Harry's generosity captures Macarthur's heart

If you've spent any time getting breakfast at Macarthur Square's Leaf Cafe in the past three years, chances are you've seen Harry Brierley.

The 90-year-old is a fixture at the popular eatery, having breakfast there four or five times a week.

But when Mr Brierley heads to the counter, he does more than just pay for his meal - he also pays for the next customer's coffee.

Macarthur Square posted Mr Brierley's story on Facebook this week and locals couldn't get enough of his generosity.

"I've had 10,000 hits on Facebook," he said.

"It all started about three years ago when my wife Shirley, who has since passed away, and I went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Picton.

"When I went to pay they told me that someone else had already paid for our meal.

"I thought paying it forward was just a wonderful idea, so I tried a few places and decided on Leaf Cafe where I have my breakfast."

Mr Brierley said he loved doing something nice for other people and enjoyed bringing a little bit of happiness.

He said he was unprepared for his rise to local celebrity status.

"It's not something that's ever happened to me in my life before," the great-grandfather said.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet."

The Vietnam veteran said he now had a few "coffee girlfriends and coffee boyfriends" at Leaf Cafe who he loved to see every week.

Cafe owner Dan Kim said when Mr Brierley first started paying for other customers' coffee he didn't quite know what to make of it.

"I was confused, I would ask, why are you paying for other people's coffee, I didn't get it," he said.

"But when he told me about what happened in Picton and how he wanted to pay it forward it was such a lovely idea.

"I think it is a good thing, to make people happy."

Mr Kim said staff looked forward to being the person to serve Mr Brierley in the mornings.

Facebook users who were touched by the generous local's story have started working on ways to think him.

Karlie Macdonald posted in the Macarthur Notice Board that she was hoping locals could set aside some money at Leaf Cafe so Mr Brierley "never has to pay for his breakfast ever again".

"He is truly a beautiful man who is always paying it forward to everyone so I would love for the community to all come together and pay it back to him," she wrote.

Mr Brierley said the idea sounded lovely.