Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Great Equalizer

Sun club's 'uniform' a great leveller

Bernadette Cooney – The Nelson Mail

January 31, 2006

MOUTERE, NEW ZEALAND -- There is no such thing as a designer uniform, Nelson Sun Club members say.

In fact, the idea of a "body perfect" naturist uniform would make most members of the Moutere-based club chortle.

"There's no ideal body shape. We are more about enjoying the freedom that naturism brings. Free from life's tensions and expectations, free to do ordinary things without the restrictions clothing brings," said a club spokeswoman.

The sun club uniform is a great leveller too, she says. "It doesn't matter who you are, what you earn or how educated you are. Without clothes on, we are all the same."

The club in Sunrise Valley Rd, Upper Moutere is holding an open day on Saturday as part of a national Go Natural Week organised by the New Zealand Naturist Federation.

Many of New Zealand's 21 naturist clubs are holding events to publicise the naturist lifestyle and debunk common myths.

"We are not a bunch of weirdos by any stretch of the imagination. We simply enjoy life as nature intended," the spokeswoman said.

The club has 120 members, many of whom live outside the area but take regular holidays at the club each year. The Moutere base, which includes a swimming pool, golf and bowling greens and tennis courts, has 16 naturist households as permanent residents.

The club was established in 1969 and has had a steady membership ever since.

One foundation member, who has visited the club almost every summer, said the naturist movement was family-oriented and safe.

Every member was continuously vetted throughout their membership, which could be terminated at any time.

Skin cancer safety is also encouraged, with hats and sunscreen a common sight.

The Nelson Sun Club open day will be from 11.30am to 2.30pm. Clothing will be compulsory, but interested people are welcome to stay for a "clothing optional" barbecue later in the afternoon.



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