IronMan, Vol 20, No 2, Page 18, December, 1960

Henry Downs -- New Mr. Universe

By Dave Webster

THE 1960 Mr. Universe competition was one of the happiest events ever held in the physical culture sphere. In my opinion a better general standard of physiques has been seen in the past and there have been better acts on the bill, but for sheer enjoyment and pleasure, this bodybuilders' weekend was well ahead of all others. There seemed to be a whole host of old friends from far and near getting together to celebrate and newcomers to Britain were welcomed with a genuine enthusiasm which was bound to please them.

Some sixty competitors from around 20 countries competed in the five divisions. Two of the classes were professionals and there were three height classes for the amateurs.

There is no doubt that the professional contest was the best seen for many years and probably for the first time the majority of the professionals beat their amateur counterparts.

Paul Wynter of Antigua, continued his winning run and was a very worthy winner. This lad has wonderful shape, bulk and muscular definition. His latissimus development must be about the best in the world and is well matched by good arms, back, abdominals and legs. His calves, too, are remarkably good for a colored fellow.

The tall man's professional class was led by Jannie Graff of South Africa who is currently working for Reg Park. Tony Boulous, a doctor from the United Arab Republic and former Mr. World was in second place. He looked very good and hopes to win next year if his professional duties as a specialist in treatment of polio, rheumatism, etc., allows him to workout regularly. Although trained in medicine to an advanced degree he says he prefers to treat his patients by physical culture methods instead of some of the mediums currently in vogue.

The ever-popular Reub Martin was third place winner and during his posing routine his spontaneous clowning had the crowd roaring with laughter and even the show hardened musicians of George Fierston's fine band were temporarily incapacitated by fits of giggles at Reub's antics.

Paul Wynter naturally won the class for men of 5'8" and under as well as the major title. Len Sell followed and although in fine shape was not quite so good as in previous events. The fantastically built Yvon Permal of Guadeloupe was third and had one of the most outstanding builds ever seen although few would call this a beautiful body. He has tremendous forearms and biceps. His triceps bulge like melons behind his arms and deltoids are like footballs. One can almost count the muscle fibres as his muscular delineation is of the highest order. A rather pinched looking rib box and waist seem to cut his physique in half but fine legs distract your attention from this fault. Yvon has recently taken the place of Arthur Robin, the former Mr. Universe, in the man and monkey act of "Tarzan and Pongo."

A special word of praise must be given to the mighty Monohar Aich from Calcutta. This diminutive Indian stopped the show with his wonderful posing routine, the most artistic ever seen in a Mr. Universe competition. He is widely travelled with his posing act and showed us a series of unusual muscular and aesthetic poses including some semi-yogi movements and muscle control. Although only 4'11" in height, he demonstrated with a pride and dignity which would have made him a worthy winner in spite of his size. Outside the competition his perpetual smile and jovial manner made him a very well liked personality and he would have been booked for many shows had he not been forced to return to India for the social work in which he is so actively engaged.

Leopold Merc, an Austrian bodybuilder currently running a gymnasium in Berlin, was a highly placed finalist in this class. Turning to the amateurs we found that at long last Henry Downs of London took the Amateur Universe title and also class I, for men over 5'9". Bushy bearded Henry has had his share of disappointments as well as successes and richly deserves this win. He has chased the title for many years and nearly didn't enter this year after a lower placing in the final of the recent TV competition.

America's Most Muscular Man and the current Mr America, Lloyd Lerille, won Class III but had a very hard task to prove his Superiority to Pierre Vandensteen of Belgium and Tony Rothwell, Mr. Britain. Indeed the judges were divided on the result and the Belgian, the smaller of the two men, was just edged into second place with Rothwell taking the third prize.

Class II, for men over 5'6" and up to and including 5'9" was to my eyes rather disappointing in comparison to some of the lineups in this class a few years ago. Massive John Hewlett of England, was first and Basil Grant second. Massive Dave Stroud was third and a much improved Tony Emmott 4th. Jamaican Beresford Morris was next and Kamal Bhandari of India was the other finalist. Hewlett's bulk contrasted greatly with the muscularity of Basil Grant of Barbados. This colored boy seems to have almost transparent skin and is like a walking anatomy chart. I do believe you could almost see the blood running through his veins.

Among the taller men, Adrian Heryet was an outstanding newcomer and a certain winner of major titles. His fine all around development, clean cut and pleasing lines bore the hallmark of class and with a rather individual posing routine proved popular with judges and audience alike.

As usual the judging was done on the day before the big show. It took many hours to see all the competitors and everybody was glad when it was time to spruce up for the annual dinner arranged by the National Amateur Bodybuilders' Association, the organizers of this festival of physical culture. The dinner is the setting for formal speeches and an informal get together of competitors and officials, and subject for some discussion was the fact that the many prizes for the Mr. Universe competition were presented by Oliver Cutts, the N.A.B.B.A. president, who, it should be emphasized, has no financial interests in the activity.

There was a nonstop program of events for the judging and dinner was followed next morning by the one rehearsal for this show. Here the competitors were shown the different presentation of each class and given instructions on timing etc. The show itself ran very smoothly and was most colorful with the flags of many nations forming a background to the muscular performers.

The supporting items included the Junior Mr. and Miss Britain finals and these fine young folks were topped by Paul Nash, winning for the second time and Barbara Lee, Jr. Miss West Britain. Just a year ago Barbara was a very plump young girl instead of the well curved beauty she is today. This transformation has been brought about solely by the use of weights.

Syd Baker's new presentation of "the Man in Bronze" was a great success and it is with regret that we heard that he has had to have treatment for a skin complaint caused by the preparation necessary for his act.

The most unusual act seen in a long time was by Rhandi Motie the world's most beautiful woman fakir. She lay on nails and swords, did some fire eating and other death defying stunts. I saw her immediately after the act and she was quite exhausted and slightly injured by one of the swords. A really good "physical" act in every way.

The Duo Van Dek and the Francimes were two professional balancing acts, the former consisting of two young men and the latter two young women. The amateur husband and wife balancing act, the Marcille Duo, was even more popular and have been appearing in several top shows all over the country.

For sheer thrills and spills the international trampoline competition between England, Wales and Scotland had the audience right on the edge of their seats. The talented performers showed many advanced routines and Quinney of England had a well deserved win by virtue of a fantastic routine done with beautiful form.

The Mr. Universe dance brought the weekend fun to a close in great style. Here we had the pleasure of seeing the Large Belgium contingent take over the platform and sing and dance for our entertainment. They persuaded Reub Martin to sing and dance the "Havah Nagilah" or "Hora" from ancient Jewish folk music.

Henry Downs (Britain's answer to Steve Reeves!) although reluctantly led to the microphone was found to be in good voice and was encored until he did a second song.

Ray Routledge of the U.S.A. was at the show and dance and hopes to enter next year. Let's hope that he will be joined by many more from the States.

Oscar Heidenstam, the brains behind the show, is always eager to welcome overseas contestants and would be glad to see American contestants over in force to try to regain their former superiority in these events.


- Henry Downs in the cente won the Mr. Universe title, beard and all. Lloyd Lerille on the left won his height class (up to 5'6") while John Hewlett on the right won the tall man's class (over 5'9").

- Paul Wynter, an amazing colored boy from Antigua, won the Professional Mr. Universe title. On the upper right is another shot of Henry Downs while at lower right is Lloyd Lerille, the only entry from the USA. He was very popular.

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