Bougainville rugby mourns death of star


BOUGAINVILLE Rugby Union president Peter Tsiamalili Jr has expressed his union’s shock and sadness at the death of Black Orchids sevens player Jimmy Tama Pahia.
Tsiamalili, in a statement, said: “It is with great sorrow that we announce the untimely passing of our dear brother and friend Mr Jimmy Tama Pahia.
“Jimmy, 27, passed away on Tuesday, 13th November 2018 in Buka. He was pronounced dead at the Buka General Hospital at 11.30am.”
Pahia, a certified search and rescue diver, was asked to retrieve a body but lost his life in the process.
Pahia was a regular member of the Black Orchids since 2010.
He represented the U20 PNG Pukpuks at the 2010 Oceania Championship in Apia, Samoa.
“Jimmy always dreamed of being a professional diver — staying true to his roots as a Tassman Island boy,” Tsiamalili Jr said.
“He was a certified open sea, advance, search and rescue diver. He attained these qualifications from the Aqua-Trek diving school at Pacific Habour, Suva, Fiji between 2013 and 2017.”
Tsiamalili said the Black Orchids, Bougainville rugby, PNGRFU, Autonomous Region of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea had lost a promising talent.
“The Bougainville Rugby Union and Black Orchids pass our heartfelt condolences to Jimmy’s immediate family — mum Apara Pahia, sisters Freda, Celina and brother Jeffery. Dad, late Tuehi Pahia passed away in 2009.”
Pahia is survived by Telani (8) and Charlie (6).
“Jimmy will really be missed in the PNG rugby union circle. As they say: ‘Rugby is the game played in Heaven’. Well, Heaven just welcomed a new star.”