Thursday, November 24, 2005

Yes, I Come from a Land Down Under

Club's day in the sun, naturally enough
By BenH - The Canberra Times
November 21, 2005

AUSTRALIA -- They come from all walks of life. And there is no stereotypical type. Nudists.

For Chisholm painter Michael Citton, it's the natural way to be.

As he puts it, he spends his working week wearing clothes so why spend the weekends dressed?

Mr Citton, 42, a member of the ACT Nudist Club, has been a nudist for close to 20 years.

In that time, he has had three girlfriends, all of whom have been nudists.

"I think it's a hell of a lot more normal than what we normally do," Mr Citton said yesterday from the club's private premises on the outskirts of Canberra.

"It's just exactly the normal way to be, the natural way to be. It's just conditioning over thousands of years that said, 'We have to do this, we have to do that'."

Mr Citton cited countries in Africa or on the equator where people wore little if any clothing.

The ACT club held an open day yesterday with a sausage sizzle, attracting upwards of 30 visitors, a number of whom have already decided to become members.

Membership entitles people to access to the club's facilities - including a clubhouse, kitchen and swimming pool - as they choose, and attend monthly social functions.

When The Canberra Times arrived early yesterday afternoon, the barbecue had been cranked up, and people were enjoying the sunshine, sitting beside the pool, or taking a dip. Skinny dipping, one might say.

The club, which turns 30 next year, has about 100 members and is affiliated with the Australian Nudist Federation.

In its early days, the Canberra club had more than 300 members, a number that dropped to about 70 about five years ago before steadily growing to where it is today.

"It's a bit hard here because we've got a lot of people from Defence and you'll get a whole bunch of people and they're here for a year or two and they get posted elsewhere," Mr Citton said.

"We've just lost a really good couple who was helping us organise a convention."

Mr Citton said there was no typical nudist.

"You can get a club like this ... or other clubs that are bigger and you can get people with totally opposite views on every range subject.

"You can have lawyers. You can have policemen. You can have labourers. You can have doctors. What you don't get is people who tend to be unemployed for a long period of time. Mostly everyone tends to be reasonably active."

Club vice-president Lindsay Parkyns said he expected some of the visitors would soon become members. 'We actually leave it with them to think about. We give them all the information, explain everything to them, show them all the facilities, and we hope that they'll get back to us."



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