Newsletter da INF: Focus Dezembro
Aude: The beach of Leucate ranked n°1 in the Top 10 naturist beaches
The English site 'The Richest' published the palmares of the naturist beaches worldwide. The beach of Leucate ranks first in this Top 10!
According to a ranking published on the English site “The Richest”, well known for its multiple palmares, Leucate ranks first in the Top 10 of the naturist beaches worldwide, "The Top Nude Beaches in the World".
At the highest ranks of a podium completed by the beaches situated on Mallorca and in Florida, included in a ranking which also lists beaches in Greece, Croatia or the Canary Islands, the beach at Leucate made its difference by its golden fine sand, extending to one mile.
During this year 2014 when Leucate celebrates its 40th anniversary of the establishment of the naturist perimeter on its territory, authorized by the “Mission Racine” for the development of the coast of Languedoc, this is a great recognition of the natural assets and the quality of life, a benefit for the town and its naturist sector in particular. By the way, the town administration is looking forward to welcome the general assembly of the French Naturist Federation, which will be held at Port-Leucate on 11th and 12th May.
Through the voice of its Mayor Michel Py, the City of Leucate welcomes this international spotlight directed that way to one of its entities. Strengthened by its geographic and architectural diversity as well as its wealth brought by its five composing entities, Leucate regularly appears at the top rankings, its beaches being recognized each year among the most beautiful ones in France. In addition, it is the only town in the “Departement de l’Aude” being part of the natural marine Park of the Gulf of Lion.
Rankings on: www.therichest.com/expensive-
MPENJATI NATURIST BEACH,
Little did we realise that they were not joking. They would open a bank account, do marketing for new members, promote the establishment of naturist resorts and guesthouses in KZN, apply for a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) number with the Department of Social Development, apply for a naturist friendly beach and promote naturism in the KZN province. All was done within 6 to 8 months.
However, the one item that made the biggest impact, not only for KZNNA but also for naturism in South Africa, was the application for the naturist friendly beach falling under the Hibiscus Coast Municipality (HCM) on the KZN South Coast. I didn’t take it seriously until Christo Bothma, the Chairman of KZNNA, sent me an email saying “look how far we are now with the nudist beach”. He had been invited to a public debate about the application for a naturist friendly beach at Trafalgar Beach. That was on a Friday and the debate would be on the Monday. I asked if he will be there and if SANNA could do anything to assist him. He said that he was about to go on a 3 week tour throughout the country and there was no way that he could take leave that Monday.
I panicked and decided to phone Serge who normally helps me to relax just by saying a few words but this time, he did exactly the opposite – he stressed me out completely by telling me that I had better make a plan to be there for the debate. After nearly having a heart attack, I phoned Serge again and told him that, for business reasons, I cannot be on TV and radio, my clients will not understand. Within, an hour, and after the approval of Christo of KZNNA, I convinced Serge to fly up to Durban and to go with me to the debate.
Amanda and I drove down to Durban on the Sunday and fetched Serge from the airport. I had lots of papers which I had printed including information about naturist beaches overseas, the numbers of naturists in Europe etc. I was hoping for an early night but Serge had other ideas. He wanted to be well prepared for the debate so we went through every document and I suggested that we put ourselves in the shoes of the officials of Hibiscus Coast Municipality. What would they want? Economic growth, jobs created, tourists from South Africa and from Europe etc. By the time I fell asleep Serge was still going through documents and preparing himself for the debate. For some reason, he really became “attached” to an article that proved that naturists are the “most sane” and that we are not crazy compared to most.
The next morning, we left Umchlanga early and we were one of the first to arrive at the Marquee tent erected especially for the debate. John of The Hooting Owl arrived and didn’t help my nerves by telling me that the “locals” had a petition against the application and a very loud lady started telling everybody how she is against the nudist beach. We sat quietly in the front row and I was so grateful that Serge was there to go on stage to represent KZNNA and SANNA. An official arrived and handed out the Agenda and there for everybody to see, “Athol Lutge, Chairman of the South African National Naturist Association (SANNA)” on the panel - so within minutes, I found myself on the stage, facing that aggressive woman and her supporters. I was asked by Serge what chance we have of having the beach application approved and I said that I thought that we had a 5% chance.
The debate started and without going into too much detail, I can assure you that it went much better than any of us had dreamed. I spoke about the INF and about naturism and about the potential for increased tourism, economic growth, job creation etc and Serge did his bit and was heckled when we mentioned how he has proof that naturists are sane. Luckily, he was on a roll and we were very proud of Serge as he was interviewed by SABC, Howzit TV, lots of radio stations and newspapers.
We were then invited to “tea” with the Deputy Mayor and Councillors at one of the municipal offices. I can assure you, Amanda got top points for charming the Deputy Mayor, but Serge and I were not far behind when it came to building relationships with the councillors and municipal
managers. Serge then did one more TV interview and we then took him to the airport. Serge then asked me what chance we have and I said that I thought that we had a 50% chance. I
honestly felt that we had done our very best and that it was then in the hands of the councillors.
Christo did a few interviews and then he had to leave on the tour and so Serge handled most of the media – I was interviewed about 4 times on radio and about 12 newspapers interviewed me as well. Serge was interviewed just about every day – sometimes three times in one day.
A few weeks later, I was contacted by Simon of Hibiscus Coast
to find out if we will be at the Council meeting in Port Shepstone as we were welcome to attend. That was on Friday and the council meeting was on Tuesday. Christo was away, Serge could not fly up from Cape Town so Amanda and I drove down to Port Shepstone that Tuesday morning.
We did our best, kept a keen sense of humour and did our presentation in front of not only the councillors but plenty of media. The councillors fired lots of questions at me which I answered as best that I could and with a sense of humour. The speaker, Councillor Nair, finished off the item by saying that if this was approved, that he will be in big trouble with his wife. He did, however, admit that the Hibiscus Coast had never before had so much publicity which was great.
This time, the naturist beach item was almost last on their agenda so it was a long wait. The media was there in force and the one naturist friendly cameraman recorded the voting on video. Much to our surprise and delight, the ANC councillors voted for the application and the other opposition parties voted against it or abstained from voting.
Since the application was approved, Serge, Amanda and I have met with Anton, Simon and Sibusiso of HCM to discuss the “to do list” including ablutions, shark nets, lifeguards, signage, dustbins, etc. The exact GPS co-ordinates have been agreed on, the bylaws will include the KZNNA Code of Conduct and we have been asked to only do our official launch in March or April, 2015.
I would like to thank Christo and the KZNNA MANCO for all that they have done in such a short period of time and with limited members, I would also like to thank Serge and the WCNA MANCO for their hard work, support and funding and for “lending” Serge to us as SANNA Vice Chairman and Spokesperson – we would have been nowhere without Serge. Thanks also to Sun Eden, Hibisiscus Coast Municipality and the Media for all the support and publicity and thanks Amanda for driving the car on all those trips when I no longer could keep my eyes open and for “sorting out” that “lady” who complained about the flabby parts on the beach and who called naturists weird and abnormal. Thanks most of all, to the members of SANNA and INF for your support and teamwork.
Naturism in South Africa is TAKING OFF.
Athol Lofty Lutge
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