‘Masada was like a son to us’: Game to honour CQ footy star
Rugby league players from across the region will take the field this weekend to remember and celebrate the life of Masada Iosefa.
The former NRL player died in a quad bike accident in the Northern Territory on January 25, the eve of his 33rd birthday.
He touched the lives of many not only through his involvement in football but through his tireless work as housing and homeless project officer at Central Queensland Indigenous Development.
And many of them are sure to be at the Masada Iosefa Memorial Day to be held at Emu Park’s Hartley Street Reserve on Saturday.
Jason Field was instrumental in organising the event.
As CEO of CQID and a stalwart of the Emu Park Rugby League Club, he saw firsthand the positive influence Masada had on and off the sporting field, in his job and through his selfless deeds in the community.
Masada had also lived with Jason, wife Debbie and their family for about 18 months.
“His death was heartbreaking. It’s been a very tough time,” Jason said.
“It’s obviously a shock when you lose someone so young but especially when it’s someone you were so close to.
“Masada was loyal to a fault. He was a very dedicated individual, a most loving person and very family oriented.
“He was great for our family; we were supporting him, and he was supporting us in different ways.
“He was like a son to us and that’s how we will remember him.”
Jason said Masada’s role at CQID involved finding homeless people accommodation.
“He had a target of 26 placements a year and in the first six months, he had made 86,” he said.
“He was a wonderful advocate for his clients and was highly regarded by them and the government bodies he worked with.
“In terms of his footy, he really developed a legacy at Emu Park.
“Six days a week he would set time aside and train individuals and groups, helping them develop their skill sets and take their games to the next level.”
Jason said the memorial day would feature five games of football, with the main game at 6.30pm between the Emu Park A-grade men and the CQ Capras.
The program would also include the Darumbal Dancers, a Maori tribute, DJ Bala Boi and an emotional tribute from Masada’s family.
Jason said the memory of Masada – their teammate, their mentor, their friend – would be a huge motivator for every Emu Park player this weekend.
“The club and the players have really united and gelled and I think this weekend will showcase that,” he said.
“They’ve been training hard for this and I’m sure we’ll see some really good performances.”
Jason said artist Bill Gannon was also painting a mural in the club’s dressing rooms featuring Masada and his two favourites quotes.
One of them he said before every game he played, the other what he lived his life by: “Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”
The first game on Saturday kicks off at 1.30pm. Limited tickets will be available at the gate so patrons are urged to buy them online at Eventbrite.