Adventist World Radio

Wavescan  program #517 -- 49/1



Main Script for Wavescan, Edition number 517 for airing on Sunday11/28/2004. 


Host 2

From the studios of Adventist World Radio, This is Wavescan.

Host 1

Our programme for shortwave listeners and radio hobbyists from around the world.   I’m ___________ (Host 1).

Host 2

And I’m ____________ (Host 2).


Bring music up and then down. 

Host 1

In today’s edition of Wavescan we get some Pacific Nostalgia on MakinIsland


Then visit Hanauma Beach, Hawaii for a memory Juha Mikkonen will never forget.

IC DX report

We have our International and South American DX reports


And then:  Sometimes the caricature of the eccentric vicar bursts into real life.  But in visiting a flower arranging demonstration by Irish Minister, Rev MacMillain, Victor Hulbert is in for a surprise.


PAUSE HERE  . . .  with music fade in.

Host 2

So let’s start in with our Wavescan topic for this week.  Here’s Steve Hamstra.


WAVESCAN TOPIC  (5 minutes)  Normally read by Student Volunteer


Play Wavescan topic: Just a while back, David Ricquish (RICK-WISH), the well-known radio historian in New Zealand, noticed an interesting picture for sale on ebay.  It was a colored photo showing one of the exotic entertainment radio stations that American forces established throughout the Pacific during the Pacific War.  This particular picture was a page from a National Geographic magazine and it showed the station, WXLH on the island of Makin.


          In the purchasing arrangement regarding this picture, David asked our DX editor, Adrian Peterson to receive the item from the seller.  When the picture was received in Indianapolis, it was quickly discovered that it showed a very valuable piece of old radio history, portrayed in a beautiful dimension.  The 60 year old picture was copied and the original was then forwarded on to New Zealand.


          This colored picture shows an idyllic scene on the island of Makin, complete with coconut palm trees, thatched huts, and servicemen relaxing in between duties.  Large in the picture is another thatched building that contains the exotic radio station with an American homeland callsign, WXLH.  The locally made, but rather neat and ornate identification sign states: Radio Makin WXLH, American Expeditionary Station, Armed Forces Radio Service.


          Very few pictures of these unique temporary radio stations have survived, so this item spurred us on to perform a spate of research in order to discover more about this AFRS unit, station WXLH.  This is what we found:-  


          The island of Makin is the most northerly island in what is now the Republic of Kiribati (KIR-e-BAHS).  In earlier times, Makin was one of the Gilbert Islands, a colonial outpost of the old British Empire.


          Makin is described as a lagoonless tropical island of coral origin, about a dozen KM long and a couple of KM wide.  The local people say that the shape of the island resembles an exclamation mark. 


          The original inhabitants came from Samoa 500 years ago, English traders and missionaries came to the island 150 years ago, and soon afterwards it was the home for the famous novelist, Robert Louis Stevenson for a year or two.  The Japanese took over the islands in early December 1941, and the American forces arrived almost exactly two years later.


          The only radio broadcasting station ever installed on the island of Makin was the aforementioned AFRS unit, WXLH.  The best available information tells us that the station was inaugurated on July 15 in the year 1944.  According to these records, station WXLH operated with 1 kW on 1400 kHz.  A glimpse at the picture showing station WXLH would suggest that it was really quite a substantial station in view of all of the local and temporary circumstances.


          Throughout all of these years, Makin has boasted of just one radio station with just one transmitter and just one operating frequency, and it was the Gilbert Island unit in what was called at the time the Pacific Ocean Network.  Programming for this unique little radio station came from the PON network headquarters in Hawaii and AFRS headquarters in California, as well as from off air relays from California on shortwave, and locally produced programs.


          This station was on the air on Makin Island for a little less than six months, running from mid July to some time in December during the year 1944.  With the changing tide of events in the Pacific, station WXLH was closed, dismantled, transferred, and re-erected on another island, this time on Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands. 


          The records tell us that it was the same station with the same callsign though on a different channel that took to the air at this new location. The inauguration date on Okinawa for the transferred WXLH was May 20, 1945, and the new operating channel was 680 kHz.


          No, there are no known QSLs from this station while it was on Makin, though several international radio monitors in Australia & New Zealand, and probably California also, did send reports to the station.


          We could ask the question: If the long gone station WXLH was the only radio broadcasting station ever on this island of Makin, then what station do the people listen to today?  There are some 1,500 inhabitants on this island these days and they are able to pick up the programming from their capital city radio station on the island of Tarawa (TA-ra-wa).  Radio Kiribati with 10 kW on 846 kHz is 150 KM distant, straight across this wide section of the blue Pacific Ocean.    


Host 2

You’re listening to Wavescan and if you’d like to write or comment on any of the issues arising in today’s programme, Our address is,  AWR, 39 Brendon St . . .   Or e-mail  Those details again at the end of the programme.


Travelogue  (5 minutes)

Host 1

What picture comes to your mind with the name, Hawaii?  Blue skies.  Tropical palms.  Warm seas.  Good food.  All of those things -- and more.  But for Juha Mikkonen, it also brings memories of -- well, let him tell the story.


Play Travelogue: 299:Hawaii:

Starts & ends with waves lapping shore.  "My strength was almost gone . . .


. . .  For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death.

Host 1

Juha Mikkonen alive and now able to laugh about a life threatening experience, and to know that God has a purpose for his life.  It is often in times of crisis that people do suddenly remember God.  Thankfully, for Juha, he had him as a friend already.  Juha quoted from the book of Psalms, knows his Bible well, and finds it to be a comfort.  That may be the same for you -- or you may wish to know more.  And if you do want to know more, we have an answer for you -- our free Bible Study Guides.  Simply write in to the address we'll give at the end of the programme


P A U S E    H E R E    P L E A S E


DX Report (IC and/or programme hosts)  (4 minutes IC and 2 minute host tips.  Total 6 minutes.)

Host 2

You’re listening to Wavescan, Adventist World Radio’s programme especially for shortwave listeners and radio hobbyists.  We’ll be hearing from Horacio Nigro in South America in just a moment – but before that, here’s some International DX News.

* AFRICA: Radio Taiwan International announced recently that the head of their French Service was in Africa to attend the inauguration of new shortwave transmitters in two different countries.  These new units, together with the associated antenna systems, were installed in Burkina Faso & Chad with aid provided by Taiwan.


* GHANA: The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ghana has called upon the Ghana AIDS Commission to organize a workshop for FM radio presenters so that they can design radio programs to prevent promiscuity among young people. The Adventist church president made this appeal during a recent convention on the spread of AIDS that was held in the regional city, Chiraa.  He stated that currently the on air presenters on the FM stations in Ghana tended to encourage promiscuity among young people when in reality it is in their best interests to educate them in a positive lifestyle.


* PAKISTAN: The Association of Pakistani DXers in Bahawalpur (ba-HAH-wal-poor) is now producing a regular radio bulletin that is available by email.  This colorful production is available at this email address:                                                            


* ARGENTINA: Civil organizations in Argentina are pressing the national government for a change in their media laws.  Currently, most broadcasting activity in radio and television is controlled by a few large companies.  Local personnel are now calling for a change that would allow the licensing of other radio and TV stations, including local community radio.


* AFGHANISTAN: The American radio newspaper, Radio World, presents the story of a new commercial FM radio station in the capital city, Kabul.  Two brothers, Saad Mohseni (SAHD MO-SAY-NEE) and Jaid (JAH-EED) returned to their homeland from Australia last year and inaugurated a new FM station, Arman (AR-MAHN) FM.  This station covers all of the capital city area on 98.1 FM.  Their programming is in a modern style that appeals to the young people in the capital city area and they state that their stance is to be politically neutral but to remain patriotic.


* USA: Glenn Hauser's program, World of Radio, mentioned recently that the most powerful FM station in the United States is WOOD-FM in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  This station was grandfathered in at a whopping 265 kW, although the legal limit on FM throughout the nation is 50 kW.


* USA: Family Radio on shortwave has added five new languages to their broadcast schedule. These new languages are:- Indonesian, Vietnamese, Tagalog (ta-GAH-log), Korean & Swahili.


* INDIA: A children's musical program presented by All India Radio from its studios in Orissa was awarded the best children's program of the year by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.  This media convention was held in Almaty, Tajikistan, and it was attended by more than 300 radio & TV personnel from broadcasting organizations in the many countries of Asia & the Pacific.


* UNUSUAL QSL CARD: In a recent program here in Wavescan, we presented a feature on unusual QSL cards, and we mentioned QSLs that are printed on thick cardboard, tinplate, three-ply wood, copper sheet, plastic, and thick cork.  Another unusual material for a QSL card is oil paper.  A spot of historic reading in an old radio magazine brought to light the fact that station WKA2 in Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean printed a QSL text on this semi-transparent material, oil paper, back in the year 1939.  At the time, station WKA2 was on the air shortwave and it relayed at times the shortwave programming from stations W2XAD & W2XAF in Schenectady, New York. 


Now over to Horacio Nigro for the latest news from South America.


DX Report


Feature  (5 minutes) 

Host 1

Thanks Horacio.  Your listening to Wavescan.  If you suffer from Hay Fever, watch out for this next item where Victor Hulbert finds himself surrounded by flowers.


Play Feature 76: Flower Arranging:

IN: The challenge of radio journalism is that . . .


OUT: which are cross border in Ireland and of course, international.

Host 2  ---

That was Rev. William MacMillian -- flower arranger extraordinaire -- and also a very successful minister with a thriving congregation on Belfast's peace line.


1  Host 2

And that brings us to an end of this week’s edition of Wavescan – a production of Adventist World Radio.  Next week we will be:

1. back in Hawaii to review a very popular radio show of the 1930’s

2. The Japan Shortwave Club will give their monthly report

3.  and we’ll also learn about Christmas Japanese style

4. and take a few crazy journeys.

2  Host

Your reception reports, tips and comments are always welcomed.  Here’s our address:

3  Host

AWR, 39 Brendon St, London, W1, England, or e-mail us at  

4  Host

That’s also the address for your Bible questions or free Bible Guides:  AWR, 39 Brendon St, London, W1, England, or e-mail us at  

5 Host

Wavescan is written and produced by Adrian Peterson and Steve Hamstra.  You can find it on the web at:  I’m . . . (Me)

6 Host

. . . and I’m . . .  (You) Thanks for joining us.