous occasions that they were having a bad day and this kind gesture has made it so much better,” Harry said.
“Pay it forward for someone else, somewhere else, to brighten their day,” he said. “People these days don’t seem to engage or interact with each other, so this is my way of getting people talking and smiling.”
Harry got the nickname “Tiny” while serving in the army for 24 years, his 11 great grandchildren call him “Tiny Pop”. He also has three children and 10 grandchildren.
His grandson, Mitchell Drenth says Harry is an “amazing Pop”, who always has time for his family.
Harry enjoys to have Barramundi for breakfast, according to Mitchell, which Harry jokingly calls “Barrathursday”, when he eats out on Thursday’s.
Mitchell says his Pop has taught him a lot over the years.
“He’s taught me respect for my elders, shown me how you should treat a woman, by the way he treated his wife Shirley,” Mitchell said.
“Still to this day he comes and shares his knowledge about engines and cars with me.
“Everyone that has had contact with him loves him and says that he brightens up their day just by this simple offer.”
The Facebook post about Harry has been shared over 900 times and the comment section is full of people who have come to know Harry and his generosity.
“Such a lovely man. He has paid it forward to my mum and I,” one Facebook user said. “I love watching others as Harry pays it forward. Their faces are priceless.”
“I had the pleasure of sitting with him and looking through his lifetime photo album recently,” another Facebook user wrote. “He is such a blessing to the community.”
Leaf Cafe & Co even celebrated Harry’s birthday in April, saying Harry is the cafe’s “most special customer”.
“The champion for the most kind and fabulous person, Harry, leaf cafe's most special customer,” the cafe’s Facebook post said.
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