Committee for Lorne: Bikini Ban

May 31, 2024 BY

In July 2023, a news report, “Australians warned over fines for bikini habit during Europe holidays” [see: https://tinyurl.com/yk67arzb] appeared in the Nine News cycle and several other news feeds.

“Holidaymakers escaping the Australian winter to soak up the sun in Europe are reminded of a few seemingly innocent habits that could see them facing major fines.

Melbourne woman Marti, for example, has reminded travellers that some popular holiday spots in Italy will fine tourists for walking around town in their swimwear.

“I don’t know what it is about Italians, but they do not want tourists going around in their bikinis around the little towns near the beaches,” Marti said in a TikTok video.

“If you’re planning on going to the beach, bring an extra T-shirt to yourself cover up, and the old Italian ladies and men will be happy.”

“If you’re visiting a church or anything religiously historical… chances are some places will tell you to cover up before you go in,” she added.

Indeed, last year, the Italian resort town of Sorrento announced tourists who walk around in bikinis will be fined €500 ($816).

The fine was implemented following complaints by locals who reportedly felt “discomfort and unease” at the sight of the scantily clad visitors shopping and dining in their town.

“The continuation of this situation, as well as causing discomfort and unease in the resident population and among visitors, could lead to a negative judgement on the quality of life in our town, with consequences for its image and tourism,” Mayor Massimo Coppola told The Times in the UK at the time.

The Ligurian resort of Rapallo also went as far as to erect permanent signs reminding visitors there are fines for being scantily dressed.

So, too, has the Calabrian town of Praia a Mare, with the local mayor extending the ban from inappropriate attire to walking barefoot through town.

Similar rules exist in Spain. In Barcelona, people may be penalised up to $445 if caught insufficiently dressed in the town centre. In Mallorca, visitors could be fined closer to $900 if they breach the rules.

Driving topless can also see tourists fined over $300 in Spain if it is deemed to impact their ability to drive safely”.

Question: could similar circumstances arise to threaten Lorne’s laissez-faire approach to streetwear?

Well … it seems that Lorne has crossed this Rubicon once or twice before—as the following two examples will show. The first, taken from the Lorne News, Thursday 18.1.1968, reported that:

Mr Dennis Ryan, JP of Geelong, has written to the Winchelsea Shire Council requesting that bikini-clad girls be barred from the shopping centre in Lorne.

It appears that Mr Ryan was a passenger on a bus that stopped outside the Post Office. He got out and spoke to a couple of girls and said they were very cheeky to him. “It is disgusting to see such people parading about”, Mr Ryan said.

While the Council decided to take no action, several articles subsequently appeared in Melbourne newspapers, including the following verse written in response by a ‘local Lorne poet’.

Unfortunately, the author appears anonymous, though any verifiable claim to its authorship would be gratefully received.

Dennis Ryan of Geelong
Has now created quite a song.
It seems while sitting on a bus,
He got upset with some of us.
Bikini girls were strolling by,
And after giving them the eye,
Breathing wrath and righteous fire,
He wrote a letter to the Shire.
“Ban those bikinis, it’s a shame
To see such clothes on any dame.
Cover them up, there’s too much bare,
Put something on them here and there”.
The Shire said no, we don’t enthuse,
Not everyone will share your views,
And someone said, “What’s Ryan’s caper?
We’ll write about it in the paper”.
Our Ivy Baldry [whom you know],
Will state her views to high and low
About our beach, our town, our trees,
For she loves Lorne and all of these.
Explain to this reporter bloke,
Bikini girls are decent folk,
And mothers wear them here and there,
When shopping for their summer wear.
And Graham Wheal, we understand,
Who’s secretary of our Progress band,
Told this feller from The Sun,
To ban these things just can’t be done.
This sort of thing is here to stay,
And we all love it anyway,
And those who don’t and write terse words,
Should watch some other kind of birds.
For Lorne’s a town that’s beaut to know,
No frosts, or fogs, or sleet, or snow.
When others start to feel the freeze,
It’s warmer here by ten degrees,
Girls in bikinis wander by,
Far longer than at Cowes or Rye,
And neck to knees, they won’t be buyin’,
Just to please old Dinny Ryan.
So, if you want to join with us,
And ‘happen to be’ in a bus,
When our bikini girls appear,
Just wave your hats and give a cheer
These girls are healthy, strong and good,
The flower of our womanhood,
Don’t worry, folks, sure as you’re born,
Bikinis will stay on in Lorne.

Going back yet further, the following is the text of a letter written [in 1880] to the then Chief Commissioner of Police in Melbourne.


I am directed by the Winchelsea Shire Council to forward herewith a copy of a Petition received from residents of Lorne complaining that persons are allowed to bathe indiscriminately in the Erskine River at Lorne during all hours of the day. The Shire Council now respectfully ask that a Constable be stationed at Lorne to remedy this nuisance and other matters that may crop up. Your early reply will oblige.

Yours obediently,

Shire Secretary.

People were not always as broadminded as they now appear to be. Though seeing G-strings in the main street can be challenging, I hope the wheel doesn’t turn for a third time.

John Agar
Feature Writer

A word from the chairman


What an amazing run of weather we are enjoying in Lorne! Wide open beaches, clear blue skies and balmy days with the temperature in the high ‘teens. We know from past experience, it won’t last forever but let’s enjoy it while we can. Before moving permanently to Lorne in around 2021, Jan and I lived in Warrandyte, a northeast outer suburb of Melbourne. Our son still lives there. Last Tuesday morning I went on-line and checked the temperature on the weather station at the Aquatic Club. It was 17.0c. Out of curiosity, I then checked the temperature on a weather station in Warrandyte. It was 0.6c! Naturally, I then had to deliver this information to my son via a sarcastic text message to the effect that, “I know where I’d rather be”.

It seems that COVID Lockdown is well and truly over and people are either travelling overseas or preparing to leave for overseas. Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece seem to be the popular destinations sat the moment. It’s looking like Sicily could well take over from Port Douglas as the winter escape destination for Lorne folk. It’s looking like Lorne will be a quiet town during mid-winter.


This coming Saturday, Lorne Dolphins travel to Alvie for football and netball. This season, both the senior Lorne football team and the Alvie team (last year’s premiers, are undefeated with seven wins apiece. Good luck Dolphins!

On the King’s Birthday weekend, June 8, Lorne plays Colac Imperials at home. On Saturday, Lorne Football & Netball Club President, Carly Enticott, will host the President’s Lunch from 12pm till 2pm. Senior coach Ed Curnow will be on hand to talk about the season and answer questions. Cost is around $55 for a sit-down meal and welcome drink. You can book here – https://tinyurl.com/lfnclunch.

That same day there is a reunion of the 1974 Premiership team. To help you with the maths, that’s 50 years ago! It’s looking like quite a number of players from that team will be gathering at Stribling Reserve on Saturday 8 June to celebrate. Lorne Football and Netball Club is hosting players from that team and their partners, at the President’s Lunch. So, if you know of a player from the ’74 team, would you let them know this reunion and the lunch are happening? It’s likely that we will witness a great demonstration of that old phrase ‘the older I get, the better I was” on that day.

Pete Spring

Lorne Ward Events Calendar


8th – Lorne Market, 9-3pm https://www.lornemarkets.com/

8th – Lorne Dolphins Football and Netball V Colac Imperials, at Stribling Reserve, juniors match from 9am, seniors at 2pm

15th – Lorne Dolphins Football and Netball V Otway Districts, at Stribling Reserve, juniors match from 9am, seniors at 2pm

22nd – Deans Marsh Winter Solstice Celebration, 5pm at the Deans Marsh Reserve.



13th – Lorne Dolphins Football and Netball V Irrewarra-Beeac, at Stribling Reserve, juniors match from 9am, seniors at 2pm

27th – Lorne Dolphins Football and Netball V Apollo Bay, at Stribling Reserve, juniors match from 9am, seniors at 2pm



17th – Lorne Dolphins Football and Netball V Alive, at Stribling Reserve, juniors match from 9am, seniors at 2pm

17th – Surfcoast Wonderfalls Trail Run, Starting at Cumberland River/Lorne from Distances: 5km 13km 25km 42km 52km


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