Bruce McDonald: From apprentice printer in Hull to St Lucia-based yachting journalist

Hull-born journalist Bruce McDonald, who held senior positions across the world in his career, has died in St Lucia.

McDonald, 58, passed away on 31 March, in the island’s Victoria Hospital after a short illness.
He was a former pupil of the Hull Marist College, and worked in Tanzania, Lebanon, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and latterly the Caribbean island where he made his home.
As a youngster he was a keen sportsman and represented Yorkshire at karate in which he held a black belt.  He was also a life-long angler, boat and motorbike enthusiast, who won numerous prizes for his custom Harley-Davidson bikes as well as his cars.
He started as an apprentice printer aged just 15. In his late 20s he became expert in the ‘new’ technology, which is now standard in the industry.
Bruce retrained as a journalist in Hull at the Humberside Newsline Press and PR agency, owned by his friend Brian Lavery. He had previously run a magazine production company.
The two men became business partners and in the late 1980s launched an ill-fated publishing venture, Town Magazine, which folded within two years. By 1991, Bruce was working as a sub-editor on the Sheffield Star. Shortly after that he took a job in Tanzania at The Guardian newspaper where he became deputy editor. He subsequently worked as chief-sub editor of the The Daily Star of Lebanon, editor of The Gulf Today, Sharjah, UAE, and then on to Singapore and Australia as editor of two international print industry magazines. He also helped launch a daily paper as a consultant editor in Auckland, New Zealand.
He worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist in St Lucia and latterly was writing for and editing, international yachting publications and websites. Bruce lived on his boat at the Rodney Bay Marina there and worked seasonally with tourists, while still working as a writer.
Friend and former business partner Brian Lavery, now a writer and university tutor in Hull, said: “Bruce was, more than anything else, a fine, loyal friend whom I was pleased to have known. He truly knew how to treat the impostors of triumph and disaster exactly the same. 
"As young men our friendship was forged in adversity, when we were naïve and brave enough to think our journalistic talent would equate to business success. We lost money, but we gained a lot too. We helped each other then and have done so since across the years. 
“When Mac was editor at Asian Printer and Australian Printer magazines, he hired me as a consultant and his Europe correspondent, while I was still working on the Mail On Sunday in the late 1990s. 
“It was some the easiest money I ever earned and the ‘press trips’ he organised in France and Switzerland were thinly-veiled ‘jolly boys’ outings’ for press pals like me.
“His life may have been shorter than many, but it was more interesting than most. He was a sharp, fun, witty, intelligent man, whose ability to enjoy life was almost equal to his great talents. He will be missed.”
Editor and publisher of the St Lucia STAR  Rick Wayne said: " When Bruce worked here he was loved by all he came into contact with. He will be missed."
Bruce McDonald is survived by his wife Carol and their grown-up daughter, Sally.
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