Wallis and Futuna (French: Territoire des îles Wallis et Futuna), is a Polynesian French island territory in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Rotuma of Fiji to the west (300miles-480 km), Tonga to the southeast, Samoa to the east (225 miles-360 km), Tokelau to the northeast. Its land area is 264km2 with a population of about 13,500. The territory is made up of three main volcanic tropical islands along with a number of tiny islets, and is split into two island groups that lie about 260km apart, namely Wallis Islands (Uvea-OC-054) in the northeast, and Hoorn Islands (Futuna Islands-OC-118) in the southwest, including Futuna Island and the uninhabited Alofi Island (the population of Alofi was reportedly eaten by the cannibal people of Futuna in one single raid in the 19th century).
The territory is divided into three traditional kingdoms (royaumes coutumiers): Uvea on the island of Wallis, Sigave on the western part of the island of Futuna, and Alo on the island of Alofi and on the eastern part of the island of Futuna. The capital of the territory is Mata-Utu on the island of Wallis, the most populous island.
As a territory of France, it is governed under the French constitution of 28 September 1958. The head of state is President Nicolas Sarkozy of France as represented by High Administrator Philippe Paolantoni (since September 2008). The Council of the Territory consists of three kings (monarchs of the three pre-colonial kingdoms) and three members appointed by the high administrator.
Although the Dutch and the British were the European discoverers of the islands in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was the French who were the first Europeans to settle in the territory, with the arrival of French missionaries in 1837, who converted the population to Roman Catholicism. Pierre Chanel, (canonized as a Saint in 1954) is a major patron of the island of Futuna and the region. Wallis is named after the British explorer, Samuel Wallis.
In 1887, the queen of Uvea (on the island of Wallis) signed a treaty officially establishing a French protectorate. The kings of Sigave and Alo on the islands of Futuna and Alofi also signed a treaty establishing a French protectorate in the 1888. In 1917, the three traditional kingdoms were annexed to France and turned into the Colony of Wallis and Futuna.
The islands have a hot, rainy season from November to April and a cool, dry season from May to October. The rains accumulate 2,500 to 3,000 millimetres (98–118 in) each year. The average humidity is 80% and the temperature 26.6 °C (79.9 F).
Only 5% of the islands’ land area is arable land; permanent crops cover another 20%. Deforestation (only small portions of the original forests remain), largely as a result of the continued use of wood as the main fuel source, is a serious problem; as a consequence of cutting down the forests, the mountainous terrain of Futuna is particularly prone to erosion. Today there are no permanent settlements on Alofi because of the lack of natural fresh water resources.
The GDP of Wallis and Futuna per capita was 12,640 US dollars in 2005, which is lower than in New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and all the other French overseas departments and territories (except Mayotte), but higher than in all the small insular independent states of Oceania.
The territory’s economy is limited to traditional subsistence agriculture, with about 80% of the labor force earning its livelihood from agriculture (coconuts and vegetables), livestock (mostly pigs), and fishing. About 4% of the population is employed in government. Revenues come from French government subsidies, licensing of fishing rights to Japan and South Korea, import taxes, and remittances from expatriate workers in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and France.
Industries include copra, handicrafts, fishing, and lumber. Agricultural products include breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas, pigs, and goats. In 2007, US$ 63 million worth of commodities (foodstuffs, manufactured goods, transportation equipment, fuel, clothing) were imported, primarily from France, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand.
Along with the French territories of New Caledonia and French Polynesia, the territory uses the CFP Franc, which is fixed vs. the euro, at the rate of 1,000 XPF = 8.38 euro.
The total population of the territory at the 2008 census was 13,484 (68.4% on the island of Wallis, 31.6% on the island of Futuna). More than 16,000 Wallisians and Futunians live as expatriates in New Caledonia, which is more than the total population of Wallis and Futuna.
The culture of Wallis and Futuna is Polynesian, and is very similar to the cultures of its neighbouring nations Samoa and Tonga. The Wallisian and Futunian culture share very similar components to culture; language, dance, cuisine and modes of celebration. Traditional events like the kava ceremony, going to church (largely Roman Catholic), plantation & agriculture, and fishing are all highly regarded.
The language native to and spoken daily by the islanders is the ‘Uvea language, which traces its roots to Samoic origin. Despite this, the official language (because of its administrative purposes) is French.
The territory had 1,125 telephones in use, had one AM and 2 FM broadcast radio stations, and two television stations. Due to this, communication costs are high, costing up to ten times as much as western countries. The island of Wallis has about 100 kilometres (62mi) of highway, of which 16 paved, while the island of Futuna has only 20 kilometres (12mi), none paved. The territory has two main ports and harbours, Mata-Utu and Leava (on the island of Futuna), that support its merchant marine fleet consisting of three ships (two passenger ships and a tanker).
There are two airports, one on Wallis with a paved runway of 2,100 metres (6,900ft), and one on Futuna with a 1 kilometre (0.62mi) strip. New Caledonia-based Aircalin operates the only commercial flights that go to Wallis, where it has an office in Mata-Utu. Unfortunately there are no commercial boat operators.
Our radio equipment consisted of two YAESU FT-857D with 2 solid state linears (350-400 W output power) and a multi-band SteppIR vertical for 40-10 meters. A 18 m Spiderbeam fiberglass mast was used on 80 and 160 meters.
The first QSO was made on 28th of January on 24 MHz CW at 19:49 UTC with ZL1BYZ and the last one on 19th of February on 28 MHz CW at 19:49 UTC with FM5AA.
During 18 days of operation as FW0NAR (Wallis Island-OC-054) 17,872 QSOs were logged (12,152-CW, 3,045-SSB and 2,675-RTTY) with 10,620 stations (AF-1%, AS-31%, EU-25%, NA-36%, OC-5% and SA-2%) from 156 DXCC countries.
I have also made 3145 CW contacts on 40-10 meters (with a G5RV antenna and barefoot) as FW0NAR/P from Futuna Island (OC-118). The online logsearch for these operations can be found at:
I am deeply grateful to my xyl: Susanne (she has made more than 2000 RTTY and SSB contacts with FW0NAR) for her strong and continuous support all along. Joe (HA0LC) is graciously thanked for his logistical help in bringing my Wallis and Futuna project to life.
Everybody can get more additional information about our DXpedion and can find quite a few photos at our blog. It can be found at: www.fw0nar.blogspot.com
The financial and equipment support received from the Chiltern DX Club (CDXC), Clipperton DX Club (CDXC), Danish DX Group (DDXG), EU-DX-Foundation (EUDXF), DX Italia, German DX Foundation (GDXF), LA-DX-Group (LADXG), Nippon DX Association (NDXA), SouthWest Ohio DX Association (SWODXA), Swiss DX Foundation (SDXF), Spiderbeam and Anico Kft. (Nyíregyháza, Hungary) is graciously acknowledged.
HA0DU (Steve) and HA0HV (Sanyi) are gratefully outlined for their enthusiasm, encouragement and significant support. Special thanks to Michael (G7VJR), Brad (W6TJI) and Al (K6YRA), Zoli (HA8LNN) and Barna (HA0ER). I would also like to thank all those who included some support with their QSL request (see page at www.ha0nar.hu for the complete list).