By 1999, things at Cooke & Hutchinson were going along very nicely and Dan had made some big decisions on his future. He had decided to focus on his swimming career and would therefore complete Years 11 and 12 of senior school over 3 years. Heading into law school was the furtherest thing from his mind.

Something on most people’s minds though was the threat of the dreaded Y2K superbug. As the clock ticked down to the turn of the new millennium, a nagging angst began to creep across the globe as everyone wondered what would happen to all the world’s technology when the calendar started again. Some were more worried than others, best represented by the headlines in the photo above. Turns out, there wasn’t much to worry about after all and things continued as before. Although there may have been an extra headache or two as the new year was welcomed in.

The last year of the millennium also saw:

– The new Redcliffe Jetty opens to the public

– The Lindsay Meyer Moulding factory (in Grice St, Clontarf) destroyed in the largest fire on the Peninsula in years

– The GST Bill passes through the Senate, after successful negotiations with Meg Lees’ Australian Democrats on the exemption of fresh food

– 14 Australians perish at Interlaken, Switzerland in a canyoning disaster

– East Timor votes for independence from Indonesia causing mass outbreaks of violence from pro-Indonesian militants

– Australia holds a referendum on whether to become a Republic and if there should be a preamble inserted into the constitution recognising Aborigines as Australia’s first people. The “No” vote for the republic is 54% while the preamble “No” vote is 60%

– A world record rugby league crowd of 107,961 people watch the first Grand Final to be played at the new Olympic stadium, where the 2 year old Melbourne Storm defeat the St George Illawarra Dragons 20-18 in one of the most controversial matches in history

– The Australian Wallabies win the Rugby World Cup with a spiteful 35-12 victory over France at the Millennium Stadium at Cardiff

– The impeachment trial of US President Bill Clinton opens and closes in the space of just over a month with Clinton being acquitted and avoiding censure

– Two teenagers shoot and kill 12 people at Colombine High School in Littleton, Colorado

– John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy are lost at sea when his plane crashes of the Martha’s Vineyard coastline

– The Melissa and Chernobyl viruses force several large corporations to shut down their email servers. This only adds to the growing panic of the impending millennial Y2K bug that has some people claiming will be the technological equivalent of Armageddon. These fears are later proved to be somewhat exaggerated

– Two titans of the international film world pass away: Gene Siskel (20 February) was one of the world’s most influential and famous film critics due to his film review television show with Roger Ebert. Stanley Kubrick (7 March) was one of the world’s most revered filmmakers whose death, only months before the release of his final film “Eyes Wide Shut”, would send shockwaves through the international film industry. Both men would leave huge legacies impossible to replace

– 1999 is also regarded as being the finest year in film since the heyday of the 1970’s, with the release of instant classics such as The Insider, Fight Club, Three Kings, Being John Malkovich, The Blair Witch Project, The Matrix, Eyes Wide Shut, Toy Story 2, Bowfinger, Election, Magnolia and Run Lola Run amongst others

Deaths: Joe Dimaggio (8 March), George C. Scott (22 September)