by Amber Macpherson
NOOSA appears to still be coming to terms with the loss of local legend Garth Prowd after his untimely death last week.
Tributes have poured in from friends, families and colleagues after Mr Prowd's family sadly announced his death on July 30 following a cycling incident in Spain.
Known as Mr Noosa, the "Godfather" of Triathlons and Mr Events, Mr Prowd, 65, helped bring the Noosa Triathlon to the global stage after joining the event's committee in 1985, later working as race director for more than 30 years.
Tourism Noosa released a statement expressing its sorrow and Mr Prowd's impact on the community.
"All at Tourism Noosa are greatly saddened by the passing of Garth Prowd, OAM," the statement said.
"Garth's love for his home town of Noosa and for sports, tourism and events earnt him the affectionate nicknames of 'Mr Noosa' and the 'Godfather of Australian triathlon'.
"Our lives, our town and our industry have been forever enriched thanks to his dedication and pioneering work that took him around Australia and the world.
"Garth founded USM Events and the Noosa Triathlon which he ran for over 30 years.
"His passion for sport and Noosa helped turn this event into the world's largest triathlon.
"He also previously ran the Noosa Jazz Festival and was involved in the Noosa Festival of Surfing. He was on the Board of Tourism and Events Queensland and in 2012 he received Queensland Tourism's highest accolade when he was awarded the Marie Watson Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual.
"After selling USM Events he continued to be highly sought after around Australia and the world as an event management consultant, and always shared his passion for Noosa with those he met.
"We at Tourism Noosa were privileged to work with him over many years, including his time on the Tourism Noosa Board, and more recently as a member of our marketing and events committee where his great generosity with his time and knowledge and passion for Noosa was immeasurable.
"Garth was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and was nominated for Australian of the Year in 2004. He received a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2005 for his services to Australian sport.
"Garth's love of his family was evident to everyone who knew him. He also loved Noosa... and spoke of Noosa passionately wherever his work and travels took him.
"We would like to express our deepest sympathy to Garth's family, his wife Robyn, daughters Sally, Megan, Katie and son-in-laws Matt and Ben, and his grandchildren."
Mayor Mark Jamieson said Mr Prowd "will be greatly missed by many people".
"On behalf of Sunshine Coast Council I wish to express our heartfelt sorrow at the tragic loss of Garth Prowd," Cr Jamieson said.
"Garth was a truly remarkable man and made an outstanding contribution to sport and events, not only on the Sunshine Coast but also on the national stage.
"Locally, Garth was often referred to as "Mr Events" and was widely regarded as a leading authority in this area. He was also recognised as the Father of Triathlons and instrumental from the early days in building both the Mooloolaba and Noosa Triathlons more than 30 years ago.
"His passion for sport and his pride in the Sunshine Coast helped put this region on the global events map.
"Our council was honoured that Garth agreed to become a foundation member of the Sunshine Coast Events Board, an appointment that he held until his untimely passing.
"Behind the scenes, Garth was active in his personal efforts to attract world class events to the Sunshine Coast, such as the 2016 Ironman World Championships and the 2017 Velothon Sunshine Coast.
"Garth was known as a man who got on with the job - a man who made things happen - and he will be greatly missed by many people.
"On behalf of my council colleagues and council staff, I pass on our deepest condolences to Garth's family.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Robyn, daughters Sally, Megan, Katie and their families at this time."