Alfred Douglas Stewart (1988- )
Ray Meagher; Max Buckley (Alf Aged 5, 2010); Robert Jago (Younger Alf, 2010)
Parents: Gordon & Sarah Stewart
Siblings: Morag Bellingham, Celia Stewart, Barbara Stewart & Debra Stewart; Colleen Smart (half-sister)
Marital status: Martha Baldivis (1969-1985, deceased); Ailsa O’Rourke/Hogan (1988-2000, deceased)
Children: Owen Dalby, Quinn Jackson, Ruth Stewart, Duncan Stewart; Shauna Bradley (stepdaughter)
Occupation: Bottle Shop Owner, Bait Shop Owner, General Store Owner, Surf Club President, Bar Owner, Boat Owner
Alf was a war baby, born in Summer Bay on 7th November 1946. His father, Gordon, would have liked more sons but in the end Alf had to cope with four sisters – Morag, Barbara, Celia and the unseen (and now forgotten) Debra.
Gordon believed his son should make his own way in the world and told him than on his death everything would go to his daughters. Gordon would not even let Alf come into his successful Boat Yard and Yacht Brokerage business. But Alf benefited from the way his father brought him up and by the age of 30 he owned the Summer Bay Liquor Store, the Boat Hire Service, the Summer Bay Caravan Park and his own brokerage firm.
Alf married his teenage sweetheart Martha Baldivis on 5th April 1969. They had a daughter Roo and the family lived in Summer Bay House. When Martha drowned in 1985, Alf was shattered and he could no longer stand to live in Summer Bay House—after moving to a smaller house elsewhere in the bay, he employed Floss to keep the old house spick and span. Alf’s grief led to his business affairs being neglected, leaving the bottle shop as his only source of income, and the Caravan Park fell into a state of disrepair.
When Ailsa Hogan came to town in 1987, he found a good friend. He wasn’t originally thinking of anything more than friendship, but their relationship blossomed and they began courting.
In 1988 Alf sold Summer Bay House and Caravan Park to the Fletcher family…
Alf kept his relationship with Ailsa a secret from Roo, only having Ailsa over for dinner when he knew Roo wouldn’t be there. He then found out Frank, who he had employed at the bottle shop, was dating Roo but Frank convinced him he was on the level. Alf opposed Don’s plan to get Nico Pappas committed and was furious with Lance and Martin when they made it look like Nico had put mature on Don’s lawn. He also took part in a stakeout to try and catch the Summer Bay Nutter. Alf proposed to Ailsa and she accepted but Roo hated Ailsa so much, that she went great lengths to find something unsavoury about her. At Alf and Ailsa’s engagement party, Roo revealed that Ailsa had spent time in jail for killing her abusive father. However, Alf stuck with Ailsa, and sent Roo away to school in the city, staying with Morag.
Alf was angry with Celia when she gossiped about Carly being raped and unsuccessfully tried to stop her spreading the story before Tom and Pippa found out. He and Ailsa tried to set Celia up with local policeman Bob Barnett but when they had them both round for dinner Celia ended up getting drunk. A few months later, Roo returned and agreed to accept Ailsa. However, Alf got angry on discovering she and Frank were sleeping together and fired Frank, causing him to fall out with Ailsa when she gave Frank a job at the store. When Roo announced she was pregnant by Frank, Alf was upset but supported their desire to get married and gave Frank his job back. Meanwhile, Ailsa was planning to foster Bobby, who didn’t feel able to live with the Fletchers any longer. In order to make it easier, Alf married her at the registry office, surprising Roo and Celia. However, Bobby staying with them didn’t last long when she vandalised Roo’s wedding dress.
When Roo announced during the wedding that Frank was not the father of her baby but Brett Macklin was, Alf felt betrayed and threw her out of the house. Ailsa and Celia took pity on Roo and in time convinced Alf to forgive her, with Ailsa pretending Roo had had an accident to show Alf that he still cared about her. Despite punching Brett when he next saw him and opposing the Macklins having custody of the baby, Alf was in favour of the Macklins’ proposal to develop the wetlands around Summer Bay for tourism and invested in it. This brought him into conflict with Ailsa and Roo began to stir things between them again, convincing Alf to use the house for a Macklin launch party against Ailsa’s wishes. Although Alf defended her when Brett threatened her, he was upset when he was replaced as advisor because of the conflict of interests and Ailsa implied she’d only married him for Bobby’s sake. When Ailsa moved out, Roo hid her letter to Alf, causing Alf and Ailsa to split when Alf made a sarcastic comment about Ailsa stabbing him. Ailsa left town without seeing Alf and, depressed, he hit the bottle. They were asked to be godparents to Christopher Fletcher together but Alf missed the ceremony when Roo faked stomach pains and then genuinely went into premature labour. She had a baby girl who she named Martha after her late mother.
Alf went to visit his parents in Tahiti and returned to find Roo was planning to let Brett raise Martha. However, Roo admitted it was only because Brett had threatened to cancel the deal and lose Alf his investment. Martha was kidnapped by Brett when just two weeks old. Although Ailsa had left town, Alf got in touch with her, with Roo’s blessing, and the three of them were a great support to each other, with Alf and Ailsa renewing their vows. Martha was found after Brett took her to hospital but Alf was disappointed when Roo chose to give her up for adoption. Alf started a tradition by being the one to find Gary Samuels’ body and was concerned when Roo went to the Year 12 formal with Martin. When Roo briefly dated a Chinese boy, David Lee, Alf was forced to admit that while he didn’t mind David as a person he was uncomfortable with Roo being in a mixed race relationship, but ultimately he and David parted on good terms. Bobby quizzed Alf after hearing that he might know who her real parents were; Alf denied it but then rang up her real mother.
In early 1989, Alf admitted to first Barbara and then Ailsa that he had worked out from Martha’s old diaries that Morag was Bobby’s mother. He tried to convince Morag to go to Bobby’s wedding but Morag wanted nothing to do with her. They all agreed to keep quiet, but when Morag was badly injured in a sea plane crash and mumbled Bobby’s name, Alf told Bobby. This resulted in the news ending up in the papers when Alison Patterson overheard and told a reporter, leading to Morag’s marriage breaking down and her being fired as a judge and forced to move back to the Bay. Alf also initially kept the fact Don was Bobby’s father quiet until Bobby overheard.
Alf and Ailsa were stunned but pleased when Ailsa turned out to be five months pregnant but found themselves distracted when Ailsa received a series of poisoned pen letters. She and Alf blamed Roo and threw her out of the house, forcing her to move in with Morag. In fact, the culprit was new Macklins manager Nicholas Walsh, who was exposed by Stacey Macklin. Alf and Ailsa tried to reconcile with Roo but she reminded Alf he had told her she was no longer his daughter. Although they soon reconciled after Roo was given a reminder of Morag’s vindictive side, Alf was concerned when Roo started dating Simon Yates, who had been in jail for armed robbery, and sacked him from the Diner while Ailsa was away. However, Ailsa and Roo convinced him to hire him at the bottle shop. Alf’s sister Celia had bought Ailsa’s store but when it burnt down Simon was wrongly accused. Alf paid his bail and offered to get him a lawyer but he ended up skipping town. Roo left not long after, moving to the city with Frank, while Celia began selling groceries at Alf’s shop.
Alf lost his boat in an accident caused by Lance and Marilyn, who had accidentally stolen a cruiser, and was unable to afford a new one. He and Tom rented a boat and went out on a fishing trip together only to get caught up in a storm. They were left adrift at sea in a life boat for several days and were eventually found after making it to shore and collapsing in the bush, both severely dehydrated. In their absence, Ailsa gave birth to her and Alf’s son, whom they called Duncan. Unfortunately for him, Ailsa suffered from post-natal depression and ended up moving in with Morag for a while when she was tempted to smother Duncan to stop him crying, although Duncan suffering an allergic reaction to the cleaning fluid Celia had washed his christening gown in caused Ailsa to realise how much she cared about him.
Alf suggested he and Celia buy a new grocery and liquor market with the help of her insurance money from the store. He did his best to support the Fletchers after Tom had a stroke. Alf gained another new house guest when Ailsa’s niece Emma Jackson came to stay with them. Alf was initially put off by her punk appearance but eventually they got on and he helped Steven save her and Viv from a pair of hoons they had got in too deep with. He and Don opposed Gordon Macklin’s attempts to make cheap publicity out of Rory Heywood being killed by a shark. Like most of the town, he wrongly believed Pippa was having an affair with Zac Burgess and tried to pay him to leave town. He was annoyed when Sally and Mullet Jensen took a crab he’d been feeding up and cooked it, and had them row him out to looks at his crab pots as punishment. When he hired Emma to be his caddy during a game of golf with Grant, she managed to run over one of his father’s old golf clubs. Alf’s angry reaction caused a rift between them but they eventually got over it. Alf was thrown by Celia’s decision to leave to be a missionary in Africa and had a hard time accepting it. She hired Marilyn to help him out at the store but Alf fired her on her first day when she first refused to give a regular customer credit and then gave $100 in change to another shop owner. However, when the shopkeeper returned the money, Alf apologised and reinstated her.
Alf supported a scheme to bulldoze the local sports field as part of a new development, which Bobby was standing for council in opposition to. When Rex Wilson, who supported the scheme, had to pull out of the election on health grounds, Alf agreed to stand in his place. Bobby’s launch meeting was mysterious cancelled and Alf’s was halted by a power cut, the reasons for which became clear when they realised the disreputable Ernie Jacobs was standing against them. However, when Alf was involved in a minor car accident, new police officer Jane Holland breathalysed him and found him to be over the limit. Ashamed, he decided to pull out of the election. He lost his license, having to rely on others to do the deliveries, and briefly tried to hide what had happened from the town until it was reported in the paper. He tried using a bike but kept having accidents. Alf had to cope with Adam and Matt working at the store while Marilyn had chicken pox. When Emma had Adam and Paul Jensen fighting over her, Alf arranged a boxing match between the pair to settle it safely, but the girls, mainly concerned that Paul would be hurt, put a stop to it by spraying them all with fire extinguishers.
Around the time Emma left, Blake and Karen Dean, the children of an old friend of Ailsa’s, came to town asking the Stewarts to take them in. Alf refused and tried to send them back to their uncle only for it to turn out he didn’t want them either. He then insisted they call the department to find them a foster home. The pair ran away to the city and Alf joined Ailsa in tracking them down. On visiting a shelter and seeing the effect that being unwanted had on other teens, Alf changed his mind and welcomed the pair into his home, attempting to defend Blake when he was victimised by deputy head Alan Stone. His cousin Jennifer Atkinson came to visit, hiding out from an abusive husband, and Alf was shocked when she had a brief relationship with much younger Steven. He had to retake his driving test to get his license back and was embarrassed when he failed the first attempt.
Alf quickly struck up a friendship with Michael Ross when he arrived in town. He agreed to Sally interviewing him for a school project and gave permission for it to be printed in the paper, only for it to be full of embarrassing stories like attempts at making home brew. Sally apologised and agreed to print the full interview rather than just the bits that made him sound bad. Alf allowed Marilyn to work part-time in order to do Year 12 and practically dragged her to school when she panicked before her first exam. He later advised her on buying the beach house.
Alf’s store was hit financially when a supermarket opened in Yabbie Creek: He was forced to cut Marilyn’s hours to part-time and then had his overdraft called in. He tried to re-mortgage the house but Ailsa vetoed the idea. In the end, he sold the store for barely more than he needed to cover his debts and was left depressed as it was boxed up and closed down. Shortly after, he went to visit Morag, who had been in an accident. When he returned, he found Ailsa had bought him a smaller premises and after initial reluctance he agreed to take over the new store. He was reluctant to employ Marilyn again because of cost but eventually relented and wooed her back by giving her the title of manager.
He acted as MC when Michael married Pippa. Soon after, Blake and Karen suggest the four of them go camping to celebrate Alf and Ailsa’s wedding anniversary. Everyone involved decided to grin and bear it for the others’ sake and it wasn’t until after an uncomfortable day in the bush that they realised that none of them actually liked camping. When Karen got involved with Revhead, Alf and Ailsa were both opposed to the relationship. Alf also wasn’t keen on her going on a date with Adam and insisted on acting as chaperone when Blake and Haydn took two girls, Judy and Kate, for a drive, humiliating Blake by constantly criticising and making fun of him. Alf locked Karen in her room to stop her going to live with Revhead but Revhead reported him to Nick Parrish for illegal imprisonment and he was forced to let her go. Not long after, Alf was knocked unconscious during a robbery in the store. Both he and Ailsa correctly suspected Revhead and that Karen had been with him but when Karen came back to them pleading innocence, they assumed she had seen the error of her ways and welcomed her back into their home. In fact, Karen was planning to run away with Revhead, but her escape attempt saw her causing a car crash in which David Croft was killed and she was sent to a detention centre.
Alf clashed with new principal Lois Crawford when she took a dislike to Blake and fell out with Michael for a time when he believed her assertion that Blake was leading Haydn astray. He also had to deal with Blake and his friend Simon having two girls over while he and Ailsa were away. Alf considered an investment proposal from Bill Fitzgerald, the father of Blake’s friend Simon, until Blake revealed he was a conman. Bill left town and Alf and Ailsa agreed to Simon staying with them temporarily, unaware he and Blake were angling for him to stay there permanently. He and Michael were both asked by Marilyn to play Santa at a Christmas pageant and a number of misunderstandings resulted in the two of them and Adam all turning up dressed as Santa. However, he rejected Marilyn’s request to start up a dry cleaning service, prompting her to resign and set up a business on her own. Alf tried to help her out by letting her wash his cricket whites but she managed to make them pink. Alf hired Lucinda Croft as her replacement but his old-fashioned views clashed with her militant feminism, especially when he used a cardboard cut-out of a girl in a bikini for advertisements, and he was relieved when she resigned and he was able to rehire Marilyn.
Alf was not keen on Simon staying, especially when Sophie ran away from home and Alf blamed Simon for hiding the truth about her pregnancy, but eventually relented, even encouraging him to stay when he was hurt by Sophie’s rejection. He found his friendship with Don strained when he came to stay with them for a while after he had to delay moving into his new house. When Alf’s old girlfriend Julia Bowman returned to town, Alf was embarrassed and tried to hide their history. However, Julia confided in him that her daughter Meg had leukaemia and their secretive meetings resulted in Ailsa and several other residents thinking they were having an affair. He then had to deal with Blake insisting on dating Meg against Julia’s wishes but managed to put aside his feelings and pay for them to spend a weekend in a hotel to consummate their relationship before she died. He also put up with Adam and Marilyn attempting a job share as his assistant.
He and Ailsa had another falling out when Alf approved Adam’s plan to teach Simon a lesson by setting him up with a girl, Janette, after which they had to cope with exchange student Toni Bryant staying with them. He was upset when Marilyn left town to get married and she was soon followed by Simon who went back to his father. He briefly employed Pippa as his assistant but her having to look after Tamara and her own pregnancy meant the arrangement didn’t last long. Then Les Bagley, Blake’s father, appeared. Alf tried to warn him off but his hard-line attitude, banning Les from the house, only served to alienate Blake, who ended up moving to the city with Les. Alf was left betrayed, feeling Blake had rejected everything they’d done for him. When Blake returned with half-sister Roxy in tow, Alf initially refused to have anything to do with him but they eventually bonded over an article about Alf saving a child from drowning as a young man and Alf accepted that Blake needed to make his own choice, inviting him to move back in.
In early 1993, Alf took an instant dislike to Luke Cunningham, dismissing him as a lazy drifter, and tried to get Michael and Pippa to evict him from the caravan park, only to be left with egg on his face when it turned out he was the new teacher. Alf was mistrustful of Karen when she was released from detention but agreed to go away for a while to visit Roo in New York and let Ailsa handle her alone: Instead, he returned to find both Blake and Karen gone. The Stewarts’ next house guest was Austudy student Sarah Thompson and Alf returning early caused problems when she and her boyfriend Tug O’Neale mistook Alf for a burglar and slashed the tyres on his hire car to stop him getting away. He agreed to take part in a slave auction to raise money for the refuge but became worried about being “owned” by the teens so did a deal with Don where they would buy each other. However, Don was delayed and Alf ended up being bought by a syndicate Shane had organised.
When Bobby died in a boat accident caused by Adam, Alf joined the majority of the town in ostracising him, banning him from the store, although he eventually relented when Sally pleaded Adam’s case. The funeral brought Morag back to town and, realising she was lonely, Alf invited her to stay for a while. However, the family reunion came to an abrupt halt when it became clear she was manipulating matters to get custody of Sam and Alf ordered her out of town. He campaigned for presidency of the bowls club against Barry Logan, agreeing to match his offer of a $500 prize to the winner of a competition, and defeated him on a technicality when it was discovered he had served too many terms. He then lost the final of the competition to Shane.
Alf started to take Tug under his wing, giving him a job at the store. He reacted far less well to Nathan Roberts when Sarah started dating him and punched him when he found them kissing in the back of Nathan’s car. Sarah convinced Nathan to drop the charges and Alf told her he wanted her to move out as soon as she had somewhere to go. However, after Nathan was arrested for burglary and Sarah apologised, Ailsa convinced Alf to let her stay. When Tug’s father Roy reappeared, Alf let them win a fishing contest to get the money to set up a farm and also lent them the money to do a survey for oil. However, the O’Neales’ new existence didn’t last long when Roy hit the bottle again and skipped town. Alf bought a water bed to help him ease pains in his back but hired Damian and Shane to assemble and collect it; they accidentally put a hole in it and Alf didn’t realise until he lay down on the bed and it leaked around him.
When Roxy organised a debutante ball for the Bay’s teens, Alf dropped hints about being guest of honour and was disappointed when Don was chosen instead, although he ended up having to stand in for the presentation ceremony when Don had paint spilt over him. Alf had a number of run-ins with Jack, who sabotaged his attempts to repair a dishwasher in order to get a job washing dishes. Then Alf wrongly accused Jack of writing insulting graffiti about him. As an apology, Alf gave him a job and kept him on despite a number of difficulties on his first day. Alf tried to support Tug’s picnic hamper plans but they too fell flat, especially when Jack deliberately messed up an order and Alf and Michael ended up on a fishing trip with a box of supplies for the Diner. Alf gave Tug a second chance by telling him and Jack to run the sausage sizzle to raise funds for the surf club, but when Jack accidentally ruined the sausages and tried to cover, it resulted in both Alf and Tug buying replacements and Alf thinking Tug had stolen the originals. Sarah’s father Matthew came to stay with them while recovering from a heart attack and ended up offering Tug a job on his farm. Alf tried to get him to stay by offering him an apprenticeship at the boat shed, which he had recently bought a half share of to help Michael and Pippa out. This annoyed Michael who told him they needed someone qualified and eventually he had to accept Tug’s choices.
Sally lobbied Alf and Ailsa to help the Rosses take on Curtis and Shannon Reed. Alf was grateful that they were assigned Curtis, since he had not hit it off with Shannon, who he briefly banned from the house when they argued over the pair’s dog, Mindy, chewing his waders. He gave Curtis half of Jack’s shifts at the store to welcome him into the family. Shannon accused him of underpaying the pair which Alf vigorously denied, until he discovered Ailsa had failed to pass on a letter informing him of wage increases. Both Alf and Shannon were left embarrassed when he backed down and gave them their back pay. He let the teens have a party at the house which Rob and Roxy were supposed to chaperone, only to end up being burgled. Alf had a falling out with Sarah when Duncan ran out onto the road while Sarah was meant to be looking after him, just as Alf was pulling into the drive. Sarah decided to go and stay with Tug and Matthew to complete her revision, and Alf said a polite but strained farewell to her. When Christmas came round, Alf took pride in erecting a big Christmas tree outside the house only for the teens to accidentally set fire to it when they had a barbeque on the front lawn.
In 1995, Alf accidentally ran over Angel when she stepped out in front of him on a busy road, which left her temporarily unable to walk. Although the police cleared him of blame, Alf had to cope with his own guilt and being the target of Shane’s anger, not feeling much better when he and Shane made up. He and Ailsa hired Mary O’Brien as a cleaner only for her to move herself into the house saying she had been evicted from her motel. Tiring of her hanging around, Alf gave her $500 to go and see her family, only to learn after she’d left that she was a con artist with a string of aliases. He was convinced by Jack to let exchange student Laura Bonetti stay with them. Alf joined an old army friend on a trip to Fiji, meaning he was absent when Laura was killed in a train accident. On his return, Ailsa went through a period of depression, not helped by a break-in at the Diner. Alf tried to help her but she believed that he didn’t love her any more. One night Ailsa was in the kitchen, drugged up on five-year-old anti-depressants, and saw a vision of Bobby appear from the fridge! The ghostly Bobby told Ailsa that Alf really did love her, after which Ailsa admitted that she had a problem and needed help. She went away to a clinic in the city for a while. On her return, she continued to have trouble relating to Alf until he read some poetry in an attempt to express his feelings for her.
Alf was pleased when Marilyn return to town after the breakdown of her marriage. When the police started reinvestigating a break-in done by Curtis and Laura, Alf tried to cover for Curtis but instead found himself arrested for withholding information. He learned Don had contacted the police so went to the school and punched him. He was charged with assault but made up with Don over a game of pool. He was worried when Curtis fixed his old trail bike and entered it in a motocross competition, but ended up enthusiastically supporting him and was disappointed when Curtis lost interest. Alf had a few near heart attacks and was constantly told to slow down. He was keen to leave a legacy for his family and became a leading player in a proposed timeshare development. This brought him into conflict with Pippa and Michael, who worried he was setting up in opposition to the caravan park. Around this time, Alf came into contact with Quinn Jackson, a daughter he had unknowingly conceived during his service in Vietnam. Alf tried to welcome Quinn into his life but seeing him putting profit before friendship turned her against him. She provided Steven with an environmental impact report that Alf had tried to bury, and it being made public turned several of the residents against the proposal. Although she realised Alf would have been there for her if he’d known about her, Quinn left town without making up with him. He collapsed while fishing with Duncan, who had to get help. Despite this, he still continued his busy life.
The following year Alf was shocked to learn Marilyn and Donald were engaged, feeling the age difference was too great, but eventually accepted they were serious about each other. He organised a shark hunt when Joey, Liam and Casey’s boat was attacked by a shark. Shortly after, Summer Bay was hit by an earthquake. As Alf watched his store collapse around him he suffered a major heart attack resulting in him needing open heart surgery. His surgeon was James McLaren, who broke procedure by leaving the hospital straight after the operation. Alf took a turn for the worse and Kelly only just managed to keep him going until James came back. Alf recovered to be best man at Don and Marilyn’s wedding and had to deal with a muck-raking journalist revealing Ailsa’s past. He clashed with Curtis when he decided to drop out of school and briefly believed him dead when his bike was stolen and the thief was involved in an accident.
In early 1997, Alf and Ailsa had an uncomfortable encounter with her estranged brother Tony, who still resented her role in their father’s death. When Curtis got involved with Jenna Evans, a young woman on the run from her abusive husband, Alf helped him contact Jenna’s family after she’d been pressured into re-joining her husband Sean and bring her back to Summer Bay and had no objection to her staying with Curtis until the pair left town together. Alf opened a business with Jesse McGregor, who was a crook in his younger days: a bait store which they called ‘Alf and Jesse’s Baits and Bits Store’. Alf found Aaron Welles sleeping rough in it and ended up offering him a home. He was less enamoured when Aaron’s sister Justine came to stay with them and ended up throwing her out when he found out she was on drugs. Alf was on the interview panel when Chloe applied to be an exchange student. She dodged the question when he alluded to her drug addiction and he agreed not to mention it to the rest of the panel. He was contacted by Jeff Marshall, an old comrade from Vietnam, asking Alf to come and see him. Disturbed by the memories it brought back, Alf put off the meeting and felt guilty when he heard Jeff had committed suicide. He had another falling out with Justine when she shoplifted from the bait shop. When Jesse was attacked by Rod Sutton and his friends in the surf club and had his hair cut off, he decided to sue the surf club for letting it happen. Alf initially pooh-poohed the idea, but a talk from Jesse’s solicitor Paula Rogers about humiliation convinced him to settle out of court. He was one of many parents who opposed Don’s decision to let the older students see a sexually explicit play but backed down after an impassioned speech from Tiegan.
Alf employing Hai, a Vietnamese assistant, at the bait shop coincided with the visit of a right wing politician, Christine McKenzie. Although Alf was friendly towards Hai, he balked at Jesse asking him to put up signs in Vietnamese and other languages, intending to take them down once he moved on, but was embarrassed when Hai learned of his opposition. Alf ended up at odds with Jason Dunn when Bonza Burgers attempted to open up a franchise in Summer Bay, which would be competition for the Diner, and he and Ailsa paid to modernise the Diner. When Jesse’s fiancée Kylie Burton was charged over a fatal hit and run, Alf agreed to use the bait shop as surety for her bail, only for the couple to go on the run and Alf be left to pay $10,000. When Kylie was caught, Alf refused to let Jesse back in as a partner and Ailsa ended up employing him at the Diner. Things softened slightly when Alf and Ailsa briefly lost Rachel and Alf allowed Jesse back into the bait shop. He had further disappointment when Aaron dropped out of school to join a band.
Duncan had an accident on council lands when he fell into an unprotected ravine, which ended in him being in hospital for a long time. This angered Alf, and since then, he lost interest in the council. He hired Paula to sue them, eventually getting a $100,000 out of court settlement, yet refused to visit Duncan in hospital. Alf and Ailsa had a falling out over his priorities during which Alf went to stay at the caravan park. There, he befriended a blind woman, Catherine Clements, and got into trouble with Joel for letting her drive his car. She later saved him when his caravan caught fire and helped him and Ailsa make up. Burdened by his inability to be there for Duncan, as well as his previous failures with Quinn and Jeff, Alf went to a retreat with Donald to help get in touch with his feelings, during which they had to walk across hot coals together. Vinnie stood against him in the surf club elections and Alf defeated him but made Vinnie his deputy, even consenting to Vinnie addressing him as “Stewie” when Ailsa convinced him it was a sign of affection. When Ailsa was scared in a road rage incident, Alf applied for gun ownership to protect his family. However, when a panicked Ailsa shot at him when he came home unexpectedly, he realised the gun was causing more problems than it was solving and got rid of it. He went on holiday to Papua New Guinea not long after and was aghast at the trouble Duncan got into in his absence.
He soon had experience of Duncan’s troublemaking himself when Duncan constructed a homemade bomb, pretending it was a science project, and Alf was injured when it went off. Their relationship continued to deteriorate and Alf was again distracted when he protested plans to set up a nudist beach near the Bay. Ailsa decided they needed family mediation and asked Natalie to handle it. Duncan revealed that he felt neglected after spending so long in hospital alone. The family signed a contract which Duncan initially tried to abuse to get out of chores but eventually he and Alf bonded on a fishing trip and, after joining a church group with his new friend Hope, Duncan apologised for all the trouble he’d caused. While visiting Jesse, Alf realised he had a girlfriend with him and recognised Natalie’s hat on the table. Not realising she had lent it to Gypsy, Alf believed Jesse and Natalie were having an affair, an impression reinforced by cross purpose talks with Jesse and Joel, and he spread the news around town, only to end up red-faced when the truth came out. He supported Vinnie and Sally when they set up in competition to Adam’s Bonza Burger kiosk after Adam sacked Sal.
Alf arranged a fishing competition to raise funds for the school. Afterwards, Duncan and Ailsa were involved in an accident when their car went into a river; Duncan got clear but Ailsa was trapped inside, nearly drowned and was left on life support. Alf was advised to turn the machines off and agreed but Ailsa continued to breathe and made a full recovery. She accused Alf of wanting her dead, to the point where she stood by and watched when he was electrocuted by faulty machinery, then worked to drive him mad, cutting him out of family photos, giving away his clothes to charity and deliberately going missing. Alf moved out for a while but Ailsa and Duncan being held prisoner by David DiAngelo in his absence was enough to bring Ailsa to her senses. Mitch McColl had supported Duncan during the incident and became the Stewarts’ latest house guest.
Despite his old fashioned ways, he is a good natured person who meant well. He was shocked when Vinnie employed a female lifeguard, Shauna Bradley, but accepted it after she threatened to sue him for discrimination if he didn’t give her a fair go. When the caravan park was put up for sale and Diana Fraser planned to buy and redevelop it, Alf outbid her at the auction after getting support from Joel, Natalie and Colleen. Diana tried to convince Alf to go into business with her instead and he was tempted when the first business meeting descended into an argument, but when he learned Diana had bribed the council to approve her application he quickly realised who he was best off working with. Jesse asked Alf to buy him out of the bait shop so he could start a garage but Alf refused. However, the place was burnt down by a madman. Alf accused Jesse, affecting his reputation and stopping the insurance company paying up until the real culprit was caught.
When Celia and her missionary colleagues were kidnapped by revolutionaries, Alf flew out to negotiate their release but had to pay a large amount of ransom money, leaving Ailsa and Duncan frustrated. When Duncan and his new friend Nick Smith vandalised the surf club, Alf attempted to resign as chairman but Vinnie refused to let him. Having previously told Leah to steer clear of Vinnie, Alf was forced to admit that he was a good bloke. As a result of the ransom, he was left in financial difficulty and, with Joel and Natalie having separated and needing to split their assets, the syndicate decided to sell the caravan park. Sally’s fiancé Kieran Fletcher tried to pressure Alf into selling it to him at a reduced price but instead he and Joel sold it to the Sutherland family.
Ailsa confided in Alf something she had recently been told by old cellmate Kate O’Connor: Shauna was the daughter that Ailsa had given up after being raped in prison. Alf struggled not to take the revelation out on Shauna. He told the whole story to Shauna’s boyfriend Harry to stop him pressing the matter, while Ailsa admitted being Shauna’s mother but lied to her about who her father was. Alf wasn’t too keen when both Mitch and Duncan pressed for the drop-in centre to be opened and felt let down when Mitch let two drifters stay at the centre before it opened and they stole Alf’s tools.
When the Sutherlands realised some of the caravans were in a poor state, Alf admitted he had discovered the damage and hid it with a temporary patch-up. Alf accepted he’d done wrong, especially since Duncan was now dating the Sutherlands’ youngest Jade and blamed Alf for cheating her family, but was unable to pay Rhys compensation. He offered to get Rhys a job on the council road gang but opposed his idea to take over the surf club kiosk, worried it would be competition for the Diner. Ailsa and Shelley tried to build bridges with a family day out but it was a disaster, with Rhys hating Alf’s idea of a fishing trip and Alf taking them to a “secluded” beach that was now littered with rubbish. However, at the kiosk opening he extended an olive branch by putting a large amount of money behind the bar. Around the same time, he employed Will as his new deck hand.
Then the family was hit by two blows; first, their home was destroyed in a mudslide, with Ailsa, Duncan, Shauna and Jade having to be rescued from the wreckage, then the Diner was burned down in a fire accidentally started by Colleen. Alf briefly stayed at the caravan park, insisting on taking one of the bad vans, before Donald gave the family a place to stay. Alf was disgruntled when Donald was chosen to carry the Olympic torch through Summer Bay but got a measure of satisfaction when a prank by his students saw Donald run off with the wrong flame and Alf briefly carrying the correct torch to catch up with him. Leah came to the family’s rescue by finding a new premises for the Diner with a flat above it, and they managed to turn the store room into a bedroom for Mitch, but just as the family were settling in, Ailsa, who had moved some boxes Alf had left lying around, collapsed from a heart attack and died.
Alf became increasingly withdrawn in the aftermath, alienating Duncan and Mitch, who both moved out, and Will, since he’d left him without a job by neglecting the Blaxland. He did however become closer to Shauna, after letting slip the truth about her conception, and managed to briefly rouse himself to defend Irene when property developer Duncan Scott tried to force her to sell her house. He also became closer to Leah, selling her a half share of the Diner; however, Duncan disapproved and when Alf found out Duncan had been rude to Leah he had to be restrained from hitting him with his belt. He attracted the attention of Stella Patterson and they attended Vinnie and Leah’s wedding together, sharing a kiss and further angering Duncan.
However, after a trip to see Roo, Alf smoothed things over with Duncan, who moved back in, only to start clashing with Leah over the running of the Diner when she switched to organic vegetables without telling him. The matter was resolved when Alf’s regular supplier agreed to provide organic but Alf promptly started arguing with Colleen, especially with Leah taking time off for her pregnancy. Colleen started a work to rule but ended up developing a crush on Alf when he saved her from choking with the Heimlich manoeuvre. However, Alf’s problems with Duncan flared up again, as Duncan alienated his friends and feuded with new boy David Barclay. Duncan framed Colleen for stealing from the Diner, leaving Alf to apologise to her when Nick revealed the truth and then pay Irene for damages when Duncan vandalised the beach house in revenge. Then Morag reappeared and began trying to convince Duncan to come and live with her in the city. Alf saw what was going on but didn’t have the energy to oppose it and let Duncan go with her, telling Morag that he hoped Duncan would see through her soon enough.
Alf offered to teach Rhys to swim when he discovered he’d never learned and tried to talk Vinnie and Leah out of going into business with Ralph. He reluctantly accepted Dani as a temporary deckhand while Will was on holiday but she proved herself when she got them safely back to shore after Alf injured his hand on a fish hook. He agreed to offer himself for half a day at the slave auction to raise money for the drop-in centre, only for Colleen to buy him and interpret it as twelve hours. After spending most of the day doing slave labour for her, Alf made a donation to get out of the obligation.
Alf agreed to be a character witness at Vinnie’s fraud trial but instead found the prosecution asking him about warning Vinnie to stay away from Ralph, contributing to Vinnie’s conviction. When Will left town, Alf gave his job to Josh West, even though he was worried about his lack of commitment. He was proved right when Josh decided to be a lifeguard instead just a few week later but ultimately supported his application. He refuse to give a job to Nathan when he was released from jail but softened towards him when he helped out after a bus crash, keeping quiet about the fact Nathan had stolen his car and letting him do work on the Blaxland. Alf organised the town’s sesquicentenary celebrations, inviting several old residents back to town, but the event ended in a disaster where a storm struck and a boat taking many past and current residents on a cruise sank. Alf tried to organise the rescue efforts but the stress caused him to suffer a heart attack. Shauna returned for a time to look after him and Alf let Jude know where she was when she tried to leave town without seeing him, resulting in them reconciling.
He welcomed Jesse back to town and bet Josh and Dani that they couldn’t avoid kissing for a week. Alf clashed with Josh when Charlotte drowned partly because of the inadequate equipment at the surf club. He helped Jude arrange to set up a trust fund with Charlotte’s money to support an orphanage she had been interested in and accepted a donation from Sally to improve the surf club facilities and upgrade the gym. Alf, became forgetful and short-tempered, wrongly accusing June and Colleen of stealing from the diner when in fact he had misplaced the money. He snapped at June, implying she was a gold-digger, then seemed to forget about it straightaway, before turfing all the customers out of the Diner in a temper. The suspicion was, that like his father, Alf was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Alf’s behaviour became so much more erratic, including accidentally starting a fire at the Diner, that Don phoned Morag to come and help with Alf. Alf found Morag nothing more than a nuisance, especially when she organised a competency hearing to have him declared unfit to run the Diner, and convinced Don to become his power of attorney. Morag responded by trying to force Leah to sell her share but Alf and Don put a stop to the plan by making it clear that if she went through with it they would sell Alf’s share to Leah for a pittance.
Returning to the diner after VJ’s 1st birthday party, Alf saw Ailsa in the kitchen. Though Alf thought that Ailsa had returned from the dead, it was clear to everyone else that something was seriously wrong with Alf. However his visions of Ailsa caused him to react violently towards anyone that tried to argue with him, pushing Morag down a flight of stairs and attacking Donald. Don eventually told him he would either have to go into a care room or come and live with him and Seb. Alf said he would do the latter but then fled town. He went missing in the bush and was found in a bad way. Further tests showed Alf wasn’t actually suffering from Alzheimer’s and had a brain tumour. Despite pleas from his friends to have an operation Ailsa kept on convincing him not to have it. Alf’s friends accepted his decision and worked to give him an enjoyable last few weeks, with Noah and Seb arranging a motorbike ride for him. However, his visions of Ailsa became less and less comforting as she harangued and belittled him and he eventually decided he should have the operation. After collapsing at a play in his honour Alf went under the knife. Whilst on the operating table Ailsa showed Alf what the bay would turn into without him around. As Alf flatlined, Ailsa gave Alf the choice of joining her in the afterlife, or returning to Summer Bay. As the surgeons called time on Alf’s death his heart sprang back to life. Alf was determined not to let his vision turn into reality.
After a few weeks living with Don in his new home up in the Whitsunday’s, Alf returned to the bay reinvigorated and started to make sure the events in his visions didn’t come true. First of all he told Hayley what he had seen of her future with Josh and she soon broke up with him. However, he did also try and help Josh overcome his fear of the ocean since Charlotte’s death. He was also worried about Seb, who was now in his care after he had decided to stay in Summer Bay after Don had left, was going to have an accident on Noah’s motorcycle and did everything he could to ensure that Seb would not ride a bike. Unfortunately some of the things in Alf’s dream did come true. He had seen that Sally and Flynn had lost the baby in his dream, and sure enough, when he returned from the Whitsunday’s, Sophie had miscarried Sally and Flynn’s child, however her and Blake’s survived. Having seen Jesse in prison for murder, Alf tried to warn Leah off him and also believed he was guilty when Angie turned up dead, only to realise he needed to judge Jesse less harshly after he was cleared.
Alf soon found new romance for the first time since Ailsa had died with Colleen’s daughter, Maureen. After a comical first date in which they continuously turned up in the wrong outfits before finally going fishing together, their relationship lasted a few weeks, during which Colleen was mortified about how close they had become. Alf was convinced this was his chance to be happy again and nearly proposed to Maureen but she made it clear she didn’t see things as that serious and soon left the bay. With Sally about to marry Flynn, she asked Alf to give her away at the last minute when it looked like Don wasn’t going to turn up. Alf pretended not to mind stepping aside when Don came back after all but eventually a compromise was reached where Alf gave her away and Don officiated.
Alf continued his ownership of the boat throughout this, going into partnership with Scott. While giving Seb a driving lesson, Alf was pulled over by new constable Pia Corelli and charged when it turned out his license had expired. However, he and Scott were grateful of Pia when Alf inadvertently took a booking from a group of drug smugglers. Not long after, Alf and Scott clashed again when Scott’s sister Kit took the Blaxland out for a spin without asking. Alf’s worst fears almost came true when Seb, hurt by Kirsty and Kane and by Jade’s rejection, took off on Noah’s motorcycle to make a point to Alf. The police soon came a-knocking, asking Alf to identify Seb. However, Seb wasn’t dead. Someone had stolen the bike off him, with all Seb’s identification and had crashed fatally. When the bike was returned to Noah, Alf smashed it up to prevent the prediction coming true, giving Noah a large amount of money as compensation. He was disappointed when Noah simply bought another bike.
He refused Seb permission to have Jade stay over but wasn’t particularly bothered when he realised they’d slept together anyway. He also began to grow close to Kane, who he and Scott employed on the Blaxland. Unfortunately, on one trip two American tourists, Bob and Alicia Campbell, went missing when diving and they were thought to be dead. After Scott and Kane came back ashore they and Alf went looking for the couple and found Bob on the shore. A brief struggle ensued when Bob tried to take them hostage after they realised he had set the whole thing up to kill his wife and make it look like they had both died. However, Scott had still broken regulations and looked set to lose his license, prompting Alf to ask Kane to take over. When Floss returned to town, mistakenly believing she was terminally ill, she asked Alf to help her die but after considering it he ultimately refused. He initially failed to warm to Barry Hyde, especially when Barry was dismissive of Don.
Alf’s son Duncan returned in 2004 and started causing chaos around the bay. First of all he got Jade hooked on drugs and then he drove a car off a cliff with Seb on the bonnet. Feeling Duncan needed taking in hand, Alf had Duncan move back to Summer Bay with him, especially after Seb, who had been left in a wheelchair by the incident, moved away. Alf also befriended Val Squires, Jack Hunter’s old mistress, and gave her a caravan to stay in. When Duncan nearly blinded Barry by throwing a paint bomb at his face, Alf was again left despairing of him. Alf and Morag managed to get Duncan off the charges, however when Duncan got hold of Tasha’s secret and blackmailed her into giving him the money to allow him to go to New York, Alf announced he no longer thought of Duncan as his son.
After being diagnosed with depression and starting to make decision with the flip of a coin, Alf sold his remaining half of the diner in 2004 to Irene, whom Tasha had bought if for, but retained ownership of the building and continued to live in the flat above it, gaining Kim as a lodger when he fell out with Barry. Alf discussed his own experiences with Hayley when she began seeing Noah after his death and supported Jesse over Rhys when the former applied to replace the surf club kiosk with Noah’s, a combined license premises and juice bar. Morag returned to town and moved herself into Alf’s flat, evicting Kim. Alf went along with it since he realised she was lonely. When the kiosk was torched in an arson attack, Alf offered reward money for information only for the real culprit, Eric Dalby, to frame Henry Hunter and then claim the reward. Alf worked with Dan to force Dalby to give the reward to charity.
When Dani Sutherland was convicted for the attempted murder of Kane Philips and sent to prison, she was befriended by ‘The Guv’ who seemed very interested in Summer Bay. It transpired that The Guv was actually Viv Standish, Alf’s Stewart’s very first girlfriend. Viv confided to Dani that she was dying and with the help of her boyfriend Scott they managed to reacquaint her with Alf. She was given day release in order to spend her last hours with him in The Bay. Before she died though she told him that he was father to a son who she had had adopted by a local family. Alf realised it was Owen Dalby, the violent father of Dalby, who Ric had accidentally killed when he pushed Owen down some stairs while he was beating him. Alf was reluctant to tell Dalby who he was but asked Morag to represent him on manslaughter charges. With Ric going on the run Alf was determined to find him and form a bond with his grandson. He received his chance when Dalby, who had been cleared of manslaughter when it was discovered Owen died of a heart attack, came out of hiding in order to help Leah and Dan after a seaplane crash. Alf met him at the hospital and told him of their relationship and Dalby was eventually convinced to go back to the flat with him. At first their relationship was strained and Ric decided to live with Sally and Flynn rather than Alf, after Alf walked in on him giving himself an insulin injection and assumed he was a drug addict, but they eventually forged a relationship and became close. They bonded on a fishing expedition where Dalby decided to adopt the name Ric.
Soon after, yet another Stewart was to be reunited with Alf when, on a regular trip to see his daughter Roo in New York after she had been in a car accident, he met and became acquainted with his grand-daughter Martha whom Roo had given up for adoption eighteen years earlier. To Alf’s delight Martha decided to follow him back to the bay in order to meet her Australian relatives and he introduced her to Ric, who was unhappy about Alf’s lack of contact during his absence. Alf himself was unhappy about Martha dating Jesse, who was on the rebound from Josie. However, he did bond with fellow Vietnam veteran Graham Walters during the Anzac Day commemoration and also arranged to take over Josie’s share of Noah’s Bar, running it initially alongside Jesse and Hayley. When Alf turned sixty the residents of The Bay came together to organise a huge party for him with a number of familiar faces, including his sisters Morag, Barbara and Celia, his son Duncan, foster children Blake Dean, Sarah Thompson and Mitch McColl amongst others, returning for the big day. The party was a huge success with Sally delivering a rousing speech about ‘Mr Stewart’.
Chloe Richards, back in the bay to escape a violent boyfriend, gave Alf, Martha, Ric and Kim a lift home from the party but their car was forced off the road and they were all taken to hospital where Chloe died and Martha was left seemingly paralysed. A furious Alf went on the rampage in order to find the culprit and initially accused Duncan, who had left the party angry after Alf mostly ignored him but was cleared by the police and smoothed things over with Alf after their previous parting on bad terms. Alf was horrified to discover it was in fact Jesse, spurned by Chloe, who had drank too much and accidentally run them off the road, and refused to forgive him, even though he handed himself into the police. Luckily Martha made a full recovery, eventually recovering the use of her legs, and the fact she encouraged Jesse to get a lawyer shamed Alf into agreeing to say goodbye to him before he was taken to jail, admitting he mostly felt guilty for not realising there was something wrong with Chloe. He later helped protect the caravan park when the town was hit by a cyclone.
When Josh West arrived back in town Alf was convinced he was bad news and the two quickly came head to head in the campaign to be Mayor. Unfortunately for Alf, Josh was willing to play dirty and set Alf up so it looked as if he had been embezzling surf club money. Elected as Mayor, Josh wasted no time in putting his plans into action, Project 56, a bridge right through Summer Bay, would essentially decimate the town but Alf refused to go down without a fight, delivering a rousing speech about the ‘spirit of summer bay’. Despite his and Morag’s best efforts though and with a corrupt Judge overseeing his trial, Alf stood no chance in getting off the false charges and was sent straight to Prison, sentenced to nine months. Whilst in there Alf managed to do good and tried to reach out to a fellow con, Davey Gibson, who spoke up for him when he was wrongly accused of being involved in a jailbreak, but Alf was released when the judge’s corruption was exposed and Davey was left inside with the other convicts. A free Alf was ridden with guilt about not being able to help the guy and for months after was a changed man. He was quiet, withdrawn, snappy and jumped at the slightest sound. Luckily he had several heart to hearts with his sister Morag and Sally and eventually came through the other side.
When Sally Fletcher’s husband Flynn was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Alf was there to support her and her family, including grandson Ric. Before Flynn eventually passed away he shared a quiet moment with Alf, asking him to look after his family for him. Alf took him at his word, moving into the Caravan Par House to support Sally, arranging for Martha to move in while he was in jail, and he has lived there ever since, bringing together the two original characters under one roof.
Over the next year or so the majority of Alf’s storylines revolved around his family, including the many trials of Ric and Martha, as well as organising searches such as when Dan went missing and trying to drum up opposition to Amanda making a film in the Bay. He got to give Martha away at her wedding to Jack but when she was injured in an explosion at the reception she was one of several residents lost in the bush after the crash of a helicopter taking them to hospital. Alf got into a fight with a reporter for claiming they were dead then the stress of organising the search caused him to suffer chest pains but he eventually managed to make a speech bringing the community together. He was reluctant to celebrate his birthday during the search but Ric and Cassie insisted on giving him a gift. When she was finally found safe and well Alf decided to fly personally to New York to deliver the news that she was safe. He suspected Cassie of cheating on Ric with Macca and fired Macca from Noah’s when the truth came out. He worried about Martha’s relationship with Ash Nader when Tony told him Ash had been unreliable in the past and failed to convince Martha to end the relationship when it transpired Ash was married. He was devastated when Sally was brutally stabbed by Rocco Cooper and was around to support his grandson Ric as he was wrongly imprisoned for Rocco’s subsequent murder. He also learned that Martha had aborted Ash’s child after he had gone back to his wife but Martha refused to discuss it.
He received a phone call saying that his sister Celia had had a stroke so he flew once again to her aid. In his absence his granddaughter Martha fell off the rails. Alf was horrified to come home and find Martha living in The Diner flat and working as a Dancer in a Strip Club and delivered a stark warning to new boyfriend/employer Cam Reynolds. He caught Cassie twice in trysts with Jules and was there for Martha when she admitted her despair over her abortion.
His main story for the year came when Jack pulled him over for a routine breath test and discovered that his license had expired after he failed an eye test. Jack was forced to tell him to stop driving. When his family began nagging him to get it renewed he reluctantly admitted to Martha that he thought he was possibly going blind; that his father had had glaucoma and that it was hereditary. His family eventually convinced him to have tests after he nearly ran Sally down while driving illegally but he failed to show for the results despite being dropped off outside. When Ric convinced him to head in and apologise he was relieved to hear that his problem was only cataracts and that he only needed a small operation to fix things. He briefly went missing when the boat that he, Brad, Ric and Dan had taken on a fishing trip was thrown onto a sandbank during a storm and they had to be rescued.
His eyesight almost caused him to lose everything when he accidentally knocked down Little Pippa because he couldn’t see her. A furious Sally blamed him and out of guilt he moved out of the house onto his boat. Fortunately Pippa recovered and Sally forgave him, allowing him to move home again.
2008 saw a huge year for Alf as Sally made the decision to leave the bay. Unable to cope, Alf kept his distance from her before she sought him out and they said an emotional goodbye with him asking her to call him Alf and Sally replying “You’ll always be Mr Stewart to me, Alf”. The next key event saw a time capsule left by his mother be discovered and the revelation that Colleen was actually his half-sister. Although initially shocked Alf later saw how much it meant to Colleen and made an effort towards her, causing a misunderstanding where everyone thought they were getting married before the truth was revealed.
Ric’s turmoil over Matilda saw Alf re-open the bait shop but he was left to run it alone when Ric left for Perth. He was devastated to find out that Martha had cancer but there was a happy occasion when Morag finally got married to Ross Buckton. Unfortunately it wasn’t to last and Alf had to support her when Ross developed Alzheimer’s and then Martha when she suffered a miscarriage prior to her cancer treatment.
New arrival in town Bridget Simmonds set her cap at Alf and though initially reluctant, they began seeing each other. Things started to not add up though when Bridget took money for advertising which never materialized. Confronting her, Bridget lied that her cancer had returned and he later took her side when Rachel turned against her.
He was gutted when Bridget announced she was leaving for cancer treatment in the states and asked her to stay to support him in the aftermath of Jack’s funeral. She agreed but Rachel wasn’t pleased when Alf gave her an expensive ring and revealed the truth about Bridget, that she was a con artist who had been involved in Ryan being kidnapped, leaving Alf devastated and humiliated. Hugo came to him with a business proposition but after being burnt by Elliot and Bridget he refused on Roman’s advice only to later change his mind and allow Hugo to set up a dive business out of the bait shop.
He received word that Duncan was getting married in Vegas and arranged for Pippa to come and cover him with Irene away and Roman in hospital. He was unimpressed by the tacky ceremony when he returned a few weeks later. He returned just in time to be at Irene’s side after she was arrested for Lou’s murder. He worked hard with the surf club to get the winter surf carnival and was gutted when a severed hand on the beach and a shark attack, meant the carnival was lost to the town. He went on an expedition with Hugo and Miles to catch the shark but instead they uncovered Lou’s body.
In early 2010, Alf ended up caught up in the race riot that burnt down the Diner. The experience left him disenchanted with life in Summer Bay for a while until some words from Miles and Irene, a fishing trip with Tony, the fact that people like Martha and Aden had managed to pick themselves up after tragedies and even a chat with Nicole inspired him to carry on. He also had to carry the burden of being the only person in town aside from Angelo to know of Hugo’s continued survival and the fact that it eventually becoming common knowledge led to Martha leaving his life seemingly for good as she went on the run with Hugo, leaving him in charge of her farm. He was bolstered by the return of Marilyn, who he quickly invited to move into the caravan park house, but shocked when she told him she was dying (the result of a prediction made by a psychic). He was very uncomfortable when Marilyn introduced him to her ventriloquists doll Mr. Oddly, as the result of a bad experience at his fifth birthday party, and made several attempts to get rid of him. When Marilyn decided to burn the doll, he took great delight in lighting the match.
Alf became uneasy about Penn Graham, especially when he learned Penn was the son of Tulip O’Hare, a woman he had had an affair with over twenty years previous, shortly after his wife Martha died and when Tulip had recently lost her daughter. Tulip died of an overdose shortly after Alf broke the affair off and Penn blamed Alf, swearing revenge. He pestered Alf, breaking into his room and planting photos of Tulip everywhere and vandalising the house. Alf kept tight-lipped about his past with Penn, only telling Miles, so he appeared guilty when Penn turned up dead. He was delighted when Roo returned to town but bothered by her secret conversation with Gina. When Roo told him the truth about trying to help Martha and Hugo, he gave his blessing. At John and Gina’s wedding reception, he was arrested for Penn’s murder. He spent six weeks in jail on remand before being released on bail. When Will admitted he had killed Penn, the charges were dropped and, after accepting John had done a good job running the surf club in his absence, Alf left to travel the world on a six month backpacking tour.
He returned to the aftermath of the bachelor and spinsters ball and made a deal with Romeo to let the latter run a tour business with the Blaxland. He clashed with Harvey Ryan when he revealed Alf had never bought a permit for his mooring and unsuccessfully tried to convince the council to let him keep it. When he learned Harvey would get the mooring, which he had installed himself, he and Romeo removed it. After Harvey lost his boat in a storm, Alf agreed to him joining Romeo in the business and, partly because he was dating Roo, ignored Romeo’s claims he wasn’t pulling his weight in the business. He later considered selling the Blaxland to him and rejected Romeo’s ultimatum to choose between them, although Sid convinced him to delay signing the contract and he cancelled the deal when Roo worked out Harvey had been conning them. He then decided to stand for council against Harvey. However, he lost the election, unaware that the mayor had rigged the vote. Despite this, he worked with Harvey, along with Gina, Elijah and several other residents, to raise funds for a school Miles and Sally were planning to build in Thailand. He went over there to help with the construction and, when he returned, had to endure a treatable form of malaria.
Alf spent the next several months dealing with the chaos surrounding Roo and Harvey’s wedding and the arrival in the household of Spencer and Maddy. When Sally returned to town, Alf was pleased to see her but realised something was wrong and she admitted that her daughter Pippa had an incurable genetic condition, mitochondrial disease. Alf, along with Roo, Marilyn and Harvey, tried to buy the house in order to get her the money to go to a clinic in the United States but was refused a mortgage so put the Blaxland up for sale in order to afford the deposit. It was bought by Harvey’s friend Winston Markman who was happy for Alf to carry on using it. The amount was bolstered by an anonymous donation of $80,000 from Brax, who Alf obliquely thanked, when Bianca and Heath set up a fund in lieu of wedding presents. Alf had a hard time coping with saying goodbye to them, especially when Pippa asked him to witness her will, and told Sally he’d be out fishing when she left. After avoiding their farewell party, Roo convinced him to say goodbye to them.
He had a hard time accepting Maddy’s relationship with Josh Barrett, who had been in the car when his brother Andy ran her off the road, and reported him to the police, only for him to be released as soon as it was established he wasn’t driving. Maddy asked Alf to let Josh stay in a van when he found himself homeless but Alf refused. Maddy instead hid Josh in her room and when Alf found out he threw him out, causing Maddy to run away. Shortly after she returned, Alf went to visit Sally and Pippa in the States but returned when he learned Harvey had gone missing at sea. He objected to Josh again on learning Andy had spiked Maddy’s drink but some pointed remarks from Nate prompted him to reluctantly accept him and invite him to dinner. He welcomed the pair back from the Bay Meets the River music festival and returned home with Roo and Maddy to find Harvey waiting for them.
Alf tried to repair Roo and Harvey’s marriage but ultimately Harvey’s experiences while missing caused them to break up and him to leave. He had trouble coping with the discovery Josh and Maddy were sleeping together, trying to ban Josh from the house, but ultimately accepted they were old enough. He employed Denny Miller as his new assistant at the bait shop and began to see her as a surrogate daughter. He was briefly hospitalised after eating risotto that Chris had made with poisoned mushroom.
He then had to deal with Roo being hospitalised with an infection immediately after returning from holiday, and was glued to her bedside as she lay comatose. When Nate asked him about where she had been, he discovered she had left Las Vegas, where she had supposedly been staying, weeks previous. Maddy found her passport which showed she had been to Peru, and Nate was able to give her the correct treatment. He argued with Roo about her keeping her travel plans secret but made peace with her when she explained she was fed up of people knowing her business.
When he learned Andy had been dealing drugs out of the caravan park, he threw him out, saying Josh could stay if he went quietly. He supported Denny at Casey’s funeral and gave Maddy a serve on learning she had slept with Josh after Casey’s death. He gave Marilyn away when she married John and accompanied Chris in going to help Spencer when he was lured to a motel by internet predator Keith Potts. He and Zac took VJ, Spencer and Matt away to help them over recent events. He supported Maddy and Josh when they revealed they were expecting a baby. Then Maddy admitted to him that Oscar might be the father, and when an ultrasound showed she actually had cancer he arranged a visit from cancer survivors Irene and Marilyn to reassure her. After taking her to the hospital to begin her chemotherapy, he went home with Roo to get her things.
They learnt that Maddy had disappeared and Alf helped supervise the rescue operation when several residents were injured in a bus crash. He talked Roo out of following Oscar to the city and supported Maddy when she returned and began chemotherapy. He shut down a protest led by Josh trying to stop a mural that he had graffitied on the side of the surf club being removed. He was interested when John talked about setting up a war memorial in Summer Bay but felt dispirited when Evelyn came round with details of a school excursion for Anzac Day and dismissed it as a waste of time. He admitted to Marilyn and Roo that he had never been to the war memorial in Canberra, and still had the ashes of his grandfather who died in World War I, so Marilyn suggested he go on the excursion as a chaperone. He was depressed by the teenagers’ continued ambivalence but ended up placing a poppy on the wall with Evelyn’s help. Afterwards, he joined the teens in spending a night in the trenches. The experiences at the museum and in the trenches caused him to suffer flashbacks and after wandering off during the night he was found collapsed and rushed to hospital. The doctors confirmed he hadn’t had a heart attack but did have an irregular heartbeat. He got talking to Tom Knight, a World War II veteran in the next bed who felt guilt about losing his plane crew and about being estranged from his son. Later, he was told that Tom had died. Roo smuggled him out of hospital to attend the Anzac Day service the youngsters had put on, where he scattered his grandfather’s ashes.
He returned home without a diagnosis and ended up snapping at Maddy when she energetically welcomed him back. When he had another attack while looking through Tom’s things, Nate suggested PTSD but he refused to accept it and walked out of the hospital. Roo tried to convince him to see a counsellor but Irene’s attempt to give him a lecture just made him dig his heels in. He snapped at Maddy when he saw her with a photo of Ailsa before breaking down in tears on the beach. Maddy told him that he wasn’t weak to accept help for PTSD any more than she was for cancer and he went out on the Blaxland for a bit to clear his head. On his return, he apologised to Irene but walked out of his first counselling session with Maria Carmichael without really saying anything. Roo brought Maria to the house and after chatting to her for an hour he accepted it was helping and agreed to see her again. He led the SES in searching for Leah when she wandered off into the bush after being diagnosed with an aneurysm. He continued to have counselling sessions with Maria at the house but found it difficult to talk about those who died. When he had a panic attack, he got Roo to call Maria and made a step forward by admitting he felt ashamed that he’d survived. He blew a stack at John for organising the surf carnival without him, but when Marilyn stood up to him he admitted he was fed up of being mollycoddled and agreed to do it together. He led the town in a toast to Brax when he was declared dead. He told Jett how much he’d miss Marilyn when it looked like she might leave town and attended Jett’s farewell party.
He welcomed Zac and Leah’s family into the house after their home was burned down and met Roo’s new boyfriend James Edmunds. He organised the search for Billie when she went missing from the hospital. He went to a dinner at the beach house to get to know James but was left suspicious when details of his story of moving to Sydney didn’t match up. He warned Zac he was in danger of losing Leah when he began spending all his time with Hunter. Soon after, he went to visit Don in the Whitsundays.
He returned to help an amnesiac Marilyn and continue his investigation of James. He was annoyed when he learned Roo and James were engaged and James warned him that if he didn’t give his blessing he’d be out of their lives. Alf asked Morag to look into James and told Roo what James had said but she dismissed it. He got information from Morag and when Irene told him Roo and James were getting married that minute he interrupted the ceremony with the news that James had never worked at the hospital in Blue Mountains. James explained that he had gone under his middle name there but it was enough to halt the wedding. Alf began to soften towards James when he was injured trying to stop an aerosol can exploding but when he learned that he was married and Roo knew he ordered him to stay away from her. He was disappointed that Roo wanted to stay with him but made up with her after she and James broke up.
He was drafted in as a makeshift celebrant when John and Marilyn renewed their wedding vows and was quick to turn on Charlotte after she stole Hunter’s trust fund and was fired from the school for sleeping with Matt, refusing to let her talk to Hunter. He counselled Maddy over her feelings for Matt and Oscar, and organised the search when Oscar went missing. When the body of a young woman was found in a shallow grave, Alf believed it couldn’t be a local since no-one had been noticed as missing, only to receive the news that it was Denny. Hunter and Olivia tipped him off to the fact that Irene was drinking again and he poured her vodka away. He consulted with Chris and Evelyn on how to stop Leah and Zac postponing the wedding. He tried to stop Charlotte’s outburst at the wedding before learning she had killed Denny.
He learned the following morning that Charlotte had been killed and later that Hunter had burned down Leah’s house but still broke up an altercation between him and VJ and offered Hunter his support. He did however apologise to Billie for the town’s treatment of her. He contacted Morag when Zac was accused of Charlotte’s murder; the accusation resulted in the house being vandalised but Alf talked Leah out of moving out and faced down a lynch mob at the caravan park. He turned down Ash’s suggestion of setting up a workshop at the caravan park on insurance grounds but pointed him and Andy towards a lock-up that could be used as a garage. Soon after, he left town to help Seb look after an injured Don.
He returned in the aftermath of the explosion at the caravan park that had killed Oscar and had to break the news to Zac and Leah that Hannah had died as well, as well as supporting Maddy when she had to have her arm amputated. He was the one who worked out that Josh and Evelyn were planning to elope. He organised the search for Maddy after she ran away from the hospital and just failed to find her at Oscar’s grave. He then defended Roo to Tanya before Maddy was found at a motel. He tried to reassure Roo when she found she hadn’t done the proper safety checks prior to the explosion. He disapproved of her taking sleeping tablets and was concerned when, following Maddy’s departure, she not only got through a prescription quickly but took Maddy’s medication as well. Matt told him that Roo was hiding what pills she was taking and they staged an intervention, after which Roo gave him her pills.
Tori convinced him to take Justin along as a mechanic on a trial run of the Blaxland and after initial conflict they got on okay. However, then the boat broke down and Alf suffered a heart attack. Justin managed to summon help and he had surgery to insert a stent. He seemed to recover but then passed out again, having suffered a stroke. When he recovered again after a visit from Marilyn, he had lost some of the movement on his right hand side. He refused to let Justin work in the bait shop, insisting it be closed until he could run it himself and then demanding Roo close it when he learned she had hired Justin after all. He insisted on discharging himself from hospital, then took his bad mood out on everyone, especially Roo. After a lecture from Matt, he rehired Justin and apologised to Roo.
Alf changed his will to cut out Duncan, telling Roo that he’d accepted Duncan was no longer part of his life. He found himself running the bait shop himself when the Morgans all abruptly disappeared. Roo called Duncan without telling him and learned that when Alf went to Duncan’s wedding he had made it clear that he disapproved of his wife Caroline, resulting in them falling out. When Duncan turned up in town, Alf started avoiding him. They began to get on better after Roo got them to share a beer but when Duncan revealed he had a son, Bryce, from his marriage to Caroline Alf felt manipulated. However, after hearing that Caroline had taken Bryce to Hawaii and Duncan hardly saw them, he arranged a night-time fishing trip to bond. However, they ended up at odds again when Alf learned Duncan was refusing to pay Caroline extra maintenance and accused him of spending money on embryonic girlfriend Tori instead of his son. He refused Duncan’s offer to go on the flight he was planning for her birthday and instead sent money to Caroline behind his back, provoking a bitter argument in which Alf accused Duncan of neglecting his family and Duncan accused Alf of never being there for him.
Alf was then given the job of organising the search when Duncan’s plane crashed. Although most of the passengers were found quickly, Duncan was still missing. Irene told Alf that Duncan had saved them by bringing the plane into a smooth landing in the desert and Alf worried he’d never get the chance to tell Duncan he was proud of him. After Marilyn forced him to admit he was worried, he wrote a letter to Duncan saying he knew he was a good person now. Soon after, Duncan was found and they were reunited.
As they bonded, Duncan asked Alf for help setting up a seaplane business and Alf agreed on condition they were equal partners. Shortly after, he met Bryce for the first time when he and Caroline turned up unexpectedly. He was suspicious of Caroline but softened when he realised his barbed comments towards her were giving Bryce a bad impression of him. He and Nate kept Chris busy while Irene arranged a farewell party for him. He offered Caroline and Bryce a caravan to stay in when they had to move out of the motel and rescued Bryce from the sea when he went looking for Caroline’s bag. He tried to dissuade Duncan from challenging Caroline for custody. After it came out that Caroline had Huntingdon’s, Alf went back to Hawaii with her and Bryce for a while and called Duncan when she had an accident.
Alf returned to town in the aftermath of VJ and Billie’s abortive wedding, having left Caroline with Duncan. Duncan had given him a letter for Tori but he didn’t pass it on when he saw her with Nate until Roo took him to task about it. He argued with John when they did the surf club inventory together and unsuccessfully tried to lecture Heath on writing himself off. He gave Hunter a job at the bait shop and split up a fight between Hunter and Mason when the latter was working at the surf club. He then attended the Summer Bay Grooves festival.