For 32 years, Alan Jessop collected donations for the Salvation Army, at the Canberra Centre and its predecessor, the Monaro Mall.
All up, it's estimated he personally collected $4 million for people in need.
Mr Jessop, who turns 91 on July 13, was a fixture at the glass sliding doors of the Canberra Centre.
But he hasn't been at his post since COVID-19 hit early last year and only volunteers aged up to 70 were allowed to collect.
In the meantime, Mr Jessop, who has lived with prostate cancer for 13 years, has seen his health decline. The inevitable happened and he was forced to retire.
Circumstances meant he really never had the chance to say goodbye, although local radio station 106.3FM took him back to the Canberra Centre this week to let everyone know he had retired.
"I was disappointed I had to retire," Mr Jessop said.
"If I didn't have to finish, I wouldn't have."
When asked what he would like to say to all the people he met and spoke to over the years, Mr Jessop is his usual gentle self, as he sits quietly in the lounge room of his Palmerston home.
"I miss going in and seeing all the old faces and miss their little yarns with me and I hope they're all keeping well," he said.
Mr Jessop, who lives with his wife of 65 years, Joy, next door to their only daughter, Wendy Batchelor, has never been afraid to try new things, whether it was in his career or his faith.
He was born in 1930 in the front bedroom of his family's home in Westmead, his father a worker on the railways.
Over the years, he was a ladies' tailor and gas fitter in Sydney, and with Joy also ran post offices in Coopernook (north of Taree), Corrimal East in Wollongong and Greta in the Hunter Valley. The couple also owned a dairy farm in Moorland near Taree for six years.
"If someone gives you the opportunity, you pick it up. As long as someone is good enough to show you the way," he explained.
The couple moved to Canberra in 1988 to be closer to their daughter.
But it was while they were living in Wollongong that he became interested in the Salvation Army.
"I was Anglican for nearly 50 years and I just got tired of that," he said.
"I like the music [of the Salvation Army] and I like the Salvation Army members, they're nice people. I like their charity work, it impressed me very much."
Over the years, some people have handed him as much as $2000 to put in his Salvos collection box. Most never mentioned it, they just kept walking.
Mr Jessop was the ACT's Local Hero in the 2011 Australian of the Year Awards.
Accolades were appreciated but never sought. It was the people he loved.
"It was pleasant and I enjoyed meeting a lot of the old people, they were regulars, and we had a bit of a yarn," Mr Jessop said.
"They used to unburden their worries and talk about the good things as well."
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