Former PNGRFL chairman loses battle with leukemia
FORMER Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) chairman Don Fox passed away on Friday after losing his battle with leukemia, according to the sport’s national governing body.
“We were notified of Don’s passing by email this morning by his beloved wife Janet Fox,” PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka said in a statement yesterday.
The 78-year-old passed away at Brisbane’s Mater Private Hospital where he was admitted on April 6.
“It is a sad day for me and for rugby league in PNG,” Tsaka said.
“His contribution to rugby league has been immense.
“Don has been a mentor to a many of us and we will sadly miss his advice and presence as it was always special to be in his company whenever we had the opportunity.”
He said Fox, born on Jan 6, 1942, in Newcastle, New South Wales, first came to PNG in 1966 as an accountant.
His involvement with PNG rugby league began that same year when he joined the Magani Badili rugby league club in Port Moresby as a goal-kicking front-rower.
He served as the Enga Mioks’ inaugural chairman, PNG National Rugby League chairman, PNGRFL chairman and was an independent director until his passing. Fox was awarded PNGRFL life membership in Port Moresby on May 13 last year.
The Australian’s other sporting passion was cricket and on his arrival in 1966, he joined the Colts club in Port Moresby.
He represented Port Moresby and PNG on numerous occasions.
“On behalf of his colleagues on the PNGRFL board, chief executive Reatau Rau, staff, officials, players across the country, partners and our extended rugby league families in PNG and abroad, I extend our deepest and sincere condolences to Janet Fox, daughters Joanne, Simone and Monique, their families and six grandchildren on the loss of your husband, dad and grandfather,” Tsaka said.
“May he rest in eternal peace.”
He said details of funeral arrangements would be made known after consultations with the family.