Start page   Collection Knowledge  
Start / Collections / Australian Country Collections /
1949 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973
1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980   Cancellations Tin Can Island Canoe Mail

Collection / Australian Country Collections /
Tonga / Tin Can Island Canoe Mail

On the outskirts of the Tongan Group, nearly 400 miles from Tongatabu, Niuafo´ou is about 3½ miles long by 3 miles wide. It is of volcanic origin and has a long record of serious eruptions, in which parts of the island were devastated.
Following a violent eruption during September 1946 the 1330 inhabitants were moved and eventually resettled at Eua Island, south of Tongatabu. Until September 1958 only a few workers had returned to the island but later that year over 200 ex-inhabitants returned and started rebuilding their homes and villages.
From the air, Niuafo´ou resembles a large donut in shape, since the crater is a large lake, about 2½ miles across, which lies in the crater of the vulcano. The lake water is brackish an unfit for drinking purpose.
There is no good anchorage at Niuafo´ou as the bottom is rocky and irregular and slopes down steeply into deep water. At one time passing steamers would seal inward mail for the island in 40-lb. biscuit tins which were thrown overboard to be towed ashore by waiting native "postmen". From this unique method of mail delivery the island became known as "Tin Can Island".

vorherige Seite   nächste Seite