H4ØAA Bulletin 08

Limited Special Edition H4ØAA QSL Cards Available
Meet Dr. Ashley Wilson - And Inspire a New Future for Temotu
12 April 1998

While touching down on the landing strip of Santa Cruz, it is immediately
obvious that we enter another world.  The entire population is gathered
around to welcome a rarely received plane from the capital.  The humidity
level is extremely high and yesterday's heavy rain has left it marks on
the field.  The landing is perfect, and chickens and other birds barely
manage to stay clear of the taxiing aircraft.  We step into another world
in the true sense of the term.  We have reached the Solomon Islands' most
remote province of Temotu and its main village Lata.

As we approach the crowd, we spot the friendly face of our only contact on
this island.  A New Zealander, Dr. Ashley Wilson, has come to meet us and
welcome the largest group of foreigners ever seen at once on the soil of
Temotu.  The number of foreign residents is instantly multiplied.  We are
about to get established in this interesting community for the next two

While occupying the entire guesthouse of the island, we will depend on
this man for our well-being as well as get to know his mission and listen
to his life's story.  And certainly the best opportunity to do so is here
since he is going to share his small house with part of our team for the
next two weeks.  Ashley's always caring personality and patient touch to
things will immediately capture the imagination of us strangers and make
these expedition members ask ourselves about our contribution to
supporting the future of this community, alongside Ashley's efforts. 

Ashley has got many worries.  For one thing, the population's literacy
rate is one of the lowest in the world as only some 30 percent of the
island people receive any sort of schooling.  He desperately needs to find
more ways of obtaining school material and supplies.  Ashley is busy
setting up a production line for processing coconut butter, and the first
few consignments of Temotu-produced soup have been in the making for the
past weeks.  The expedition team has the privilege of selecting the
flavour of a future Temotu coconut soup.  The business now employs some 20
islanders but many additional people need to be trained since more often
than not employees are afflicted with high malaria fever, thus unable to
show up for work. 

Timber is being cut for the manufacture of attractive wooden products
such as some basic furniture.  Ashley is clearly moved in sharing his
success story.  He had come by one of the funny looking huts not far
from his house and discovered a man carving clever wooden items without
a single wood processing tool in his hand.  Ashley had raised enough money
through his organization, the New Zealand Volunteer Service Abroad, to
have this man equipped with a saw, a chisel, a drill and several other
needed items.  Only months later, the man had produced timber products
for shipment to the capital to the value of more than USD 4,000.

Transportation being an essential means of moving supplies and materials
to and from the island, Ashley now assists the Temotu Shipping Line
in running their currently sporadic services in a sort of organized way
while serving these remote islands.

Ashley has many prospects, and once they materialize, the island may have
taken a long stride in terms of making progress toward more modern times
and becoming a healthy society for its fast growing population.  There are
thousands of opportunities for achieving progress but the resources are
rather limited, something that makes Ashley often wonder about the order
of things when he walks down a winding path to his Temotu Development
Authority office just a stone's throw away from the radio location of

Whatever meaningful aims this amateur radio expedition may be able to
accomplish in assisting Ashley with his efforts to help this, the newest
DXCC entity meet with overall success, is another interesting story.  We
strongly feel as a team that an amateur radio expedition should do its
fair share in assisting a country of worldwide DX interest to become
another equal partner along with others in the 300-plus DXCC listing. 
These countries give the amateur community the satisfaction of contacting
remote places in the far corners of the world and learning about the
people, the fauna and flora of these areas, and also giving an impulse to
the local people who possibly one day will establish a radio presence and
become part of this wonderful, international family of amateur radio.

The prospect of permanent activity still needs to be put on hold, though,
with regard to Temotu's 1,500 local residents, but this situation should
not keep us from supporting Ashley, our gracious host, in his efforts to
help these people ultimately achieve a high literacy rate, healthy
surroundings and good prospects of creating and supporting their own
success on their lonely island.

With this in mind, it was agreed that a limited number of Special Event
First Temotu Expedition H4ØAA QSL Cards will be issued to those who
contribute USD 25 or more toward Dr. Ashley Wilson's efforts to further
develop this latest DXCC entity now to be added to the ARRL DXCC List.
These funds will be used solely for specifically selected projects, of
which you will hopefully hear through future Temotu expeditions.

The Special Edition QSL Cards will be signed by Dr. Ashley Wilson, stamped
by the Temotu Development Authority and mailed from the Lata Post Office
using selected, relevant Solomon Islands postage stamps which depict the
overall island group and the person who once discovered the islands:  Don
Alvaro de Mendana y Neyra, a Peruvian Spanish explorer who sighted these
islands on February 7, 1568.

Your contribution toward a Special Edition H4ØAA Card is tax-deductible
and can be sent directly with your QSO data to the Temotu Development
Fund, Mr. Bruce Butler, W6OSP, 4220 Chardonnay Ct, Napa, CA 94558, USA. 
You may also notify W6OSP of your contribution through email:

The deadline for these Special Edition QSL Cards is May 10, 1998 and they
will be posted during the month of May to reach the donors well before the
submission date for Temotu QSL cards for ARRL DXCC credit.

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