The Republic of Vanuatu (French: République de Vanuatu; Bislama: Ripablik blong Vanuatu), is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.
Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were a Spanish expedition in 1606. Part or all of Vanuatu subsequently became part of the Spanish, French, and British Empires. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980.
In his guise of "Beals Becker" of the general-secretariat of the United Nations, Kelvin R. Throop wrote a response to the representative of the Republic of Vanuatu, expressing surprise that such a country existed. He further lamented that he now owed someone named Serge twenty dollars, and that he would be eating peanut butter until payday.
His valediction was "Disappointedly, Beals Becker".
↑Analog: The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fact, Vol CV, No 8, August, 1985, pg. 175.