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[Page 37]


were visitors or locals, rich or poor.   The myth of egalitarianism was thereby given witness by a uniformity as the classes mixed on the Corso.   On the beach, at the very edge of our society, the vision of equality was almost complete.   Acres of anonymous flesh lay exposed to the rites of the sun.

        Yet real differences remained.   Some people walked to the beach, others arrived in expensive motorcars.   Skimpy costumes could still show degrees of fashion, expressed in line and fabric.

        Lifesavers patrolled with military precision, secure in their image of bronzed Anzacs - - on duty to protect lesser mortals but also to pursue an exclusive hedonism.

        Surf, sand and sex were a heady mixture for all.   However, tribal differences remained.   the crowds that faced the ocean were divided by race, religions and class just as sharply as the rest of Australian society.

        After the crowds went home, the people who ran Manly met behind closed doors to discuss money, politics and privilege.   These respectable people paid due allegiance to God, The Sovereign and The Union Jack.   They believed in public morality and  a free market;  as long as they could make a good profit.   And profits were to be had, while the crowds kept flocking to the beach, year after year.

        Then, in the 1960s, the care-free atmosphere of  

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