Obituary: Joe Bomal Carlo, pioneer of Vanuatu broadcasting and sports

The late Joe Bomal Carlo

The late Joe Bomal Carlo – a giant of media and sports development in Vanuatu

Truly a pioneer of media and sport in Vanuatu, Joe Bomal Carlo helped forge a national institution through old French ORTF radio transmitters and the hut that had acted as a control tower for seaplanes arriving in Fatumaru Bay after these stopped in the late 1960s. Joe Carlo applied the best of BBC principles to inform, educate and entertain the people of the New Hebrides and helped create a national broadcasting service for a country with two masters, 80 islands and as many mother tongues. And what in many ways is his creation has stood the test of time. As stated by the Chairman of VBTC (the national broadcasting service), Johnety Jerety, on Friday before Carlo’s funeral service, Joe Bomal Carlo was a mentor to many in the media, from journalists to presenters and section managers to editors. Furthermore, as a model worker he was beyond compare. When Radio Vanuatu moved from one tiny studio – a language laboratory at the British Secondary School – to its Australia-funded multi-million dollar state of the art, five-studio premises, Carlo insisted broadcasting would move from about three hours daily (and none at weekends) to 18 hours daily. The service he was instrumental in creating remains much the same as when Joe Carlo pioneered it and his media and journalism colleagues have been a solid block at his funeral service at Pango village today.

Joe Carlo began work with the British Residency in 1969 and this brought him quickly into the world of information and the infant broadcasting service shared with Francophone colleagues a little further up the hill. He was the first New Hebridean Head of the Broadcasting Service and later held posts as Labour Commissioner and éminence grise of the world of international sporting events. As director of the Mini-Games in 1993, Chef de mission at the 2012 London Olympic Games,  President of VASANOC and lately CEO of the 2017 Pacific Mini Games, Joe Carlo managed what has been considered a formidable sporting management task as well as participating in his favourite sports. Along with Head of State President Baldwin Lonsdale and a number of ministers, senior sports officials were present along with hundreds of mourners to pay their last respects today to one admired for his leadership ability in the creation of the Republic of Vanuatu. He died at his workplace Sunday.


3 Comments on “Obituary: Joe Bomal Carlo, pioneer of Vanuatu broadcasting and sports”

  1. Darryl Fallow says:

    Joe Bomal Carlo – truly a pioneer of broadcasting in the former New Hebrides and a “big man of radio” in Vanuatu. A kind and gentle man, I was sorry to learn of his recent passing. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.


  2. Ashley says:

    To relatives and olketa wantok blo fren blo mi an plande mifala lo Solo…
    mifala sore tumas for herem fren blo mifala hemi lus from iufala.

    Joe Bomal Carlo was indeed a big man of broadcasting and sport an we will remember him.

    please accept our belated condolences on behalf of the broadcasting community in Solomon Islands.

    Ashley Wickham
    Chief Executive
    SI Broadcasting Corporation.


  3. Anna Naupa says:

    Joe Bomal Carlo was truly a pioneer in forging the best of the Vanuatu media we know today. I grew up hearing his name as one the ‘big men’ for Radio Vanuatu, which was heard in every household in those days and went to school with his very smart children Tom and Pamela. Many condolences to his family and may his vision and legacy in Vanuatu media live on.