As the beginning of a new year approaches, each day I have felt compelled to reflect on not only this year but also the year I was born. It would be appropriate to begin at the year of my birth, the glorious year of 1991. In a later post I will write about 2012, due to the fact that the year isn’t quite over, and anything can happen between now and the new year.
1991 was the year that Bob Hawke and Paul Keating were both Prime Ministers of Australia, and the state of New South Wales experienced a hung parliament. Bob Hawke was caught making shady deals, the Queensland Police commissioner was sentenced to 14 years in jail for corruption, and the first General Strike since 1926 took place in New South Wales. Looking back now, it seemed like a rough year for Australian Politics, but the rest of the world had a few issues too.
This was also the year that the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on the disapproval of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, America moved to liberate Kuwait during the Gulf War, which later turned into Operation Desert Storm starting with air strikes in Iraq. The South African government moved to abolish the Population Registration Act, which requires the racial classification of all at birth. Ukraine and Kazakhstan declared its independence from the Soviet Union, and the Cold War ended finally after 44 years.
In Costa Rica, a huge earth quake hits at magnitude 7.6 and 82 people are killed, whilst in Bangladesh a massive cyclone occured and killed 138,000 people.
The World Wide Web project was announced and the first website is created. The Super Nintendo was released for the first time in America.
In sport the Adelaide Crows played their first game ever in the Australian Football League (AFL), and Carlton almost become the first goalless team in AFL since 1961. Mark Arceri managed to kick a goal within the last 30 seconds of the teams final game of the season.
Triple J made an All-Time Top 100 playlist which was dominated by Nirvana’s legendary song, Smells Like Teen Spirit. Huge metal bands such as AFI, HIM and Cradle of Fifth were established, as well as Australian hip-hop band Hilltop Hoods; whilst the poor old BBC Radio Orchestra was disbanded. The lead singer of the infamous band Queen, Freddie Mercury, died due to pneumonia caused by AIDS.
Yes, like every year, 1991 was a big year. Of course, I can not remember all of this due to my infancy, but it was interesting to research what had happened. I have even had the pleasure of my Mother describing my birth to me, which surprisingly is not the most disturbing conversations I’ve had in my life. The only amazing thing I will reveal though is that she walked (yes I said walked) all the way to hospital alone, whilst in labour because everyone was out doing shopping and wasn’t due back any time soon, not to mention she didn’t have access to a phone due to community maintenance in rural Australia, and of course mobile phones weren’t really big then. Good old Mum is resilient person.
So before the new year comes in, take the time to reflect on the world you were born into and how much it has changed today.