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Farewell Dau

Farewell Dau
From left: Mere Tulo, wife of the late Pita Dau with children Sala Tulo, Pita Jayden Dau and Salome Dau at the Natokowaqa Methodist Church in Lautoka on April 7, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
April 08
11:15 2018

He was massively physical and an inspirational leader: Parmesh Chand.

A colossal figure on the pitch, says Sireli Bulicokocoko.

Former dual international Pita Dau was described as a colossal figure in the field of rugby and passionate about football until his death last week.

Dau, 56, who represented Fiji in both rugby and football, was laid to rest yesterday at the Balawa Cemetery in Lautoka following a church service at the Natokowaqa Methodist Church.

Former Lautoka football star Misi Rabitu led the pallbearers of football players carrying Dau’s coffin into the packed church.

Former Lautoka rugby coach Sireli Bulicokocoko said Dau was a colossal figure on the pitch.

“I went to school with Dau at Ratu Navula College in Nadi and his talents were recognised there.”

Former Lautoka rep Parmesh Chand said Dau played for the Topline-based Service club which produced some of Lautoka’s top players.

“His caliber could have seen him playing rugby or football anywhere in the world.

“He certainly made a great achievement in the field of sport and a person who was silent on the field but his actions were loud.

“He was massively physical and an inspirational leader.”

From the famous Topline suburb in Lautoka, Dau’s sporting career was first spotted while he attended Ratu Navula College.

Bulicokocoko said Dau’s talent was recognised immediately and was roped in to play rugby and football.

He also represented the Nadi secondary schools team in both sports in 1979.

The tough Naitasiri native and Fiji Sugar Corporation employee also ventured into volleyball and he represented Lautoka.

He also captained the national football side in 1988 in the first ever Melanesian Cup in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

This tournament was best remembered for the death threats made against the Fijian side that was to take on the home team in the final.

Despite the alleged death threats and with encouragement from Dau, the 10-man Fiji team played the final and claimed the first-ever Melanesian Cup by defeating the Solomon Islands 3-1.

After winning the Melanesian Cup, Dau was again inspirational in Fiji claiming the scalp of the touring Queensland team in two matches played here.

He was also in the team that defeated New Zealand in Lautoka and then went on to beat Australia 1-0 in Nadi in the World Cup qualifiers.

Dau also represented Fiji in rugby as a first five eighth from 1989 to 1993. He toured Tonga with the national side in 1993.

His sister Miliana Vukitu said many people came to Dau’s home to pay their respects and a lot from both rugby and football.

“We had representations also from the Fiji Rugby Union and the Fiji Football Association.”

Edited by Osea  Bola

 

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

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