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Rugby fraternity mourns Dr Taka’s death

December 31
12:00 2008

Written By : SUN FIJI SPORTSDESK. As the nation celebrate the dawn of 2009, the rugby fraternity mourns the sudden loss of one its favourite son.
Dr Josaia Taka peacefully passed away at the Suva Private Hospital yesterday.
He was the first life member of the Tailevu Rugby Football Union and was best remembered in 1987 when he managed the national rugby team to the first ever Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Fiji caused the biggest upset by beating Argentina 28-7 before narrowly losing to France in the quarterfinals.
In the sevens code, Dr Taka founded the Spartans side that played in sevens tournaments around the world.
That was the first-ever local rugby club to make such tour which is now being adopted by locals.
Dr Taka was also instrumental in changing of Rewa Rugby Union to Tailevu.
TRFU patron Ratu Epenisa Cakobau said Dr Taka was a great man to work with.
“He was an honest person, someone whose heart was in rugby,” the Bau high chief said.
“He was an experienced person both on and off the field.
“This is a great loss to Tailevu and Fiji rugby.”
TRFU vice- president, Ratu Jone Tagivakatini said Dr Taka was one who stood by what he believed in and this was evident when he usually criticises moves within the Fiji Rugby Union.
“He is always frank when he speaks out.
“He usually voices things that other unions are afraid to voice and this helps not only Tailevu rugby but other unions as well.”
Ratu Jone said Dr Taka was a very experienced person in the administration of rugby matters.
“He is one who speaks his mind for the sake of the sport and its development.
“Many times, FRU learns from what Dr Taka says.”
Union vice-president Irami Matairavula said he once worked with Dr Taka when he was a team manager while Dr Taka was the chairman.
“He is one man who cares about the players’ welfare. “He has contributed a lot to Tailevu rugby.”
Dr Taka hails from Nakelo in Tailevu. He is survived by his wife Bulou Lisi, children and grandchildren.

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