The National – Wednesday, February 16, 2011
By YVONNE HAIP
FORMER Western Highlands’ rugby league star Andrew Kanamon passed away at the early hours of Monday after a short illness at the Mt Hagen General Hospital.
News travelled fast throughout the province and rugby league fans and relatives travelled to mourn the death of Kanamon at his Kumunga Panga village outside Mt Hagen.
According to tribesman and former Hagen Eagles team mate, Max Tiri, Kanamon had died from kidney complications.
He said Kanamon had often complained of feeling numb on the left side of his body, and even though treatment was sought at the various hospitals, he could not be diagnosed with a disease.
He said last Friday, Kanamon had been taken to Mt Hagen hospital, where he was admitted, after examinations revealed that the left side of his kidney was swollen.
He said Kanamon after taking medication, died quietly in his sleep in hospital at around 3am.
Tiri described Kanamon as a quiet man who could perform to expectations once involved in something, and was committed to what he wanted to get done.
He said even though Kanamon, was a man of less words, he had a great impact in the lives of those who knew him, and he would be greatly missed.
The late Kanamon, or “AK” as known by fans, began playing rugby league in 1991 when he joined Mt Hagen league.
In 1995, he began with the Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles, and as the team’s heavy forward, played a key role in securing the SP Cup for the team in 1997, when Tiri was captain.
Due to work commitments with a family business, Kanamon left for Lae the following year, and played for the Lae Bombers in 1998 and 1999.
The family business then set up an office in Wabag in Enga, and Kanamon bowed from the Lae franchise team and moved on.
In Enga, his presence in the province did not go unnoticed, and he was called on to join the Toyota Enga Mioks in 2000 and his performances aided the team to score their first grand final victory in 2001 over the Rabaul Gurias.
Kanamon was also selected for representative duties over the years in the highlands zone team, as well as the President’s 13 side.
In 2003, he officially hung up his boots to concentrate on other activities which he was involved in until his death.
He was in his early 40s and is survived by wife, Rose, and children Kenneth, 18, Amanda, 13, and Ryan, 5.