Brendon Grimshaw was born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, in 1925 and had a career in the newspaper business until he retired on Moyenne Island in the Seychelles. Brendon bought the island in 1962 for just £8000 and lived there from 1972 until his death in 2012. He published a book about his experience in restoring the island, which had become heavily overgrown, including re-establishing a population of 120 giant tortoises.
Brendon made the island habitable with the help of one other man, Rene Antoine Lafortune. They operate the island as a nature reserve, charging visitors €12 to come ashore, roam the island, dine at the "Jolly Roger" restaurant and relax on the beach. Grimshaw and his friend planted sixteen-thousand trees, built 4,8 kilometers of nature paths, and brought and bred giant land tortoises, creating an island of incredible beauty now worth 34 million Euros.
There are rumours that over £30m of pirate treasure is buried on the island. Grimshaw has made two major digs and found some evidence of man-made hiding places, but no gold or other treasure has been found as yet. There are two graves on the island which have been said to be those of pirates, although this cannot be confirmed
A Saudi prince once offered him a blank cheque for Moyenne, and other rich visitors have also been so entranced they’ve tried to buy it on the spot. But Brendon certainly refused.
‘The only reason someone would want to buy this island is to build a big hotel,’ he said.
Apart from a wide variety of plant and bird life, the island is home to around 120 giant tortoises. The eldest, Desmond, is 78 years old, according to Grimshaw