By HENRY MORABANG
He was a man of honour and humility.
The kind-hearted and generous Sir Kapi Natto collapsed and died a day after watching his Hekari United for the last time on Saturday.
Little did he know that he would pass away the following afternoon.
His body arrived from Lae on an Air Niugini flight from Nadzab at 9:30pm on Monday.
It took 15 minutes for Air Niugini cargo handlers to dispatch the coffin containing the body of a remarkable person who had a big heart for sports in the country.
Sir Kapi Natto arrived in Port Moresby and was received by his only son, John Kapi Natto, and his two sisters and their grieving mother, Mrs Kapi Natto, and the tribesman of Fasu and Foe in Kutubu.
There were other people as well, including the players of his favourite club Hekari United.
Another prominent Kutubuan, Kossy Sosoro, led the coffin bearers to carry the body from the Air Niugini cargo bay to the waiting Funeral Home vehicle where he was provided an escort led by NCD Police chief, Chief Inspector Andy Bawa to John Kapi Natto’s residence at Angau Drive.
After a brief stop-over at John Kapi-Natto’s residence at Angau Drive, the body was returned to funeral home.
Son, John, yesterday said he was racing against the time with alternate programmes which was at this juncture subject to change.
He said the viewing of Sir Kapi Natto would take place at his residence from 1pm to 6pm today.
Tomorrow the funeral service will be held at a church (to be announced) from 10am to 12noon and from 1pm and 4pm, the body would be taken to John’s residence for a final viewing.
On Friday, the body will leave for Kutubu via Moro.
For some, Sir Kapi’s sudden departure has left a hole in their hearts, and for president of PNG Football Association (PNGFA) David Chung he was no exception.
Chung is away on holiday in Malaysia.
Chung attributed his successes in soccer to the senior Natto.
He said he became the head of football in PNG by the endorsement of the late Sir Kapi whom he first met in 1995.
From there, he said, Sir Kapi became a constant supporter of the code in his home province but was also influential in the promotion of soccer in the Highlands region.
He said late Sir Kapi Natto and Edward Tauloi were his inspiration.
“Sir Kapi Nato was my mentor and inspired me to take soccer to the next level.
“ He always said that soccer in PNG was not moving in the right direction and he wanted me to change it without fear or favour,” the PNGFA president said.
Chung said PNGFA has lost a good man of vision, a wise man and a father figure.
“He stood by me for two elections even through so much political pressure. I will always remember him and am thankful that he believed in me and tried hard to achieve what he wanted to see for the betterment of PNG Soccer,” he said.
Chung said he and the late Sir Kapi were planning to go home to his village, Hekari, along with the media to witness the PNGFA give away soccer equipment and computers as part of the OFC/FIFA assistance to rural soccer affiliates. But he did not make it.
“I still can not believe that I have lost my mentor and good friend,” Chung said.