Son Pays Tribute To Fallen Rugby League Boss

Fiji's Rugby League Executive Chairman To Be Laid To Rest Tomorrow
08 May 2019 16:24
Son Pays Tribute To Fallen Rugby League Boss
The late Peni Musunamasi( centre) with his grandchildren at his home in Nadera. Photo: Asivorosi Musunamasi

Fiji National Rugby League executive chairman Peni Mu­sunamasi will be laid to rest at the Vatuwaqa Cemetery, in Suva tomorrow.

This was confirmed to SUNsports yesterday as tributes from the rug­by league fraternity throughout the region began to flow in.

Speaking to SUNsports, his son Asivorosi Cabealawa Musunamasi said his late dad always like to have a big family.

“He loves to bring our family to­gether all the time,” he said.

Fondly known as Cabe, he is a member of the British Army Unit based- in Germany and had hoped to have flown in earlier to be able to spend a few hours with his dad in hospital.

“I received the sad news of dad’s passing last Thursday whilst or­ganising the trip to Fiji.

“For the past three years I was with him at our home in Nadera, looking after him. When I told him that I will be joining the British Army he didn’t want to let me go but he thought of my wife and chil­dren and that I had to put food on the table so he released me. Every time he always sends me text mes­sages that he really misses me.”

Cabe recalled while in Germany, the last words from his dad was ‘lu­vequ au sa lako tiko qo valenibula’ (Son I’m on my way to hospital) and I’m trying hard to breathe.

“I went and inform my regiment but it was turned down, I told them that I wanted to stand beside him by his hospital bed.

“Then I got news that he was in critical condition so I went and ad­vised my regiment and I tried to or­ganise my trip and just when I was waiting for my flight I was told that he’s gone, it was really painful.

“So now I have to accept coming to him when he’s gone,” he said.

Cabe said his late dad loved rugby league and always had a big heart.

“Dad was humble, caring, and is always ready to lend a helping hand to others when they need it.

“He loves his children so much, his grandchildren even my step-mum’s children, he’s always slow to anger but quick to forgive.

“He’s always humble even he doesn’t growl at us but if he doesn’t like anything he calls everyone, we seat and he talks to us in a very kind way. We will miss his smile,” Cabe added.


Former Vodafone Fijian Bati for­ward and FNRL development offic­er Jone Wesele believes the country has lost a true warrior.

Wesele was one of the local play­ers that played alongside Jarryd Hayne, Wes Naqama, Akuila Uate, Ashton Sims and Jayson Bukuya when they reached the 2008 Rugby League World Cup semi-final for the first time.

Wesele reminisced the 2013 RLWC when the late Musunamasi (who was then the board chairman) gave up his spot from the touring party to enable him to travel with the team to England.

“I remembered a week before the trials Peni called me into his office and asked me if I’m going to make it to the Bati team.

“I replied that I will try my best and he told me to give it all since he was pushing for a local player in the team.

“But after the trials the squad was announced and I was dropped from the team. I was sad and I went home. When I was at home I got a call from the assistant coach Joe Rabele to take my passport to the office because I was going to the World Cup as an official.

“I took my passport as they started doing all travel documents but no one told me even Peni that he has given me his ticket until the team chaplain Pastor Ilaitia Tagituimua told me what had happened..

“I was told by the team manage­ment that my role was to teach the new overseas based- players the hymn ‘Oqo Na Noqu Masu’ which we always sing before the game and to help the coaches during taining.”

“I was blessed by Peni, he was a man of vision and he makes long term plans.

“Even though there were many in the organisation that went against him after the 2013 World Cup where they voted him out he was always passionate about rugby league and keeps helping grow the sport.

“I miss him so much,” he added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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