Stuart Inder (7 November 1926 – 30 January 2015)
STUART Inder MBE, who has died in Sydney, was the friend and confidante of leaders in emerging Pacific nations for 60 years, including time as an ABC reporter in Port Moresby in the early 1950s.
He later joined Pacific Publications, owner of the Suva-based Fiji Times and Pacific Islands Monthly, known everywhere as PIM, which was first published in August 1930 by New Zealand-born Robert William (Robbie) Robson.
Stuart worked for Robson on both publications. With Judy Tudor he was co-editor of PIM from November 1957 to November 1964 and then sole editor until October 1975.
PIM was a bible for planters and other settlers throughout the South Pacific and a must-have for university libraries around the world interested in Pacific issues.
Its staff travelled the Pacific on ships seeking stories and building an unrivalled network of contacts in business and politics. They were welcomed as trusted friends in the social and commercial whirl of Pacific centres.
The magazine's advertising base expanded to include all the great trading houses of the Pacific: Burns Philp, Morris Hedstrom, W R Carpenter and Steamships Trading Company, along with major vehicle and machinery brands, tourist resorts and cruise lines.
The popularity of the magazine proved a problem for newsroom productivity as readers, especially plantation owners, liked to drop in to the PIM office as part of their holiday schedule in Sydney with a view to a long lunch or afternoon drinks.
As a result, Stuart and Robbie instituted the Pacific Islands Lunch and designated every Thursday as the day for visitors to meet them at a regular hotel. This was publicised in the magazine.
When Robbie Robson sold PIM and The Fiji Times to the Herald and Weekly Times Group, Stuart continued with the company in his role as editor.
In October 1975, when Stuart retired as editor,another giant of Pacific journalism, long time Herald and Weekly Times Papua New Guinea correspondent, Angus Smales, moved to Sydney to take over the editorship.
Stuart remained the magazine's publisher until August 1980 and also took over the editorship of the Pacific Islands Year Book from Judy Tudor.
The Pacific Islands Year Book was a rich compendium of information on the Pacific islands and enjoyed a strong reputation with academics and Pacific business leaders.
Stuart also often joined South Pacific cruises as a guest lecturer on Pacific affairs, imparting knowledge on what travellers needed to know about, and could see and do, at the next port.
On one occasion he became ill ahead of the ship visiting the Cook Islands capital Rarotonga. News that Stuart was bedridden resulted in Cook Islands prime minister, Dr Tom Davis, being ferried to the ship to console his indisposed friend.
Stuart later wrote on Pacific Affairs for The Bulletin and assisted entrepreneur Dick Smith as editor of his books and magazines. He was a regular attendee at functions of the PNG Association of Australia and other events linked to Pacific Island communities.
Over several years Stuart has generously shared his memories of the Pacific with academic institutions to ensure they live on after him. He was consulted by many people on Pacific history.
While Pacific Islands Monthly ceased publication in June 2000, Stuart's Pacific Islands Monthly Lunch continues as a monthly event held on the first Friday of every month at the Law Society restaurant in Phillip Street Sydney.
Stuart is survived by his wife Jo, their children Lesley, David and Stephanie, grand children and great grandchildren.
The funeral service will be held at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium, Delhi Road, North Ryde at 12.15 pm tomorrow, 9 February.