Time Flies

When I was born on this very day not so many years ago, a pint of beer cost eleven pence. A loaf of bread was four pence ha’penny and a pound of butter cost one shilling and four pence.

King George VI was on the throne, Harry S. Truman was President of the United States and Ben Chifley was Prime Minister of Australia. The Governor-General was Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Thomas Playford IV was Premier of South Australia. Clement Atlee was Prime Minister of Britain and Winston Churchill was Leader of the Opposition.

You could buy a three bedroom house for £1,365 and an average car for £372, a bit more than the average annual wage of £348. A gallon of petrol cost two shillings and a penny ha’penny and 20 cigarettes were one and ten. The Australian pound was worth 16 UK shillings. One UK pound would buy $4 US.

The most popular band that year was The Ink Spots, the most popular singer was Perry Como, the most popular song of the year was “Love Letters” and the best musical was “Annie Get Your Gun”.

In that year “Foundation Day” was renamed “Australia Day”, Trans Australia Airlines made its first flight, the movie The Overlanders was released starring Chips Rafferty. The first Tupperware was sold in department and hardware stores and the electric blanket was invented.

The first meeting of the United Nations was held in London and Project Diana bounced radar waves off the Moon, measuring the exact distance between the Earth and the Moon and proving that communication is possible between Earth and outer space, effectively opening the space age.

Also born that year were Bon Scott, Tim Fischer, John Hewson (former Federal politician), Alan Jones (racing driver) and John Bertrand (yachtsman who skippered Australia II to America’s Cup Victory).

On the actual day I was born, Ho Chi Minh, future President of North Vietnam, left Paris after being forced into signing an unfavorable agreement with France,  nine men who escaped from Stalag Luft III received MBEs in Britain, and Reuben Fogg was born, although it would be some years before we eventually met.


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