Vale Dr. Hon. John Ah Kit

The Chairman of AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) Sean Bowden has today expressed his sadness on behalf of the football community on the news of the passing of John “JAK” Ah Kit.
JAK was a well-known past player and administrator of the Darwin Buffaloes Football Club, having served as president of the club from the 2007/08 season to 2010/2011.
As a former member of the NT Legislative Assembly and Minister for Sport, JAK was a passionate supporter of not just Australian football but all sports and the positive influence it had on Territorians.  He was the first Minister for Sport to sign a multi-year deal in 2004 for regular AFL games.
Although he would never say he considered himself amongst the “elite” players of the Buffs Footy Cub from that era, Jack represented the Territory at the Indigenous Australian Rules Championships in 1973 and was just at home on the basketball court and rugby league field, as well as at the pool table.  He played for the Souths Football Club in Alice Springs and coached and played for Wests Rugby League Club. One of the legendary “JAK” stories involved him being narrowly beaten by multiple Australian and World Snooker Champion Eddie Charlton in a pool game in Darwin.
“On behalf of the Board, CEO Stu Totham and staff of AFLNT, we pass on our condolences to the Ah Kit families and the wider Darwin Buffaloes family,” Bowden said.
“John Ah Kit was a product of the Territory – born in Central Australia and raised in Darwin in a multicultural landscape he forged friendships for life.  We rode the bumps with him and continued on, never believing for one minute that there was anything that a Territorian couldn’t do. He was a larger-than-life Territory character that we have lost.
“We’ve all lost count of the times we stopped for a catch-up with JAK in the stands at TIO Stadium. He was Buffaloes through and through but loved all sport and was a great judge of the contest.
“Fittingly, history will record him as the Territory’s first Aboriginal government minister, and he was a wonderful custodian not just of the sports portfolio but across all fields. His daughter Ngaree has followed in his footsteps in politics, and his son Jonathan was a great player for the Buffaloes. The rest of his family are all much loved in the NT, including his dearly departed youngest son.
“We pass on our thoughts to Gail and the families at this sad time.”