Men bathing in the nude was an everyday sight in Western Plains in the late 20th century according to the president of Western Plains Historical Society, the Right Reverend Cardinal John Slutty.
“The fact is that houses didn’t have their own bathrooms back then. Or an internet connection. So if you had an interest in the pastoral care of naked young boys you had no choice but to visit Western Plains Swimming Baths. Or become a priest” he explained.
Cardinal Slutty says people at that time believed watching young men bathing in the buff had ‘invigorating qualities’. Whether the claim is sound or not, clergymen from all over Australia flocked to Western Plains drawn by the opportunity to rub soap on each other.
It was around this time too that Western Plains’ saw some of its most impressive erections. One of the town’s most iconic buildings, the Grand Hotel, or as it was known at that time, the Paedophile Palace opened in April 1980 only to be closed down again in May 1980.