Funafuti Islands (motu)


The island of Funagogo (formerly spelled Funangongo) is also known as Papa Elise, or Papaelise. Papa Elise translates to Father Ellice, and refers to an old missionary who came to Funafuti in the late 1800's. Ellice Islands is the colonial name for Tuvalu.

A Girls' London Missionary Society School was established 1912-13, with a headmistress from Britain. The School was eventually transfered to Samoa in early 1920's.

In 1923, the mission decided to open a boys school on the island, under Mr. Donald Kennedy of New Zealand, who became a legendary headmaster in Tuvalu. However, this location lasted for a year only, as the school was moved to Vaitupu in 1924.

In 1942, after the arrival of the Americans during WWII, the population of Fogafale was evacuated to Papa Elise and and some of the other islets of Funafuti - Amatuku, Fualefeke, Tepuka and Faatato.

Nowadays the islet does not have a permanent population, but people often come for picnics or to hunt birds. There are a few huts and ruins of older buildings from the school years.

Funafuti map

Funagogo, Tuvalu
Funagogo, Tuvalu
Funagogo, Funafuti, 2007. (c) Brian Cannon

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