|This article was originally material for a broadcast of “Wavescan” via Adventist World Radio in April 2001, and now forms part of the Radio Heritage Collection ©. All rights reserved to Ragusa Media Group, PO Box 14339, Wellington, New Zealand. This material is licenced on a non-exclusive basis to South Pacific DX Resource hosted on radiodx.com for a period of five years from April 1 2001. Author: Adrian Peterson|
As we have indicated in previous editions of Wavescan, this year is a significant year in the history of Adventist World Radio. We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of our first broadcast on shortwave which took place on Friday evening October 1, 1971 from a large 250 kW transmitter located at Sines in Portugal. As part of our ongoing anniversary celebrations, we are re-counting in this edition of Wavescan, another episode of our earlier shortwave history, and we come this time to the Pacific and the Far East.
The first known broadcast on shortwave in the history of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist denomination took place in 1944. It was a relay of the Voice of Prophecy from the international shortwave network of AFRS radio for the benefit of American servicemen on duty overseas. From this time onwards, Adventist programming has been heard in many parts of the world on shortwave, and as we just mentioned, today we look at the areas of the Pacific and the Far East.
During two different eras, Radio Australia has also carried the Voice of Prophecy radio program in its shortwave schedule. The first was back around 1944 at the same time as the American AFRS was broadcasting this program on shortwave. The relay from Radio Australia, or Australia Calling as it was known at the time, was from the 50 kW VLC in Shepparton, Victoria and it was beamed to Australian servicemen on duty in the Pacific Islands.
The next occasion when Radio Australia carried an Adventist program was in the mid 1960’s and the progran was “Faith for These Times” with Australian-born Roy Naden. This series was carred by Radio Australia in its shortwave service beamed to explorers and temporary residents in Antarctica.
In times gone by, a large number of radio stations in the South Pacific have operated shortwave transmitters in parallel with their local mediumwave service. These units have been on the air for the benefit of their own citizens on distant islands as well as for residents on other islands throughout the Pacific.
In this way, when Adventist programming was incorporated into the schedule of a local mediumwave station, then it was heard also on shortwave. Back in the 1980’s, many shortwave listeners in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia heard these broadcasts and courtesy QSL cards were issued from the old AWR-Asia in Pune in India.
Among these Pacific Island radio stations were the following:-
Tahiti Papeete 15170 kHz 20 kW
New Caledonia Noumea 3355 & 7170 20
Cook Islands Raratonga 11760 500 watts
Papua New Guinea Port Moresby
All 30 shortwave stations thoughout Papua New Guinea.
The Taiwan relay of the Voice of Prophecy was noted on shortwave a few years later on the channel 3335 kHz with 10 kW.
All of these broadcasts of Adventist programming on shortwave were in addition to the international service from Adventist World Radio that was on the air at the time in 50 languages from Europe, Southern Asia, and Latin America.