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Monday, September 10, 2012

Birth of New Millennium - Y2K and Insurer's fears !!


There have been days and there was this day !!  -  the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, made of steel and beautiful arches was lit up with the word ‘Eternity’ as a tribute to the legacy of  Arthur Stace, a Sydney artist who for many years inscribed that word on pavements in chalk in beautiful copperplate writing despite the fact that he was illiterate.  Millions converge in Sydney Harbour for one of the world's most impressive fireworks displays.  At South Africa,  Nelson Mandela returned to his former prison cell in Robin Island where he was kept for 22 years of his 27 years in prison. He lit a candle to symbolise reconciliation and passed it to a young child to symbolise South Africa's hopes for the future.  At US, President Clinton launched the celebrations in Washington while in New York's Time Square four tonnes of confetti rained down on more than three million revellers.  At UK, more than two million people lined the banks of the River Thames to watch a firework spectacular and although the emergency services were stretched to capacity no major disturbances were reported.

No prizes for guessing – it was the dawn of New Millennium – 1st of Jan 2000, when billions of people around the world welcomed in the New Millennium with some of the most spectacular celebrations ever seen. There were reports galore that the  first people to witness the dawn of the new era were Pacific Islanders - among the last were the Americans. For many revellers, it was indeed unique global experience, enthusiasm heightened by relentless hype of the media too. 

A millennium (plural millennia or millenniums) is a period of time equal to one thousand years. It derives from the Latin mille, thousand, and annus, year. It is often, but not necessarily, related to a particular dating system.

The first child of the millennium became a celebrity – it was believed  that a baby was born just 1 minute past midnight in the western suburbs of Auckland, New Zealand,  touted  to be the first baby of the new millennium; but the child's parents  declined to speak to the media or release any other details.  BBC reported that the child's parents were anxious to retain their privacy despite offers of sponsorship and endorsements, which could have made the birth a highly lucrative affair.  The honour then went to Tupou, who was born nine minutes later, also in Auckland born to Milika and Sifoni Fetuan as their seventh child.  There were reports that Fiji's first millennium birth, a boy, became  $2,500 richer for being first. Born at 0018 local time (1118 GMT), Taniela became eligible for the reward from the government.

Insurers are very wise people ! – they offer peace of mind and security to business people and others through their insurance products.  The fundamental characteristic of insurance contracts is the transfer of the “risk of random loss” from the insured to the insurer.

As the whole World stood up to welcome the new Millennium, Insurers started worrying themselves a couple of earlier – and do you know of this or do you remember the bug in 1998 and closer.

Read my next post on that !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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