Hundreds remember the man with the infectious smile

HEARTFELT: The paddle out to celebrate James Tate's life.
HEARTFELT: The paddle out to celebrate James Tate's life. Joey Bailey

MOST of the tributes for talented Tweed surfer and much-loved member of the community James Tate touched on his infectious smile and the way it shone brightest for wife Beck and their baby daughter Lillie.

Hundreds took to the ocean off Hastings Point on the weekend to remember that special smile and the man who had such a huge affect on so many in such a small span of time.

"It was such an awesome day," said his mum Mandy Cossins. "It was so good, and I'm so glad I did the paddle out. I wasn't going to. I was torn whether to go out or whether to stay on the headland and watch. But it was good to be out there."

James' friends and family meant everything too him. And Ms Cossins said 500 were there - either on the headland or forming a circle in the water - on Saturday to show how much he meant to them.

It follows his funeral last week where 800 mourners remembered his life and that smile.

And the GoFundMe page set up to help support Beck and Lillie, which has raised $52,000 since they lost their seemingly fit and healthy leading man days after a sudden cardiac arrest on January 21.

His sister, Pamela Kill, said his family - and particularly Beck - were finding it hard.

But she said they were taking comfort from the community showing how much it cares.

Ms Cossins said the response had reinforced what she already knew.

"I've been overwhelmed," she said. "As his mum, I knew he was perfect. He was my child. But when I see the impact he's had on everybody else, it just goes to show what a great guy he was.

"Sometimes I struggle with that. I think, such a perfect, beautiful, loving, kind, gentle man could go like this. I still feel as though he had so much life to live. This, even though he had such an awesome life and he did achieve so much in his 31 years.

"I mean, he did everything he wanted to do: he travelled the world, he fell in love, he got married and he had a beautiful little baby."

Mr Tate was involved with Cabarita boardriders and he was a surf life saver. The newly-formed Black Rocks Boardriders Club have also made him an honouree member.

The community is invited to continue to celebrate James' life at a fundraiser at the Pottsville Tavern this week.

Popular local band Fat Albert is organising the fundraiser to support Beck and Lillie.

To Help out:

The fundraiser kicks off at 6pm. To donate email

Or visit to make a donation.


James Tate.
James Tate. Contributed

Topics:  black rocks cabarita beach cabarita boardriders editors picks pottsville surf tweed surfing

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