By Dinnierose Raiko
For a Kerema bloke at Hohola , Port Moresby, in the early 90s, playing footy on the then Sydney Football Stadium (now the Allianz Stadium) is like reaching beyond the Stars.
For that certain Kerema bloke, among the stars was where he was in his prime. His name is Tuksy Karu and he was quite the speeding taxi.
Footage of when he was in his prime found online and in the EMTV archives, told of a highly talented player well ahead of his time.
Armed with height, speed, a cheeky character and a good amount of fuzzy hair to top it off, the Kumul number 147, never passed up an opportunity to get creative with his tries.
In 1993, Tuksy was among the lot that took on the Rugby League 7s in Sydney against the Raiders. His speed gave him the added advantage and he put on a show at the try line.
Papua New Guineans who watched him play will remember the part where Tuksy races to the post, lies down on his back, puts the ball under his head and crosses his legs and arms in a pose. Referee Bill Harrigan had to wait a few extra seconds to blow that whistle to confirm the try.
That has got to be an all-time favourite!
There is another one where Tuksy goes in for a try and somersaults into a touchdown.
Quite the Character!
Tuksy first donned his Kumuls Jumper in 1991 and played represented Papua New Guinea until 1996.
He became a household name alongside the likes of fellow legend Richard Wagambie.
Our number one sport can bring out the nostalgia. Especially if you were part of over 30 years.
Tuksy came in for a short chat. He sat down surrounded by cameras and a TV to his right in the EMTV Studio. He had just finished watching clips from his prime.
Quiet, slouched, with a betelnut-stained smile spread across his face.
“I never thought I would get that far and play with the Kumuls in Australia. We just played and did our best during a time when we didn’t have all the facilities that are here now”.
The lack of resources did not stop Tuksy and his team mates from committing and dedicating their efforts towards reaching new heights in the sport they love.
That is a message that’s always relayed not only in sports but every other aspects of life and that is a message we all should hold close.
“Your dedication and commitment will take you a long way”, He added.
It is not until one meets the likes of Tuksy that one realizes, dreams a free. However big they may be and the only ones who make it happen are the go-getters.
Now, older, Tuksy has lost the great afro. But Tuksy the Taxi is still on his feet. Definitely not as fast anymore, but still taking it all in his stride.
Click on this to see more. (Link to FB Video )