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Wallis and Futuna Islands

FIRST STAMPS New Caledonia until 1920.



French (franc) and CFP (Colonial franc pacifique).

Two small islands to the west of Samoa; though geographically closer to New Hebrides than New Caledonia, they were administered by the latter.

Wallis Island, or Uvea, was discovered by the English explorer Samuel Wallis in 1767; the Futuna (or Horne) Island to the south was discovered in 1616 by the Dutch explorers Willem Schouten and La Maine. French influence began in 1837 when the islands were settled by missionaries. In 1842 France would not accept the islands as a protectorate, but they had a French adviser from 1843 onwards.

On 5 April 1887 Wallis became a French protectorate and this was followed by a further decree on 16 February 1888, when it was joined by Futuna. The islands declared for de Gaulle in 1940 and stamps prepared by Vichy France were not issued.

The islands were administered from New Caledonia until a local referendum in 1959, arid became a French overseas territory on 24 July 1961. This they have remained ever since.

Postal History
Early postal links were established through New Hebrides and New Caledonia. The postal vessels from Sydney came via Noumea to Port Vila, New Hebrides and a feeder service operated from Wallis Island in 1935. The mail before this had depended on occasional

Stamps were released in 1920 and the issues of New Caledonia continued to be overprinted for use in the islands until 1944. The first issue as an overseas territory was on 18 July 1962.

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