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"Wavescan" is a weekly program for long distance radio hobbyists produced by Dr. Adrian M. Peterson, Coordinator of International Relations for Adventist World Radio. AWR carries the program over many of its stations (including shortwave). Adrian Peterson is a highly regarded DXer and radio historian, and often includes features on radio history in his program. We are reproducing those features below, with Dr. Peterson's permission and assistance.

Wavescan 338, June 17, 2001

Pacific & Far East

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 recounting 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.

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 1960s, and the program 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 1980s, 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 kHz, 20 kw Cook Islands, Raratonga, 11760 kHz, 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.