Respect needs of the sun-starved in Nelson

I sat before Nelson city council to promote the idea that an optional clothing beach was essential to the town of Nelson.

About six to eight months ago, I sat before Nelson city council to promote the idea that an optional clothing beach was essential to the town of Nelson.

The over-arching argument I put forth was that Nelsonites are truly sun starved and that every opportunity should be given to them to take in the sun after a punishing winter of sun deprivation.

But also there was the point that it provides an inexpensive opportunity to optional clothing sun bathers to have common enjoyment as a community of people with a common interest, where people not only take in the sun but also sing, play music, socialize and swim.

Someone on council whom I contacted about the issue shared their concern that there could be instances of rowdy behaviour at Red Sands. I have never personally witnessed any of the sort at Red Sands Beach, though I have witnessed it occurring downtown on the street or in clubs, on the rare occasion. Quite the contrary. I’ve only witnessed joy at Red Sands Beach.

There is the matter of public morals and another councillor made it quite clear that optional clothing sunbathing was an unusual past-time (giving the impression that some kind of challenge to morality was taking place). Yet, in Europe thousands of beaches are optional clothing. And we have them too in other locations in British Columbia already.

Red Sands Society has recently been established with the interest of keeping the beach wild for environmental reasons and for looking at how it might contribute to the upkeep of the beach, should that become an issue.

Our children need to learn by observation that not everything needs to be developed. Examples are needed.  Red Sands is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate it.

Finally, there’s the matter of diversity. I’m not a tennis player, yet my taxes go towards upkeep of the tennis courts.

The spirit of diversity tolerates different past-times by supporting something that one may not indulge in oneself.

Let’s respect the sun-starved nature of our community and take responsibility of providing our citizens with every opportunity to take in the sun.

Let’s save Red Sands Beach for the community. Let’s keep it undeveloped.

Phil Mader

Nelson