CELEBRATIONS ON WALLIS ISLAND TO MARK KING'S 40TH ANNIVERSARY

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MATU UTA, Wallis and Futuna (March 19, 1999 - Radio Australia)---Celebrations will begin today on the island of Wallis, part of the French territory of Wallis and Futuna, to mark the 40th anniversary of the reign of King Lavelua Tomasi Kulimoetoke.

The festivities will begin with mass in the capital, at Matu Utu’s cathedral.

The settlement has been spruced up, with official buildings freshly painted in readiness for the three-day celebration honoring the 81-year-old King, the 5Oth Lavelua since the 15th century.

Lavelua Tomasi Kulimoetoke came to power in 1959, two years before Wallis and Futuna acquired its French overseas territory status.

The King's appointment restored stability to the island after a troublesome post-war period.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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