Daroa, aged 67 from Hanuabada in the nation’s capital, died in Port Moresby on Sunday after a short illness.
“Lohia was PNG Kumul No. 3,” said chairman Sandis Tsaka.
“He wore the first PNG Kumuls No.3 jersey as a centre in PNG’s first ever Test Match against England in Port Moresby in July, 1975.”
Daroa played two Tests. He was a member of the flamboyant Hanuabada Hawks side in the 70s and Southern Zone.
Chairman Tsaka said Daroa’s last appearance on a rugby league field was when he joined his teammates, led by the first Kumul captain Paul Chue and other former Kumul greats before the Rugby League World Cup pool match against USA in Port Moresby last October.
“At the rehearsal the day before the match, we were told by his daughter that he would be available and on a wheelchair. However, when he arrived on game day, he was introduced to the crowd and walked onto the field unaided,” Tsaka recalled.
“On behalf of the PNGRFL and the rugby league family, we extend our sincere condolences to his wife, children and grandchildren and the families on the passing of a husband, their dad and granddad,” Tsaka said.
A funeral service is scheduled to be held at Hanuabada next Monday, January 29.
(A newspaper clipping of the PNG Kumuls showing the late Lohia Daroa, centre, second left, and his teammates)