Vanuatu’s Daily Post founder Marc Neil-Jones swaps print for tourism

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“Retired” Vanuatu Daily Post publisher Marc Neil-Jones talks about the “audio posts” at his Secret Garden retreat.

Asia Pacific Report Gallery – Pictures and video clip by David Robie

“It has been my decision alone to retire as my health has deteriorated rapidly in the last three years.

“I have been lucky. I came to Vanuatu only 4 years after cyclone Uma had destroyed the place. I came here in 1989 with $8000 and one of those small early Macintosh computers and the first Apple laser printer. Nowadays I would not have been allowed in with only Vt800,000!

“I screwed up when I first arrived by putting girls in mini dresses wrapped around tamtams on a wall calendar and was fined by paramount chief Willie Bongmatur, but I was lucky and my little business started growing.

“Our PM around 1993 was Maxime Carlot Korman, and it was he who gave me the approval to launch a newspaper when I was a foreigner.”

From the Vanuatu Daily Post last month.

Vanuatu Daily Post founding publisher and crusading journalist Marc Neil-Jones has finally stepped back from his creation and "retired" to his Secret Garden eco tourism development.
1. Vanuatu Daily Post founding publisher and crusading journalist Marc Neil-Jones has finally stepped back from his creation and “retired” to his Secret Garden eco tourism development.
2. The Secret Garden ... already popular for his wife Jenny's "island Feast" ...
2. The Secret Garden … already popular for his wife Jenny’s “island Feast” …
3. ... and a "Cannibal Kast" ...
3. … and “cannibals” …
4. ... Complete with a cooking post of unsuspecting tourists ...
4. … Complete with a cooking pot for unsuspecting tourists …
5. ... is now going through a revamp. First is Jenny's Jungle Joint - a spectacular new restaurant.
5. Now the Secret Garden is undergoing a revamp. First is Jenny’s Jungle Joint – a spectacular new restaurant.
6. Next is a batch of hideaway eco chalets.
6. Next is a batch of hideaway eco chalets.
7. Plus a series of "listening post" and story boards to tell the tale of Vanuatu.
7. Plus a series of “listening post” and story boards to tell the tale of Vanuatu.
Some amusing stories get a retro airing. All good fun for the tourist.
8. Some amusing stories get a retro airing. All good fun for the tourist.
9. And it is now up to media director Dan McGarry (right) to steer Marc's Daily Post and Buzz FM ... under the watchful eye of the founder.
9. And it is now up to media director Dan McGarry (right) to steer Marc’s Daily Post and Buzz FM … under the watchful eye of the founder.
Vanuatu Daily Post founder Marc Neil-Jones with his son Manu and wife Jenny ... "retired" to his eco tourism passion. Image: Dan McGarry/VDP
10. founder Marc Neil-Jones with his son Manu and wife Jenny … “retired” to his eco tourism passion. Image: Dan McGarry/VDP
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