Mussel Inn owners Andrew and Jane Dixon moved to Onekaka in the early 1980s, at a time when it was rude not to be nude while swimming at the beach. It was back then that the idea of a calendar of unclad Onekaka men first struck Mr Dixon.
Earlier this year while brainstorming fundraising ideas for Golden Bay's new Integrated Family Health Centre, Mr Dixon decided the time had come to produce Calendar Boys of Onekaka.
"It was at Peter Greer's annual willow harvest back in July that I threw the idea out, giving the boys who were keen to participate just a few short weeks to prepare themselves for the photo shoots," he said.
Mr Dixon said he used a film camera and shot the male models in their natural home settings.
"The actual sessions were brisk, as I like to try and capture the raw spontaneity that comes with the ‘from the hip' shooting technique.
"The participants were very willing to support this cause.
"Having said that though, Onekaka boys are not the sort to flout their wares and I think their sincerity comes through in the images."
He said there was widespread support from the surprisingly buff male models to create the calendar as a fundraising tool for the new health centre.
"Although on appearance, the Onekaka Boys look far from requiring the services of a new health facility, they are a practical lot and well aware of the inevitable. I was nothing short of stunned at the efforts that went into preparing themselves for this project and the incredible transformations that some of them went through all in the name of the cause."
The project took about 120 hours to complete. "It's the after production where the time really comes in - the many, many hours involved in hand processing real film in the dark room, trying to do justice to the hard work the boys themselves had put in."
So far, response to the calendar has been positive.
"I've never heard such consistent genuine laughter from those that view the calendar. I could find this quite distressing but since this is a money raising project for our new health facility - and they say that laughter is the best medicine - all is good."
His advice to others wanting to shoot a nude calendar: "Go with the feeling when the feeling takes you."
The men who offered their bodies for the cause, were, from January on - Humfrey Newton, Darryl Kerrisk, Gerard Hindmarsh, Remy Kalma, Grant Muir, Peter Greer, John Weston, Nigel Birse, Reuben Lee, Dari Harris, Neil Baker, and Chris Astill.
Calendar Boys of Onekaka is available at Take Note, the Rural Service Centre and The Mussel Inn for $20.
- © Fairfax NZ News