July 2008

The Travel Bug - Issue 41

Vanuatu Gets First World Heritage Site

The mass grave of a 16th century paramount chief, uncovered on a small forbidden island in Vanuatu, was chosen in July 2008 as one of the first two cultural sites from the Pacific to be inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The small offshore island of Artok, where Chief Roi Mata was buried together with more than 50 members of his community, has been protected by traditional prohibitions for four centuries. Also included in the World Heritage property of Chief Roi Mata’s Domain are the sites of Roi Mata’s residence, at Mangaas on Efate Island, and of his death in the large chamber cave of Fels, on Lelepa Island.

Chief Roi Mata’s Domain is the first site in Vanuatu to be granted World Heritage status, and shares the honour of being the first cultural site to be listed from an independent Pacific country with the Kuk Early Agricultural Site in Papua New Guinea. The nomination of Chief Roi Mata’s Domain involved a team of landowners from the Lelepa and Mangaliliu communities, staff of the Vanuatu National Museum and Cultural Centre, and researchers from the Australian National University.

Tusker Billfish Classic 2008

The “Tusker Billfish Classic” is an annual fishing tournament run by the non-profit Port Vila Game Fishing Club (PVGFC) from the 7th-9th November 2008. The tournament attracts both local and international anglers whose prime aim is to experience the thrill of fishing Vanuatu waters for one of the world’s most exciting game fish, the Blue Marlin! The 2008 competition promises to one of our best yet and is already receiving international coverage via television programs and international fishing magazines.

The Club has received fantastic support from the Port Vila business community for our previous competitions and without their support this event could not be hosted at its current standard. The club is again seeking support from the community by way of donations or sponsorship, in the form of cash or goods or promotional material, which will be used to assist the club in making this event a must for both recreational and professional game fish anglers. If you can assist the club please do not hesitate to contact Michelle Temminck (7745490).

Annual Aore Ocean Swim 2008

The annual Aore Ocean Swim was held in June on Santo Island. There were 51 starters, of which 49 finished the swim race. Prior to the Swim Race there was string band entertaining on stage and then followed by the Banks Custom Dancing which aroused a lot of laughter. Opening Cocktail was held the night before at Deco Stop. The race begun at 10.04 am. The weather was fine with moderate East/ Southeast winds blowing. The canoes who participated from the canoe race escorted each swimmer across to Aore Island Resort as well as checking the swimmers were safe. Some hotels and tours provided service through boats on stand by, kayaks which made the swim a success again this year. There were seven Ni Vanuatu swimmers who took part in race. The last swimmer who was a Ni Vanuatu swam through in 1.52.18. In the Ni Vanuatu group two were women. There was buffet lunch followed by Banks Women Water Music then the Awards. (Source: VTO Island Nius June 2008)

Exporting Vanuatu Fashions

BLONG MI Fashions is now a reality for Tony & Sharon Healey by going online and having their first Distributor in Queensland Australia selling their range of clothing. The clothing range are for Adults and Children. They are of a tropical flavour with the vibrant island colours associated with beautiful Vanuatu. They are committed to improving the standard of living of the Ni-Vanuatu without affecting their lifestyle and natural environment. Their ladies have been provided with generators and machines etc so they can work from their respective villages.

As Tony is of New Zealand Maori descent BLONG MI Fashions is sensitive to the Ni-Vanuatu culture and customs and is happy to operate the business "the Ni-Van way". As they are exporting, the local industry is not affected in any way and has created new employment opportunities for the local people. ALL employees of BLONG MI Fashions in Vanuatu are Ni-Van. BLONG MI Fashions through Tony & Sharon have several causes they sponsor in Port Vila to help the local community. A percentage of profits will be put back into the local community.

Because the BLONG MI ladies do not work in a typical factory environment our delivery times for orders will be 5 days longer than other normal delivery times. Through our store display and use of Vanuatu posters provided by Vanuatu Tourism Office two families from Sunshine Coast Queensland have booked and paid for holidays at "Tradewinds" for this coming December. This response is heartening for Tony and Sharon considering their marketing campaign is yet to commence. (Source: VTO Island Nius June 2008)

« June 2008   Archive   August 2008 »