This practise was to be outlawed a few years later when some
do-gooding spoilsports pointed out that teenagers were actually being killed during similar rituals elsewhere in Australia.
Death, as they so cogently suggested, was more often than not, a deterrent to satisfactory completion of a course of education.
One of the less radical methods employed to ensure that we got very little sleep for 14 nights in a row, was the allocation to each one of us, by our masters, of an unusual and bizarre research subject, about which we were required to write one thousand words.
A week later, one at a time, we stood in front of our assembled peers and a panel of terrorist judges up to midnight and beyond, to read our discoveries out loud.
Anyone detected smiling or otherwise enjoying an oration was immediately sent on a four-mile run to the bottom corner of the bush paddock to sing our newly-learned College Song to a big old gum tree which had probably witnessed this sort of juvenile shenanigans for at least the previous 40 years.
My special research subject was;
"The mating habits of flies on heat".
Now I don't know about you, but my knowledge of this subject at the time was infinitesimal. You are now older than I was, so you probably know a great deal more.
After writing 1000 words on my topic in the studious sarcasm-free style to which you have become accustomed here in The Bucket, my total knowledge about flies bonking was still somewhere around zero.
Accordingly, I stood on the rostrum to deliver my poorly-researched discourse with some scholarly authority.
Unfortunately at some stage during the performance a judgment was made that my face had betrayed the brain's serious intent.
Natural history does not record whether the Old Gum Tree, or the nocturnal creatures resident within it's boughs appreciated my 1 am solo baritone interpretation of the College Song, two verses of which were;
"Godiva was a lady,
Who through Coventry did ride,
Upon a snow-white horse
To show off her lily-white hide.
The only ones to notice,
That she was upon a horse,
Was one blind man, the MG boys,
And the Dookie boys of course."
Well OK, I know this is not Chaucer, Wordsworth or Frost, but hey this was an Agricultural College, not some hallowed seat of learning for English Literature.
Credit where it is due.
At least wherever I travel in the world and come across naked women riding horses I am doubly well versed on appropriate etiquette and how to behave with propriety.