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Background Information

Tubuai Islands or Austral Islands
A volcanic island group, it is comprised of seven atolls, the biggest being six miles long. Two are inhabited. Tubuai is very fertile. Oranges, coffee, arrowroot, tobacco, and copra are grown. The climate is healthy and temperate. Population is abt. 2,400, mainly Polynesian people.
There are 3 branches of the LDS Church in the Austral Islands, and they are the earliest in the Pacific, dating back to 1844-1852.
The islands are:
Maria (Hull), Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai, Raivavae, Rapa Islands, Rapa (Oparo), Bass (Marotiri)

Historical background

1775 Spaniard Gayanges discovers Raivavae (Austral).
1777 Tubuai was visited by British Captain James Cook.
1797 Wilson discovers Mangareva and Vaitahu.
1843 Mormon missionaries arrived in Tubuai and in Papeete.
1867 Epidemics in Rapa of the Austral Islands. A French protectorate is established.
1880 Tubuai was annexed by France.
1900 Rurutu and Rimatara of the Austral Islands are annexed by France.
1938 French authorities imposed strict regulations on immigration and tourism.


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