NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
10th March, 1912 : It seems that no one wants to be left out of the bitter fight over the morality of mixed seaside bathing. The Reverend W Goyen, of the Presbyterian Church, warned bathers today to stay away from “the wiper” of “promiscuous hoodlums” to be found on some beaches. However, there was no evil in families or good friends bathing together. Earlier this week, the Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher, and the leader of the Catholic archdiocese of Melbourne, Archbishop Thomas Carr, also waded into the dispute.
Mr Fisher said he had seen no signs of “hideous immorality” at the beach. He did not think a dose of cold water was conducive to moral lapses. Archbishop Carr said mixed bathing was an abomination. It showed contempt for women and for the veil of modesty that was the great protection of the gentler sex. Last Tuesday, a Methodist conference also protested against the practice.
[ Yeah, the times, they are a changin’ and; with officially only 2% of Muslim population, thought mostly in the critical electorates, Reverend Goyen and Archbishop Carr may finally, posthumously, get their way. ]