Prosh Perth Performs

It was a misty autumnal morning in Perth and the Swan River was looking sleek – smooth like reflective glass. Runners and bicyclists made use of the riverside trail, while the less energetic breakfasted at ‘Sassy’s on the Swan’, right on the waterfront.

The Supreme Court gardens were in flower, dressed in a last ditch splash of colour before winter begins … anyway, you get the picture.

Imagine my surpise then when this tranquil setting was interrupted by an almost naked man, painted in blue, accompanied by an Amazonian female (with a tail) running towards me. They screeched to a halt, brandishing a newspaper and exclaimed: “Prosh!”.  This was a greeting I hadn’t heard before, and for a moment I was lost for words … talk about Moscow on the Hudson! What were they doing?

It turned out that Prosh is a UWA (University of Western Australia) tradition that dates back to 1931. The Prosh paper is put together by students in March each year to raise money for various charities. The newspaper itself is full of wit and satire aimed straight at the heart of hot topics and current affairs in Australia and worldwide. Prosh is short for procession, and in April students dress up and take to the streets of Perth and Fremantle to sell the paper before taking part in a carnival procession. Apparently,a grand total of $125,000 was raised for charity in 2009.

London Court, an open-roofed shopping arcade with distinctive mock Tudor/Elizabethan architectural features , was in full time warp with a group of students dressed up in Medieval attire “proshing” unsuspecting passers by. The arcade, situated in the central business district, was built in 1937 and hosts a number of speciality shops and small eateries.

So “Prosh Prosh” to fellow Western Australians on this cool April morning, wherever you are.

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