For about a decade or so the little patch of sand, called Reef Beach, was filled with people. Families, friends, kids, teenagers, mums and dads.
They came to this little beach, on Fairlight Bay because they could bathe naturally, nude.
It’s a small beach and everyone got to practically know everyone and if they didn’t, it wasn’t Bob Reed’s fault. Making new-comers feel at home was something he liked doing.
He was the honorary beach inspector and you could tell because the one item that he wore was the hat, with the blue ribbon that said: Beach Inspector.
Celebrating birthdays and other important events, with fellow-naturists, on Reef Beach was a common event.
A good time was had by all.
Then the residents, above the beach, grew tired of visitors from elsewhere, parking in their streets. It almost seemed as though they resented visitors coming to their beach.
After all, they’d paid so much to live there.
Mark you, not all the local residents objected. At least one couple loved that beach. He regularly came down to the beach to ensure that, if anything was out of place, after a hot, sunny day and a beach full of people, it would be tidied up or taken away.
She later became the patron of the Free Beach Association inc., which was formed when those carefree, happy days were brought to an end, using a little bit of local political pressure.
Not that the nudists didn’t have their support from at least one local and one state politician. Both seen on the beach when the media were brought in, to record the arrival of the authorities, there to take the names of these people who had dared to use this beach, wearing their skin.
Three representatives of the naturists were made to face Manly Court, where the magistrate agreed that it was fine for them to be there.
Sadly, being summonsed to court had not been something that these people were used to and it was a most unpleasant experience.
The nudists could return to Reef Beach.
But it didn’t last long, through the NSW State Parliament, it was arranged that Reef Beach would be taken away and replaced by Cobblers, Obelisk and Lady Bay Beaches as well as Werrong and Birdie and there were a few more (unofficial/official) beaches.
It was never the same again for Bob Reed. For the next twelve years he worked hard, as president of the Free Beach Association of New South Wales, to promote the cause.
Very much appreciated by naturists, all over Australia and even overseas, Bob finds it hard to believe that they will ever know how much work he put in for the cause, after losing Reef Beach.
He’s still got the hat!
If only he could have the beach back.
It’s practically always empty now.
There would not be many naturists, in Australia, as well-known as Bob Reed JP.
He still meets people, in all sorts of places, who greet him enthusiastically, as they remember him from the Reef Beach days .