Mud-caked residents of Selwyn College in Dunedin carry a
cast-iron bath down the Water of Leith on Saturday as a
part of their initiation to the college. Photo by Jane
This year they came prepared with shields.
The annual Selwyn College Leith Run, first held in 1935, was
a storming success on Saturday morning with the residents of
the University of Otago hostel, in Dunedin, managing to carry
a cast-iron bath down the Water of Leith without it touching
Many of the participants, both first and second year
residents, had learnt the tradition from their parents and
grandparents who had gone through the initiation rite in the
Former resident Devon Latoa said the bath, painted in the
Selwyn colours maroon and gold, was "borrowed" from Knox
College and, after a mud fight in the college grounds, was
carried along Castle St and to the Water of Leith by female
Bewildered Castle St residents in dressing gowns and the odd
birthday suit watched with amusement as the mud-caked
Selywnites chanted their way down the street.
At the Water of Leith, the male residents took over and
carried the bath for more than an hour through various
obstacles, and much bombardment from older students and
former college residents, before they reached the university
Many former residents were dismayed their younger
counterparts had had the foresight to make shields out of
anything they could in order to deflect the flour, eggs and
rotten vegetables that were hurled at them.
As the students crawled out of the Leith with clean legs,
muddy mid-sections and flour-caked heads, many remarked on
how much fun they had had.