Lankan sports media personality dies in US covering Pacquiao’s fight | Daily News

Lankan sports media personality dies in US covering Pacquiao’s fight

Ronnie Nathanielsz

Sri Lanka-born Ronnie Nathanielsz who was a popular broadcaster and sports commentator at the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation before he left for the Philippines passed away in San Francisco, California. He had gone to Las Vegas to join a TV Broadcast panel to cover Maany Pacquiao’s fight against Jessie Vargas on November 5. Ronnie suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away on November 11.

According to ABS – CBN in the Philippines he was associated with the Radio Station DZHP, he was a columnist for the Sports section of Manila Standard Today and Philippines Daily Inquirer and a popular sports commentator.

My brother Ronnie was educated at Wesley College, obtained employment at the State Mortgage Bank. While serving at the Bank he was also featured as an announcer in both the Commercial & National Services of Radio Ceylon. Ronnie’s talent brought him more opportunities and soon established a splendid routine rendering a perfect impersonation of a man with a unique voice “Al Jolson”!

He soon found himself working for one of Ceylon’s foremost “Showman” Donovan Andree compering many of the Shows and Cabaret Acts at the “Greenhouse” and “Orchid Room”.

In this period of being involved in a thriving entertainment industry he worked with such greats as Harold Seneviratne, Adrian Ferdinands, Chris Greet, Tommy Perera, Rosemary and Frankie Ferrer, Percy Bartholomeusz,

Malcolm de Kauwe, Vernon Corea, Livy Wijemanne, Ronnie Campbell and many others whose names elude my memory of events from my early childhood. Enter a young and pretty Filipino nursing sister Remigia Abrenica who was doing a short stint at Colombo’s General Hospital. It wasn’t long before Ronnie realised he had finally met his “Soul Mate” and without losing much

time they were married and had Cleonie followed by Elizabeth, two adorable daughters.

What was Ceylon’s loss became the Philippines gain as Ronnie diligently set about building up his reputation as a proficient and reliable journalist and sportscaster. After more than a decade of dedicated loyal service to the country, the late President Ferdinando Marcos by special decree bestowed Citizenship of the Philippines in recognition of his love of the nation he had adopted as his second home. Ronnie reached heights he would never have dreamed of serving the country and its people whom he loved.

He never denied his heritage and returned to the Island that once was home.

He visited the college that provided him with a sound education and the other institutions that provided him with the experience and the character that would in turn serve him and help achieve the many accolades that were well and truly earned but, above all, rightfully deserved.



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