Tributes to late ‘Papa Guria’ Nightingale


AS a sister New Guinea Islands (NGI) team, the Kimbe Cutters are saddened by the passing of John Nightingale.
He was instrumental in promoting rugby league in NGI and the rest of the country.
His leadership and passions to develop rugby league is reflected by the progress and development of the Rabaul Gurias.
West New Britain’s dream of having a team in the Digicel Cup was adopted from the Gurias.
The Cutters board and management would like to pay tribute to this wonderful man for his contribution to rugby league in the country.
Kimbe Cutters team manager Freddy Kumai

JOHN was undoubtedly a great man in rugby league. He leaves a legacy, being the sole sponsor of the Rabaul Gurias since its inception – a record that will stand to be challenged.
I first met him during my playing days and he used to be so vocal on the sidelines and we would have some heated arguments during those times.
Later when I started working at the National Rugby League Competition (NRLC), he was so supportive like other franchise chairmen.
He understood what needed to be done to better administer and manage the game.
He was instrumental in the restructure from the then NRL Incorporated to NRLC.
The Gurias were surely his heartbeat as he didn’t miss a single game regardless of distance or weather.
He was always there and bestowed the perfect name “Papa Guria’’.
PNGNRLC manager Stanley Hondina

ON behalf of the Enga Mioks, including club patron and Governor Sir Peter Ipatas, I would like to pay tribute to the late John Nightingale.
He will long be remembered for his contribution to the development of this sport through the establishment of the Rabaul Gurias as a model franchise.
The PNG National Rugby League Competition will miss his influential contributions. John will be remembered as a true rugby league hero.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Enga Mioks chairman Philip Kepson

THE Central Dabaris board, coaching staff and players are saddened by the passing of the John Nightingale.
John was a true servant of the game.
He was a founding and valuable contributor PNG rugby league had evolved into.
His dedication, commitment and love for the people of East New Britain is clearly shown in what the Rabaul Gurias have become — a powerful brand in the region.
Under his watch, the Gurias had won many inter-city competitions, all the while improving professionalism in the game.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, Agmark staff and the Gurias.
Central Dabaris chief executive Hubert Warupi

RUGBY League in PNG has lost a pillar of the code, the late John Nightingale.
John has always been an avid supporter of rugby league through thick and thin, producing a strong Gurias brand and countless Kumuls over the years.
When people speak of the Gurias, it resonates with the author of the brand himself. His legacy speaks volumes.
John was a good friend to the Hela Wigmen.
He was visionary in growing the game and his legacy will forever be embedded in PNG rugby league.
A true legend gone too soon.
He was always courageous in his victories and gracious in defeat.
On behalf of our patron, board, management, players, people of Hela, supporters and our sponsors, we convey our sincere condolences to John’s family and friends around the country.
Hela Wigmen chairman Andy Hetra

JOHN was the funniest man. I remember the first time I landed in PNG more than 10 years ago and met John.
At the time, I had no idea about the difference between rugby union and league.
Being a big rugby union fan, at my first league game in PNG, I remember asking John what the players, who were performing a scrum, were doing.
I said that wasn’t a scrum and that something was really wrong with the game. He laughed so much and told me that it was rugby league.
His support for the Digicel Cup and his beloved Gurias was so strong.
Digicel PNG senior vice-president Lorna McPherson

I JUST lost a mentor and big brother in the late John Nightingale who passed away this week.
The passing of John caused more damages than Mt Tavurvur eruptions in 1973 and 1994.
John was an icon, role model in business, selfless and endless supporter of all sports and community work.
On behalf of my family, the Goroka Lahanis and the people of Eastern Highlands, we extend our deepest and sincere condolences to the Nightingale family, Rabaul Gurias and the people of East New Britain.
I will miss you, John. Rest in peace.
Goroka Lahanis franchise owner Simon Sia

I WILL always remember his passion for his beloved Gurias, imbedded deep in his heart and exhibited openly, though not at the expense of the greater good of rugby league.
His commitment, dedication and leadership inspired the Gurias to the top of our national rugby league competition.
John’s contribution to agriculture, shipping, business and the wider community in PNG, especially the New Guinea Islands, is significant.
His businesses brought services and development to many people in remote areas and offered them a sustainable livelihood growing and selling cocoa.
I believe John always thought highly of those upon which his success was built on – his staff and grassroots Papua New Guineans. That was likely why he gave so much back.
May he rest in peace.
PNGNRLC chairman Adrian Chow

YOU did very well champion. The late John Nightingale was one of the greatest ambassadors of rugby league and the agro-industry in PNG. The growth of rugby league in PNG has your hands and soul in it too.
We thank you and we will remember you through the Rabaul Gurias and the people of East New Britain.
The Port Moresby Rugby Football League, its players, management and staff salute John in high esteem for his enormous and undivided contribution to the development of rugby league in the country.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
POMRFL chairman Dr James Naipao

THE Port Moresby Vipers board, management and players would like to pass our deepest condolences to the family of the late John Nightingale.
Being a passionate follower of rugby league, John was the cornerstone of the Rabaul Gurias’ successes through his sponsorship over the years.
The Vipers and the rest of the rugby league fraternity will miss him.
Death can never take a good man away, for in the hearts of the people he inspired, the legacy remains and continues from generation to generation.
Port Moresby Vipers franchise manager Ronnie Titie Jr

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