The National – Wednesday, June 15, 2011
THE Western Highlands community in PNG is mourning the death of Wantok Gaming System Mt Hagen Eagles chairman John Kala.
The news of Kala’s death had shocked the Eagles’ players, board and the management after it was relayed by the chairman of selectors Luke Matthew and Isaac Kombamong.
Kala, who was admitted to the intensive care unit at the Angau Memorial Hospital died at 7.50pm on Sunday, after complaining of heart complications.
He was in his mid-50s.
He was in Lae earlier to watch the Digicel Cup match between the Eagles and the Lae Snax Tigers on Sunday.
With his untimely death, it was also a blow to the Mt Hagen league fraternity, who had to look for someone to fill the vacant seat.
From Enga, Kala had provided services for the people of Western Highlands for most of his life, which had seen him been elevated to several key positions in rugby league in PNG .
He was also the former coach of the Kuris, now under the banner of Eagles participating in this year’s Digicel Cup challenge before becoming the Rebiamul president.
He later took over as chairman of the Eagles as well as the president of the Mt Hagen rugby league, formerly headed by Samuel Buka.
Although, he was not one of those big time players in rugby league during his heydays, he was obviously a sound administrator.
Kala was very passionate about rugby league, especially the performance of the Eagles and, therefore he had to follow the Eagles to Lae.
And he would have loved to see the Eagles reach the ultimate goal by winning the inaugural Digicel Cup and taking it back to Mt Hagen.
However, for now it will remain a challenge for the Eagles in their remaining games.