News from NAG, Feb 2016
As with last month, News from NAG – published in H&E Naturist is month – is here to provide links to interesting blogs and websites. If you don’t already subscribe, please take a look and give support to the world’s oldest Naturist magazine, having been in continuous publications since 1900.
Membership New Zealand
Two items published by Stuff.co.nz last December might be pointing to a brighter future for naturism – at least in that part of the world. Canterbury Free Beach Nudist Club told Georgina Campbell that while the over-60s still made up the largest portion of its membership, about a fifth of their group was made up of the under-30s.
Sunbathing at Hikuraki Bay, Fiona Guest told Stuff.co.nz that she found naturism to be: ‘empowering for women to shake off the modern expectation of what the female body should like,’ and in later life she was: ‘free to have a bit of tummy flab.’
The article said there were only 100 members of the free beach club. This is less than half of the current membership for Auckland Outdoor Naturist Club, which number about 250. Back in the 60s though it had more than three times as many members and the current caretakers of the club – husband and wife team, Don Boughman and Minca Englebrecht – told Ciara Pratt that they were keen to expand the park and ‘get it back to its glory days.’
Boughman remarked to Pratt that: ‘There’s a saying that the first lie you tell is the clothes you wear – take those away, it’s just you.’
Both these clubs are reaching out to the under 40, what harm could it do if you reached out too.
A Lady Bishop for Nudists
In November, with typical Daily Mail outrage, we are told that the next Bishop of Sherborne is Karen Gorham with the headline: “Bless me! It’s Britain’s first NUDIST Bishop” and the eighth woman selected by the Church of England.
Archdeacon (as I write) Gorham was brought up in a naturist family but the article suggested that she is no longer a practicing naturist, have stopped ‘disrobing in public’, during her teenage years, which isn’t, sadly, all that unusual. However, by all accounts she continues to be a strong advocate for the lifestyle.
Archdeacon Gorham told journalist Jonathan Petrie that: ‘Naturism is often misunderstood, so people jump to the wrong conclusion.’ Not everyone is please with Gorham’s selection, however, with the Rev. George Curry, former chairman of the Church Society stating that her ‘comments made her unsuitable to be a bishop’ adding that naturism was against ‘traditional teaching’.
Naturally, the Daily Mail and Rev Curry were not the only ones to pass comment on Karen Gorham’s advancement. For it reminded Fr. Dwight Longenecker, an American Evangelical minister turned Anglican vicar turned Catholic priest, of a post he put up on Patheos.com in 2009. Using an ultra ego of Rev Humphrey Blyterington, Fr Longenecker tackles in his own way the subject of nudity and faith, and might be worth reading regardless of the depth of what you believe – from non-existent to very deep. Could the Adamites make a comeback?
A book on Christian ethics and social nudity written by Karen Gorham, 15-years ago with Dave Leal: ‘Naturism and Christianity: are they compatible?’ can still be bought through Amazon.co.uk.
Ethics are not just the preserve of the religious. A post on the Young Naturists America website pointed me towards The Humanist Experience, a podcast by Seráh Blain and Evan Clark, and this episode is focused on the issue of body shame how it is viewed in American culture. Although Blain and Clark are work colleagues and share a house, they are not a couple so when it came to seeing each other naked for the first time, they were – not unnaturally – a little nervous. It was a quite charming to listen to really and just as you don’t have to be religious to read Fr Longenecker’s skit-blog, you don’t have to be an atheist to listen to the podcast.
CO beach could be worth Aus$50 million to Queensland Economy
I’ve mentioned before that the State of Queensland, Australia is the only one without an official nudist beach, but not for much longer if the Australian Sex Party – yes you read correctly – has its way.
The ASP has proposed that Alexandria Bay, in Noosa National Park be deemed as a ‘clothing-optional beach’ according to Noosa News.  The Australian Sex Party’s acting president for his Queensland branch, Dr Mark McGovern, said it would only be making official what has been happening there unofficially for the last 70-years, and could be worth Aus$50 million to the Noosa economy. In its submission the ASP said that more than 80 per cent of the local community supported the creation of a legal clothing-optional beach. Although it should be noted that according to the website Beachsafe, this particular beach is only approachable by foot and has hazardous swimming.
Tourism Noosa is committed to Queensland rebranding itself as “Australia’s Nature Coast”, in an effort to entice more tourists, Europeans especially. The ASP submission said that given the greater acceptance of nudism by Europeans, having a CO beach would assist in that drive for more tourists, it also cited The Economist magazine, stating that 18 per cent of Europeans would ‘highly value’ access to a nude beach. The article said that Tourism Noose, themselves, were not available for comment.