Thanks to Luke Allison for sending through this story about an old tradition going on between a number of agriculture colleges around the country.
Luke and his friend Tom McGillivray made the trip to Hawkesbury College in NSW last week to take back possession of a Marilyn Monroe photo and bring it back home to The University of Melbourne’s Dookie Campus — after it had been gone 48 years.
According to former Hawkesbury student David Goodfellow, who has written a history of Marilyn:
“Marilyn (well, the photo of her) first arrived to Australia in the hands of the US Navy to the Flinders Naval Base in SA on 26 June 1956. She was thence ‘‘borrowed’’ from the US Navy by our Aussie sailors at Flinders in a sneaky manoeuvre, but a triumphant one, nonetheless. Since then, she was “pinched” and relocated to the Sale Air Force Base in Victoria then Royal Military College Duntroon in Canberra before being lured to Hawkesbury for the very first time in a carefully planned raid during the late evening of Saturday 4 October 1958.’’
Shortly after Marilyn soon became a highly-pursued trophy from numerous agricultural colleges in Victoria, NSW and ACT.
What started out as a bit of fun between the colleges soon became a renowned tradition.
For the next 50 years Marilyn went back and forth between colleges including Dookie, Longerenong, Yanco, Orange, Wagga and Hawkesbury with the objective of the students wanting to keep and admire Marilyn for themselves.
There are numerous stories of Marilyn and how she was captured over the years, however, one of the standouts was when Dookie College tired of Marilyn being stolen and so went to the extreme lengths of firmly securing her in a steel cage bolted to the second floor of the stairwell.
Nonetheless, 16 keen Hawkesburians — having had several unsuccessful attempts of capturing her due to being chased out by a cohort of Dookie boys — later rocked up with a ‘‘ute full of power tools, crowbars etc’’ and an abundant supply of grog, and left with Marilyn at 3.30am the next morning.
At one stage, the Duntroon contingent even went to the extreme lengths of blowing a hole in the wall to get possession of her, although in the process they destroyed the original picture, requiring a new one to replace her.
Due to the extreme lengths the colleges went to in order to acquire possession of Marilyn, administration wanted this tradition banned, which led to the adoption of some rules:
●She is to be hung in a position that allows her to be admired by all who cherish her;
●She is to be hung in a place that is always accessible to those who want her;
●She is to be hung in a manner such that she may be removed by those who love her without damaging her; and
●Her captors are required to advise her previous carers of her current whereabouts.
However, the whereabouts of Marilyn had become a bit of a mystery until a few weeks ago when Dookie College students Luke Allison and Tom McGillivray heard she was alive and well at Hawkesbury College, now Western Sydney University.
After hearing this they made the trek to Hawkesbury, nine hours away from Dookie, and successfully captured her — eager to bring her home for the first time in 48 years.
Hoorah the Dookie boys!