RIP – Steve “Teary” Garth – QBC legend

We lost a legend of the QBC community this week. Steve “Teary “Garth was an original member, and one that took multiple titles from some of the best, utilising the famous Garthback.

Below are words from some of the members who knew Teary.


Teary was a founding member of QBC, QBC President and the original QBC Grom.
Teary passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer “fuck cancer”
Teary was the surfer everyone wished they could surf like and one of my most endearing memories of this great man was competing as a 14 yo against Teary in the quarters of the yearly man on man contest and I was nervous as a grom could be, coming up against one of my idols.
Typical Teary he was very gracious and even let me get ‘close’ in the heat all the while grinning ear to ear and yelling good vibes while I tried my best to match him, I had no chance but he didn’t make me feel that way. I cherished that moment then, now and forever. RIP to an upstanding man.

Words from Scott Sumo


On Wednesday 31st August QBC lost one of its true characters and past A Grade Champion Steve “Teary “Garth a few days short of his 60th birthday.

Steve was an original QBC gromm attending the inaugural meeting at the Steyne where the club was formed as a 15 year old.

His signature move was a massive cutback known as the  “Garthback”.

Steve was A grade Champion during the 80’s,pretty impressive when you consider A grade included Touring Pros Rob Bain,Barton Lynch,Merick Davis and Kingsley Looker.

Steve was a regular member of our victorious interclub team.

Out of the surf he was a true champion and Family man.A very funny guy,always smiling and making people laugh.He was cheeky.

Steve was the hardest working person I have ever met,he was a plumber by trade who went on to do about 3 Uni degrees and own a huge Plumbing business employing more than 50 plumbers.

Steve had a long battle with throat cancer,he had his larynx removed about 7 years ago which not only robbed him of the ability to speak it also meant he couldn’t go in the water ie the surf.

He soldiered on smiling,waving to people,fist pumping and communicating in his own special way.

He took up golf playing at Manly with myself and Gary Lord at least twice a week.Within a few years he became pretty good winning Manly Golf Club’s B Grade Championship.

The Golf Club was his sanctuary,while he couldn’t speak everyone knew him and he was comfortable in that environment.

Anyone there would tell you Steve was without doubt the most popular guy at the golf club.

Steve is survived by his wife Mary  (they have been together since they were 15) ,his two sons Mitch and Jake and his Mother Bev.

RIP  Steve Teary Garth,A true Champion and a Great Bloke.

Words by Scott Somerville



Terrible news. Our thoughts must be with Mary and their sons.

Teary was in the thick of everything about QBC for its first 5 years. He was an A Grader from the start, although pretty young in 1979.

He was president in 1985, the year the club released its sticker in the form of a numberplate QBC 001 – its catchphrase was “the premier club”. This was off the back of our win in the then inaugural Surf League teams title in 1984.

Perhaps his biggest win was beating Bainy in 3 -4’ lefts in the man on man final in 1981 or 1982 ( it was the subject of a special report in the Manly Daily not written by Thor Svenson). This proved his backhand hack was the equal to his powerful forehand cutback.

A more stylish understated powerful surfer is difficult to think of. His quick wit was second to none.

Unlike alot of those other hot surfers his age, he got serious about work pretty early in life. So whilst Bainy, Barton, Kingsley, Burnetti, Merrick etc were slogging it out on the world tour, he found he was good at not only his trade but everything else in the building world.


Words from Roger Marshall SC