Every year at this time, our thoughts turn to K’amba Carnival, which as everyone knows is one of this area’s biggest annual events.
Inevitably, we always marvel at how long the carnival has existed. This year is the 38th edition of the festival, meaning it began in 1983.
For those of us of a certain age, 1983 does not seem that long ago, but it really is that long ago.
And reflecting on 1983 makes the staying power of K’amba Carnival all the more impressive.
A search of the Internet for all things 1983 turned up some surprising and even shocking things that make that year sound almost prehistoric.
For instance, the first mobile phones were introduced to the public by Mo
torola in 1983. These days, it’s hard to image life without a cell phone.
On Jan. 1, 1983, the metric system of weights and measures was officially adopted by the federal government. A whole generation has grown up knowing nothing else.
And speaking of the metric system, an Air Canada jet – which became known as the Gimli Glider – made an emergency landing in Gimli, Manitoba, in July of 1983. A subsequent investigation revealed the near disaster was caused when the jet ran out of fuel at 40,000 feet because of confusion caused by the switch from the imperial to the metric system.
Meanwhile in 1983, Ronald Reagan was president of the United States, Pierre Trudeau was prime minister of Canada, Peter Lougheed was premier of Alberta and George Braden was the premier of the Northwest Territories.
All of the above pieces of information are interestingly dated, but it is the 1983 economic numbers – American statistics – which don’t seem quite real.
For example, our friends in the States were paying $6,572 for a Ford Mustang, but $6,994 for a Volkswagen Rabbit. Of all the strange things from 1983, nothing seems stranger than the fact – although we find it hard to believe – that people were paying more for a Volkswagen Rabbit than a Mustang. That just doesn’t seem right.
People could also buy a Timex Sinclair Colour Computer for $179.99. We throw that little nugget in because we had no idea that Timex ever made a computer. (We thought it might have been a fancy name for a watch, so we looked it up. Sure enough, it was a home computer released in November of 1983.)
Curiously, some of the pop culture references don’t seem as dated.
Every Breath You Take by The Police was the top song on the Billboard 100 for 1983, while Billie Jean by Michael Jackson was second. The Return of the Jedi was the top grossing movie for the year.
When you look back at 1983, it makes it all the more impressive that K’amba Carnival is still around considering that it started in what seems like another age.
If The Hub is around in 12 years, we hereby give the reporter of the future our permission to use all this 1983 trivia to reflect back a half century.
Because we believe that K’amba Carnival will still be going strong.
K’amba Carnival is a survivor.